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AbstractSocial Assistance between Morality and Right. Analyzes the local implementation of social assistance in the Netherlands, 1950s-1960s. The premises of social assistance are described as a moral matrix of benefits that consists of three elements: restrictive criteria, social engagement, and locally bound knowledge and duties. At the national and local levels, social benefits came to be viewed as a right rather than a favor, despite the resistance among local leaders against the defining of benefits as a right, laid down in the 1965 Social Assistance Act. Social engagement as the most important premise for offering benefit allowances disappeared. A new kind of legitimation was needed for decisions about benefits. The traditional hierarchical position of social service organizations disintegrated. A more egalitarian ethos dominated the social service organizations beginning in the 1970s. All these local changes stimulated a more formal, (quasi-) juridical framework for the distribution of benefit allowances. 1 Table, 21 References. Adapted from the source document.