New Challenges to the Comparative Analysis of Care Policies - do we need New Concepts, Typologies and Methods?
- Prof. Dr. Birgit Pfau-Effinger (University of Hamburg, Germany)
- Prof. Tine Rostgaard, MSO (KORA, The Danish Institute for Local and Regional Government Research, Denmark)
As a consequence of reforms in welfare state policies in the field of social care (like childcare, long-term care for older people, care for disabled people), these policies have substantially changed in the last decades. However, welfare states are still confronted with unmet needs and demands, arising from changing gender and citizen cultures, ageing societies, the need to support the competitive ‘knowledge economy’, and in Europe the more recent occurrence of people fleeing war and economic instability. This may lead to further change in welfare state policies.
Such challenges for welfare states include, for example:
- the demand for family policy that supports gender equality in employment and within the family to a larger extent;
- the request to re-organise the public childcare system on the basis of the concept of ‘social investment’;
- the need to react to the ‘refugee crisis’ with the establishment of comprehensive systems of public support and care for refugees;
- the request of senior citizens for a more active role in the decision making about the care that they receive;
- the request of senior citizens for political participation in the policy processes in the field of elderly care;
- demands for better quality of services, and services that are personalised and/or individualized;
- strengthening of social rights but targeting of benefits;
- blurred boundaries between care responsibilities of the public sector vs other societal sectors;
The stream aims to analyse such challenges and the ways in which welfare states react to them with their care policies. Also, the consequences for the structures of care, social inequality, social integration and social cohesion will be explored. We also aim to discuss how this also challenges the traditional theoretical concepts, typologies and methods of comparative welfare state research.
We invite papers that analyse new challenges to care policies and how welfare states reacted to them. We also invite papers that evaluate the common theoretical approaches, concepts and typologies and analyse how far we need new approaches and concepts.
〈 List of Stream Themes