The Social Question in a Transnational Context

61 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2011 Last revised: 3 Aug 2014

See all articles by Alexander Somek

Alexander Somek

University of Iowa - College of Law

Date Written: June 16, 2011


The social question has come down upon us in two different understandings. Modestly understood, it is about helping the needy and creating opportunities for disadvantaged members of society. More ambitiously conceived, by contrast, it is about extricating human life generally from the false necessities of market dealings. The article argues that the ambitious understanding is likely to become eclipsed in a transnational context. Such an eclipse, in turn, threatens to destabilize transnational arrangements as soon as some participants embrace broader ambitions.

Keywords: social justice, international federation, neoliberalism, European Union, freedom of establishment, freedom of services, right to strike, industrial action, libertarianism

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Somek, Alexander, The Social Question in a Transnational Context (June 16, 2011). LEQS Paper No. 39, U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-14, Available at SSRN: or

Alexander Somek (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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