- no.16, pp.51-65, 2006-09-30
Since the 1990s, there has been a discernable trend toward welfare reform in advanced democracies despite the difficulties associated with welfare retrenchment. Together with this movement toward welfare reform has emerged much debate on the concept of citizenship. This paper has two aims. First, I seek to classify some of the principles of contemporary welfare reform from the perspective of citizenship rights and obligations. There are at least two conceptions of citizenship: the right-centered conception and the obligation-centered conception. By adding a left-right nexus to this right-obligation nexus, I create four conceptions of citizenship as they relate to welfare reform. These are (1) the left-libertarian conception of citizenship (basic income), (2) the right-libertarian conception (negative income tax), (3) the right-communitarian conception (workfare), and (4) the left-communitarian conception (activation). Recent citizenship debates have exhibited a definite tendency to emphasize obligations rather than rights, especially the obligation to work. For this reason workfare and activation are more popular ideas for reform than basic income and negative income tax. There is an important difference between workfare and activation. However, it seems certain that the principles which emphasize work as an obligation have had a great influence on recent citizenship debates. My second aim is to explain why we should not regard the work obligation as the most important aspect of citizenship obligations. In doing so, I make two points. First, if we acknowledge that the significance of citizenship is in obligation, we should take into account not only work but also other obligations and activities. Referring to T. Fitzpatrick's concept of diverse reciprocity, I argue for recognizing the significance of both unpaid care work and active political citizenship. In recent feminist debates on citizenship, unpaid care work has come to be seen as one of the most important components of citizenship. By active political citizenship, I mean the political citizenship that goes beyond suffrage and is located in collective action. Some radical democrats such as J. Habermas and G. Delanty emphasize such active political citizenship. Today we cannot assume the boundaries of citizenship as given. The ability to define citizenship seems to have become increasingly important, and this will be possible only through political citizenship. Second, if it is the case that citizenship is more that just the work obligation, we must also think about the new principles and institutions necessary both for the democratization of welfare and for welfare that encourages diverse reciprocity. Regarding the former, I focus on 'deliberative welfare' (Fitzpatrick), and for the latter, I refer to public policy, such as parental leave for men, and basic income, which has the potential to increase the time spent engaging in social and political activities outside of work.