Sessione 15

Beyond continuity, still a “Southern model” of welfare? State, market, family, political economy

Coordinatore/i di sessione: Ana M. Guillén (Universidad de Oviedo) e Matteo Jessoula (Università degli Studi di Milano)


Testo della Call

In the mid-1990s, the identification of the main features of the South European model in Maurizio Ferrera’s seminal work represented a key step in welfare studies. Extreme labor market segmentation, non-inclusive unemployment benefit systems, high institutional fragmentation and the dualistic, polarized character of income maintenance schemes – with generous programs (especially pensions) for workers in core economic sectors (insiders) and the lack of anti-poverty minimum income schemes for outsiders – as well as the prominent role of cash benefits vis à vis social services were all distinctive elements of the Southern model, which (still) significantly relied on the family as welfare provider.

The typological effort also came with an explanation suggesting that the Southern European “syndrome” was the result of peculiar conditions, such as the prominence of political parties for social interest aggregation vs the atrophy of Southern Europe’s civil societies, and the presence of a “maximalist Left” combined with high ideological polarization in the party system.

Two decades later, the welfare landscape in the four Southern European countries (Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain) reveals clear signs of change, and the Great Recession has operated as catalyst for institutional discontinuity. The panel thus aims at assessing to what extent, and in which sectors, South European welfare systems have changed in the last two decades, in order to identify divergent/convergent trajectories that put into question – or, rather, confirm – the persistence of the “Southern model” with respect to both policy developments and underpinning political dynamics.

Papers from different disciplines (sociology, political science, economics, law) are welcomed, analyzing – theoretically or empirically – welfare change trajectories and related political economy models, either in country case studies or in comparative perspective.

Papers adopting one (or more) of the following analytical perspectives are welcome:

– Analysis of reforms in the main social policy sectors (pensions, healthcare, childcare, social assistance, employment policy, etc..); reform outcomes; policy feedbacks.
– The changing role of state, market, family, and third sector organizations, in welfare provision.
– Changes in the cognitive and value frameworks, as well as in goals and strategies, of the main social (trade unions, employers’ associations, civil society organizations, etc..) and political actors (parties) in the field of welfare policies.
– Changes in policymaking patterns, in a multilevel and multi-stakeholder welfare arena.

Also, the panel welcomes papers investigating if, how and when the relaxing of pressure in the post-crisis period led to different reform strategies and the  extent  to  which  reforms  passed  during  crisis  and adjustment programs yielded  durable  outcomes – a sort of “new  normal” – or  they were rather reversed.

The session will be held in English.

Referente per la corrispondenza


Papers accettati

Sotto-sessione 1

Traps and unexpected effects of innovation in Southern Europe: the case of Italian “Home care premium” program in the LTC policy field (C. Ranci, M. Arlotti, A. Parma)

Drifting Apart, or Converging Once-Again? the Multi-Level Politics of Minimum Income in Italy and Spain (M. Natili)

The Politics of Childcare Expansion: understanding different policy trajectories in Italy and Spain (M. Leon, J. Miró; E. Pavolini; A. Sorrenti)

Similar trajectories, persisting differences. Employment Policies and politics in Italy and Spain (P. Vesan and O. Molina)

Sotto-sessione 2

Incomes and the welfare state in Southern Europe during the crisis (M. Matsaganis)

Pension Reforms and Austerity effects in Portugal (2007-2017) Pension Reforms and Austerity effects in Portugal (2007-2017) (D. Carolo)

From dualization to continuum. Exploring dimensions of marginal work in Southern Europe (L. Maestripieri)

Pension policies and trade unions’ strategies in Italy and Spain. The Great Recession as “critical juncture”? (Gago)

Sotto-sessione 3

Portuguese and Irish Healthcare Reforms in the Context of Crisis (Tamara Popic, C. Devitt and M. Asensio)

Here to stay? Analyzing policy reversals in the aftermath of the crisis (S. Sacchi)

Wife or businesswoman? The role of gender-dominated jobs in defining women’s entry into union in Italy (A. Minello)

Between Risks and Opportunities: Social Policies in Contemporary Turkey (M. F. Aysan)


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