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Scientific paper


The right to meaningful work as key component of a new European social contract in the light of the socio-ecological transition

Judith Schicklinski

Entry type:
Scientific paper

Year of publication:

Degrowth Conference Leipzig 2014


new social contract / decommodification of work / meaningful work / cities in transition / active citizenship

Abstract: The on-going destruction of humanities´ livelihoods as well as constant high unemployment rates across Europe ask for a new social contract, in which individuals collectively assume responsibility for future generations without neglecting their own right on a good life. Key words like “think global, act local” illustrate the necessity of local re-embedding processes in reaction to the global dis-embedding of economy, showing that the local level is paramount for sustainable development. All over Europe self-organized civil society movements are emerging on the grassroots level to tackle local challenges. Their activities can be designated as meaningful work, contributing to the functioning and well-being of a European society aiming for social, ecological and economic sustainability. For their development, an enabling, innovative and fostering local policy framework is necessary, allowing for constructive interaction with local politics and administration. The empirical part of this project will look at such evolving meaningful work activities in several cities across Europe.

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