Social Investment Strategies and Risks over the Life-course
- Merle Zwiers (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)
- Ferry Koster (Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
The global financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent recession has increased poverty and social exclusion in many countries, thereby reducing the human capital of vulnerable groups. Austerity measures and budget cuts in social spending in recent years have led to a new paradigm where welfare states are increasingly focused on social investments and labor markets to combat poverty and social exclusion. As a result, the role of employers and other labor market organizations in social protection might become more important in recent times. Employers can increase human capital by investing in education and training; can contribute to social protection through income protection and by offering generous unemployment programs, childcare, and/or pension schemes; and can decrease the risk of unemployment through employment protection. The focus on activation and employment, however, means that welfare states are increasingly focused on the working-age population in targeting poverty and social exclusion. Consequently, the risk of poverty and social exclusion will not only differ between different groups, but will also vary over the life-course.
We invite contributions that include, but are not limited to:
- Studies that analyze the role of the welfare state over the life-course; how does the risk of poverty and exclusion vary between different life-stages? How will changes in social policy affect the life-course of vulnerable groups? What are the effects of new policies on the intergenerational transmission of poverty and social exclusion?
- Policy analyses that seek to identify how different welfare states are dealing with social risks in a post-crisis era; explaining the rationale behind country-specific social investment strategies and analyzing/hypothesizing its long-term outcomes. What is the effect of the focus on employability on social risks that are difficult to cover with activation policies? And to what extent will this this increase the gap between those active and those inactive in the labor force?
- Studies that analyze the effectiveness of different activation strategies on poverty and social exclusion in a cross-comparative perspective; how are welfare states’ social investment strategies translated into employability policies in different contexts?
〈 List of Stream Themes