Religion Past and Present

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Social State
(1,223 words)

[German Version]

I. Term and History

The concept of the social state needs to be distinguished from that of the welfare state. The former emphasizes the responsibility and cooperation of all for socially just structures within a society; the latter tends to suggest a “nanny state” that guarantees social security (Security, Social) and is concerned primarily with the redistribution of social resources. The social state attaches great importance to subsidiarity, i.e. helping people to help themselves…

Cite this page
Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph, “Social State”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 22 November 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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