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Equality versus solidarity.

Spicker, Paul


Paul Spicker


Although equality and solidarity are often thought of as constituent parts of the same ideological framework, there are inconsistencies between them. Both concepts refer to a range of meanings: equality can refer to equal treatment, opportunity or result, and solidarity, a term which is of growing influence in European social policy, can refer to mutual aid or group cohesion. Despite the close association of these ideas in theory, there is a tension between them, and they offer prescriptions for policy which are likely to conflict. British pensions policy is taken as an illustration; the case for solidaristic redistribution has had to be balanced against that for egalitarian policies, with some unpredictable results. The concepts of equality and solidarity can be reconciled, but this depends on the application of a set of limiting interpretations; they can just as easily be represented as incompatible.


SPICKER, P. 1992. Equality versus solidarity. Government and opposition [online], 27(1), pages 66-77. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 31, 1992
Online Publication Date Jan 31, 1992
Publication Date Jan 1, 1992
Deposit Date Sep 12, 2013
Publicly Available Date Sep 12, 2013
Journal Government and opposition
Print ISSN 0017-257X
Electronic ISSN 1477-7053
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 1
Pages 66-77
Public URL


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