Social policy - what is it? Development of social policy in Russia
Social policy is essentially another tool of political influence, with more favorable consequences for those members of society to whom it is directed. It aims to establish stability in meeting the needs of social institutions and groups, while at the same time benefiting not only them, but also the branch of government that provides it. On this basis, each state conducts its social policy: taking into account the present welfare of society, the economic situation of the country, the goals to be achieved, and so on.
The development of the social policy of the Russian Federation is closely connected with the criteria denoting precisely this state: for example, the peculiarities of management and politics in principle. Also, social characteristics are strongly influenced by historical features and national traditions, mentality, and purely socio-psychological factors.Tools of social policy are selected on the basis of the economic development of the state, the prerequisites for economic growth, the state of the economy at the present moment.
Prerequisites for the development of social policy as a phenomenon
Society is a stable system, historically formed under the influence of relationships between people. Structurally, society is divided into social groups. A feature of the social group, as the main form of interaction of people, is considered to be a community of interests and values. On this basis, social groups can be both similar and different. Their interests can also oppose each other altogether. So that the public resonance does not heat up to the limit, any lever of regulation of their activity has become vital.
Social policy primarily helps regulate the interaction of social groups, considering society as a whole as a system and element-wise as a structure. Ideally, social policy should take into account the interests of each of the social groups, find points of contact, maintain the stability of the development of the whole society.Different approaches to the study of society, the involvement in the development of the concept of social policy of experts in various fields allow to achieve the effectiveness and efficiency of this area.
Social policy is an integral part of the internal policy of any state. Its goal is the impact of state institutions on social relationships.
Despite the definition and term, social policy is much closer to the economy than it might seem. This is dictated by a list of a wide variety of reasons, each of which will be discussed in detail in this article during the discussion of social policy as an existing phenomenon.
The need for social policy
Social relations are the determining element in the choice of a person’s place in society (subconscious self-actualization at the expense of public opinion or, on the contrary, public perception at the expense of how a person puts himself). They also determine the conditions for the realization of his needs. A person cannot develop outside of society - thanks to the relationships that he builds in him, he develops as a person, becomes able to grow spiritually and morally. Therefore, social relations are necessary and sufficient.In the course of their development, however, there may be contradictions, problems and obstacles.
Social policy is designed to successfully resolve global and local social problems, which are sufficient in any state. This is the poverty of various segments of the population, and crime, and the maintenance of disabled citizens, and many others, manifested to a greater or lesser extent for a particular country. Against this background, the development of social policy of the Russian Federation is becoming a primary factor for improving the well-being of the population.
System of principles
The practical implementation of social policy is impossible without a theoretical basis, which, in turn, must be based on a certain ideological approach, which has clearly placed priorities. Like any system, the system of principles is structured and complete. Its elements affect the external influence to a lesser extent - the moral and ethical background is more important in it.
Therefore, regardless of other factors, the system of principles of social policy must include:
- humanism (humanity, humanity) - as a fundamental principle for the sake of which social policy is built;
- justice - a principle that sometimes correlates, and sometimes collides with the principle of equality, still not the last place in social policy, but on the contrary - is of paramount importance;
- continuity - the importance of which is repeatedly proved in practice, a principle that is responsible for the integrity of the structure of social policy;
- consistency - a principle that should be characteristic of any ongoing state policy;
- continuity - goes back to the basics of the fact that social policy is based on cultural traditions formed under the influence of historical processes;
- openness, the presence of “feedback” - closed forms of social policy greatly affect its effectiveness, which at the end of this article will be considered on a concrete example;
- opportunities and democratic implementation - each of the methods of social policy should be able to be implemented in a particular state;
- balance of goals - despite the fact that something needs to be given at some point a higher priority, social policy needs a balance for its effective functioning;
- effective control of society - state control and provision should be correlated with the opinion of society (the principle of vox populi, which is explained by the fact that social policy is carried out primarily for citizens of society in need of it);
- targeting of measures, which implies an increase in social assistance to those groups of the population that most need it. It closely interacts with the principle of balance - one should not contradict the other, but their joint influence allows us to develop better methods for social policy.
System of functions
The provision of social policy is also tied to its peculiar system of functions. Some of them have already been casually mentioned in this article in explaining the importance of social policy as such.
Below is a more detailed and accurate classification of the most important functions that this strategy should perform:
- the expression and protection, as well as the harmonization of the values and interests of groups and segments of the population;
- finding a compromise in the course of emerging social contradictions;
- establishment of communication, two-way communication between the state and its population;
- maintaining the integrity, stability and welfare of society as a system;
- harmonization of the structure of social groups in society;
- prognostic function;
- social protection of citizens;
- management and control of social processes taking place in society.
The dual role of social policy allows it to be a universal tool both to improve the well-being of the population and to increase / maintain the economic growth of the country. These two principles interact with each other on a mutually beneficial level - just as in the philosophical materialist principle, one generates the other, allowing the system to be complete and work smoothly. Hence, for example, the third paragraph of the system of principles indicated above follows - continuity.
It also means that social policy in its full sense is impossible without sufficient economic growth, and vice versa.
From this statement follows a new branch - the state social policy. This is a state activity aimed at preventing, mitigating and eliminating social conflicts on the basis of the economy. Its goal is to reduce the differentiation of the degree of income, the elimination of economic contradictions and so on.Thus, state social policy regulates the relationship between the economic and social spheres of social development.
Social Policy: Directions
To classify areas of social policy, it is customary to single out two blocks that act relatively independently:
- social policy in a broad sense, covering all areas of society;
- social policy as a social protection.
Social protection of the population as a unit of direction and one of the functions of social policy
With the help of social protection of the population, welfare can be achieved in all spheres of society. It is a sustainable system of guarantees, which includes social, psychological, legal and economic guarantees. For able-bodied citizens, social protection is manifested in the provision of a range of opportunities to achieve well-being through the use of personal labor contribution. Disabled members of society, as well as socially vulnerable groups, receive advantages in the use of public consumption funds. Social protection, in addition, provides them with direct material support.
Effective social protection guarantees stable social security. Social security means that something has been achieved for which social policy was created.
The directions of this activity, as you can see, are also closely related: in the first sentence of this section there is a reference to the aforementioned division, the first paragraph of the classification follows. This explains the relative independence of the blocks.
Social Policy Models
As already mentioned, each of the countries in its own way implements social policy, based on the welfare of society at the time of its implementation, as well as on the basis of historical features and national traditions. From this follow the basic models of social policy:
- Continental, which is also called German. It is characterized by a high level of economic growth, full employment, an expanded partnership system. Operates, except Germany, in Belgium, Austria, France, Switzerland.
- Anglo-Saxon. State intervention in employment becomes passive in nature; instead, great attention is paid to social services.Distributed in the UK, Ireland and Canada.
- Mediterranean. Targeted social policy is aimed at socially unprotected segments of the population. Recently, its course has tightened, but this is probably temporary and caused by crises. The Mediterranean model is used by the countries of southern Europe.
- Scandinavian. Social policy is active and proactive, it is characterized by a high level of redistribution of the national product through the budget. Implemented in the Nordic countries.
Structure and elements
The social policy structure consists of the following elements:
- social security, social work, social protection, social assistance;
- medical insurance, health care;
- housing policy, domestic and public services for citizens;
- support for family, motherhood and fatherhood, childhood;
- environmental protection;
- support for the elderly and disabled;
- federal and local arrangement of refugees, migrants and other migrants.
From this list, we can distinguish areas in which social policy operates. The areas of impact are as follows:
- the sphere of education;
- health care;
- employment, etc.
All of these areas, which are directly related to social policy, the areas of its activity, create one large, social, sphere. It is called the object of social policy - what it is aimed at.
Social policy objectives
Social policy is an activity that aims to:
- life support of the population;
- ensuring social security: the absence of tension and conflict in society;
- social development of society: its structure, welfare, etc.
Social Policy Instruments
The goals of social policy are achieved with the help of:
- social programs;
- social security and social services systems.
Social policy mechanism
Social security is a program whose essence consists in the partial or full maintenance of disabled citizens. Non-working members of society who have lost their ability to work due to various reasons receive some material assistance and / or money from the state.
The social security system is based on two levers:
- social insurance;
- social assistance.
The first means a system of relations on the distribution, as well as the redistribution of national income: special insurance funds are formed, which include state subsidies and insurance contributions. These funds subsequently go to:
- pension benefits;
- medical insurance;
- insurance against unemployment and accidents at work.
Social assistance is a program to help people below the poverty line. It can manifest itself in cash or in kind (in the form of free lunches, discounts on goods and special coupons).
The system of social services affects each of the areas of social policy and is partially funded by the state.
Modern social policy in the Russian Federation
Russian social policy has features that have developed in the Soviet period of development of the country. At the same time, the modernization of the Russian economy also implies a change in the direction of the course of social policy as such.
The social policy of Russia at the moment is characterized by:
- high proportion of government regulation;
- a large part of the state funding of the social protection system;
- a low proportion of private welfare funds in the social security system;
- the closed nature of the definition of goals, objectives, methodologies for the development of a country's social policy;
- domination of state tasks over public.
In Russia, it is characteristic for statesmen to provoke the emergence of questions that social policy must solve. The problems arising from this are reasonable:
- the increase in crime and drug addiction;
- fertility decline;
The social policy of Russia first of all draws the attention of citizens to these problems, it is peculiar to her to formulate their essence and content. For their decision, recognition of “sociality” by one or another state institution is required.
In order to prioritize the importance of solving a social problem, the state resorts to the help of experts. It should be noted that the community of experts is forced to submit to state pressure, because its interests are much more effectively defended than the values of the population.
This leads to the fact that the responsibility for solving social problems lies on the shoulders of those who are not able to solve them. In addition, the implementation of social policy often does not suit the segments of the population to which it is directed, the closeness of the development of its concept does not allow citizens themselves to intervene in thinking through methods of solving their problems.
Particularly acute in the Russian Federation is the problem of the stratification of society by income. This is what social policy should be aimed at.
The tasks of forming a resource - highly skilled labor in the economy, are also very acutely set at present.
Statistics accurately reflects the state of the workforce: a qualitative and quantitative decline that brings to the fore the need for their reproduction. The demographic and labor market policies are responsible for this.
The first should be manifested in the increase in maternity benefits - this will increase the role and importance of helping a woman.
With the help of programs on the labor market, you can solve such social problems as:
- rising poverty and unemployment;
- falling incomes.
This implies psychological work with schoolchildren and young people, the unemployed segments of the population. The state is obliged to provide not only the personal self-determination of the individual as a future employee, but also to provide a good and, moreover, accessible level of education: at the present time, on the contrary, there is a tendency to reduce budget funding.
The principle of fighting unemployment should be changed: all measures taken to address this issue are aimed at the investigation, not the reasons.
Creating additional jobs will have a double effect:
- solve the problem of unemployment;
- will give impetus to the development of the economy.
The close relationship between economics and social policy is, in principle, very well seen in the example of the Russian Federation as a country in which the continuity mentioned in the first half of this article does not exist, which leads to a decline at the level of all other properties.
Conclusion and conclusions
Social policy is determined by a number of properties and characteristics, and is also based on a system of principles and functions. When performing each of the items of these specifications, a positive level of social security is observed, as well as, besides achieving the well-being of the population,increased economic growth.
The Russian social policy model is an excellent example of how the wrong implementation of this activity affects the development of a country in all its spheres. The closed form of the development of concepts causes dissatisfaction on the part of citizens, the strict regulation of expert systems by the state leads to insufficient attention to the interests and values of social groups, which should be in the first place in the list of priorities of social policy. At a minimum, these two factors hinder the uninterrupted work of social bodies for the protection of the population, the availability of social security, and the control of the social interaction of population groups. The country's economy, in turn, also suffers greatly.