Risks, Knowledge, and Social Insurances
In his seminal work The New Social Question, Pierre Rosanvallon reflects upon the impact of increasing knowledge about risks on solidarity (see Rosanvallon, 2000). He argues that increasing knowledge about social risks might hollow out the principle of solidarity. Although Rosanvallon's thesis has received significant scholarly attention, it hardly has been empirically tested. This article tries to fill this gap. It sets out to assess the impact of increasing knowledge about social risks on modern welfare states. It focuses on developments in the fields of pensions, health insurances, and unemployment insurances in the Netherlands.