European integration and national social citizenship An analysis in the perspective of Stein Rokkan
With the creation of European monetary union (EMU), European welfare states have entered a new phase of development. The margins for manoeuvring public budgets have substantially decreased, while the unfolding of the four freedoms of movement within the European union (EU) have seriously weakened the traditional coercive monopoly of the state on actors and resources that are crucial for the stability of redistributive institutions. The article explores these issues adopting a Rokkanian perspective, i.e. building on Rokkan’s pioneering insights on the nexus between boundary building and internal structuring. The first part of the paper briefly presents the theoretical perspective. The second part sketches the development of national welfare institutions from their origin up to the early 1970. The third part describes the challenges that have emerged to the « social sovereignty » of the nation state, largely linked to the process of European integration. The final part offers some more speculative remarks of the potential de-structuring of the traditional architecture of social protection, with some hints at cross-national variations and possible developments at the EU level.