From extreme poverty to the social question. Well-being and sustainability around 1910

Harry Lintsen

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The dynamics of the resource-production-consumption chains as analysed in the three previous chapters were interrelated with the dynamics of societal institutions. The strategies of professional groups and political parties eventuated in a corporatist state structure, with a societal midfield solidly anchored in a political system and in a state bureaucracy at local, provincial and national levels. New notions about extreme poverty and well-being acquired a legal framework around 1900, within which governments, entrepreneurs, citizens and workers could continue to work on the solution of different issues. The legal framework was also the origin of the welfare state as it would develop in the course of the twentieth century. The modernising economy was also characterized by the emergence of new professional groups and a modern knowledge infrastructure. This is the context in which we must place the well-being monitor for 1910. Well-being and sustainability around 1910 are viewed from three perspectives. Judged by the societal agenda of 1850 much progress had been made, especially in regard to extreme poverty. But the societal agenda of 1910 shows that opinions about poverty have shifted and that in this period the qualities of the food supply, of public health facilities, of public housing and of work are the core issues. The present-day perspective on well-being differs little from that of 1910. But in regard to the issue of sustainability there are big differences.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWell-Being, Sustainability and Social Development
Subtitle of host publicationThe Netherlands 1850-2050
EditorsHarry Lintsen, Frank Veraart, Jan-Pieter Smits, John Grin
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-76696-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-76695-9
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2018


  • Corporatism
  • Knowledge infrastructure
  • Labour
  • Monitor
  • Public health
  • Public housing
  • Social question


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