Frans van Waarden
The chapter investigates the curious paradox that for most goods and services and their economic sectors the benefits we derive from them are stressed, for example in the press: utility, productivity, income, employment. But for health care services this is less the case. Here the emphasis in the press is more often on the costs involved rather than the benefits acquired. Poor doctors, nurses, and other care service providers! What is of more value than one’s own health? The chapter investigates various possible explanations for this strange paradox, such as absence of the benefit principle (pay in direct exchange for the service) in health care, or compulsory payment for health insurance, which make it look like a tax payment, which we also do not like (see the resistance in the United States against ’ Obamacare’). Would abolishment of the public involvement (as a res publica) be a solution to this ‘unfair’ attitude to doctors and nurses?
Frans van Waarden
Chapter 4 addresses the common historical origins and the conflicting social logics of the ‘market’ and the ‘polis’. It relates these issues to the context of European cooperation and integration, critically reconstructing the founding history of the EU: the hope that integration of national markets into one single European market would produce shared material interests and, in turn, prevent any major future inter-state conflicts as the first half of the 20th century had seen. Some 60 years later European integration through the further internationalisation of markets has increased the choice for consumers, workers and investors. However, in the polis the influence of choice has been reduced. Liberalisation and privatisation policies have diminished the authority of political actors. It is concluded that a liberalisation policy carried to the extreme leaves no more room for a political domain, which would be a real ‘tragedy of the commons’.
Frans van Waarden and Sandra Seubert
People living in Europe belong to different concentric or overlapping territorially defined communities: neighbourhoods, cities, nation-states and the European Union, and not to forget the world population. They can also belong to various other groups or categories: (extended) families, friends, colleagues, genders, age groups, ethnic groups, the employed or the unemployed, students or pensioners, the healthy, the sick or the disabled, as well as language or religious communities. These communities and categories define multiple identities, which engender rights, duties and responsibilities. Over time some of these have come to be defined in law. Membership of territorially defined communities is referred to as citizenship. This term – as well as related ones in other European languages (citoyennete, burgerschap, Burgerschaft, ciudadania, cittadinanza, cidadania, cetatenie, medborgarskap) – stems from the term ‘city’, ‘burg’, ‘fortress’, that is, a walled and protected territory. Inhabitants of this walled territory had freedom (‘Stadtluft macht frei’), which furthered independence and individualism. However, not everybody within the city walls was a ‘citizen’. Alongside the territorial definition, citizenship has always had a social construction of membership, which included and excluded some groups. For example, the beggar within the city walls was not part of the citizens. For those who were included, the right to freedom and independence was always combined with duties and responsibilities. Walls provided protection, but had to be built, maintained and defended. Duties such as serving in civic militias, guarding walls and dykes, providing labour and paying taxes were required in order to guarantee the continued protection of these rights. Such rights and duties stabilised mutual expectations between people and developed into customs. Eventually they became enacted into law, in order to increase transparency and predictability and ensure equality.