Sessione 1

Social investment in different socio-economic contexts: what preconditions? What impacts?

Coordinatore/i di sessione: Yuri Kazepov (University of Vienna) e Costanzo Ranci (Polytechnic of Milan)


Testo della Call

Research on the main factors influencing the development of the Social Investment (SI) strategy in different European countries has focused especially on institutional factors mainly related to the specific structure of welfare policies. In this session we would like to focus on a complementary view highlighting the functional links between social investment policies, their institutional arrangements and the socio-economic contexts within which they are embedded, with its peculiarities across Europe.

The socio-economic contextual conditions do not only frame the development of SI strategies, but also alter their impact and the meaning of institutional “virtuous” mechanisms on which this strategy is based. If it is expected that SI is (or should be) a European-wide strategy, this differentiation should not only be acknowledged, but should also be part of the analytical architecture of the approach.

Following this argument, the session aims at exploring what are the main contextual pre-conditions within which SI policies have been developing in different European countries and/or different welfare regimes. We look for explorations of different relevant policy fields such as, for example, childcare, transition-to-work, human capital development and so on.

The contextual pre-conditions for the different policy fields should be critically considered highlighting what are the functional links and the mechanisms through which the positive effects of social investment policies are expected to be obtained. Evidence about these pre-conditions and their interaction with the specific institutional arrangements could be presented both for single countries or comparatively in order to assess what are their effects over the chance that social investment policies produce their expected positive results.

The final aim of this session is to collect papers that allow to: 1) identify the different ways and mechanisms through which SI strategies produce positive (or negative) returns in different European countries considering the contextual conditions within which they work; 2) understand the broader relational pattern underlying the link between policies and socio-economic contexts, highlighting how (and what) policies can specifically contribute to make SI work; 3) describe national cases, analysing and comparing different policy fields and/or analysing and comparing different countries.

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Papers accettati:

How Trust Buffered the Effect of the Economic Crisis on Fertility (L. Mencarini, A. Aassve, M. Le Moglie)

School to work outcomes during the Great Recession, is the regional scale relevant? ( Cefalo, R. Scandurra, Y. Kazepov)

Social investment vs. compensatory policy: Investigating the relations between union membership and welfare preferences (N. Bledow e M. Busemeyer)


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