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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article reviews the social policy of foreign countries for the purpose of studying how the social sphere is best to be reformed in Russia, and how we can interpret the efficiency of social policy amid escalating global competition. The Western nations are experiencing a emergence of entities that advocate for reconsidering the principles that lay at the foundation of social, economic, and political development in the latter half of the 20th century, namely the notion of the welfare state and social policy. The liberal doctrine that began to actively shape the social policy of many Western nations in the 1980s, stipulates that a non-competitive environment stunts economic potential and dynamic development. The transformation of the social safety net is defined by qualitative shifts at the foundation of its development (for instance, changes in the technological drivers) and the significant increase of the impact that external (global) factors have on the development of specific countries and regions around the world. Social policy is inevitably coming into sharpened focus, turning into a point where various economic and political interests intersect. This makes social reforms an inescapable necessity. In order for its modernization policy to succeed, Russia needs a new social policy, aimed at consolidating the society. On the one hand, this requires significant political willpower, which should be channeled towards creating a fair and just society. It is hardly possible to envision motivation and progress if injustice continues to spread. On the other hand, modernization is limited by certain objective factors. We must bear in mind that, having entered the 21st century, Russia is facing foreign policy issues that pose an unprecedented challenge to the country’s current capabilities, particularly those in the social, economic, and political spheres. Overcoming dramatic social inequality could become one of the most crucial elements of a new social policy aimed at a modernized society. Stemming for the unfair distribution of income and property, inequality prevents society from consolidating and makes it difficult for people to stay motivated to work efficiently and be economically active. Public policy should be aimed at achieving an impactful, development-oriented balance between saving and consuming and consequently, an impactful balance in interactions among various social groups.
social policy, social state, modernization, crisis
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