Figthting the erosion of social values. Re.Cri.Re seminar
Sixteen Universities and Research Centres, covering 13 European countries, are working together to investigate what kind of social identity change is occurring in Europe in time of crisis, a crucial element of the good policy making.
On Thursday 14th of December 2016, ISBEM – Instituto Scientifico Biomedico Euro Mediterraneo - together with the University of Salento (Lecce, Italy), organised the second working seminar in the framework of the project Re.Cri.Re. The seminar was held at the Monastero degli Olivetani, Padiglione Chirico (Department of History, Society and Human Studies) and aimed at showcasing the outcomes of Work Package 3.
The participants, comprised professors, researchers and other experts representing various scientific fields, focused mainly on the issue of anomy, an element that seems to have increased in the current European culture. They highlighted the fact that people in the past, in order to handle with the anomy, they resorted to dictatorial forms of government, whereas nowadays, most European States, in order to cope with the loss of legitimacy and with the increasing social violence, are currently rising the costs for surveillance and public order. This strategy however, creates a contradiction for development: on one hand, the States are forced to reduce public spending, but at the same time they greatly increase their spending on social control. We are therefore witnessing a shift from a welfare state to a criminal state. What is more, the policies themselves contribute to creating this state of affairs, like competitiveness for example, originally intended as a policy aiming at territorial development, but in reality, strengthening the identity differences in defensive terms.
The participants also exchanged on ideas regarding the creation of new social models. A great number of the proposed ideas have already been adopted by European states, like for instance the minimum basic salary or the forms of community welfare. Furthermore, the results of Re.Cri.Re. indicate that, the answers enhancing only the identity aspects, if generalized, may lead to populism, while those that only enhance the distribution of resources, if generalized, produce existing goods consumption. Last but not least, the participants reflected on the idea of finding answers not related to problem solving, but problem setting, which nowadays is the way to understand how we can tackle the anomy, through a new form of integration between system dimensions and identity dimensions.
The project is lead by ALDA and sponsored by the EU Comission. For more information, please contact: Aldo Xhani, Active Citizenship Project Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.