Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 October 2005
Michel Foucault's Madness and Civilization (1961) offers a comparison between two types of answers to the same social problems: unemployment, poverty and crime. In the earlier centuries exclusion was the answer. The French Hopital General (1656) replaced it by containment. The institution was a combination of a hospital and jail and offered a solution by isolating insane, unemployed and criminal people at the expense of the society. The 20th century welfare state has a different answer to the same questions. This is, however, challenged by financial limitations. Foucault offers a solution by combining social security and individual autonomy, which was not considered to be important before.