login_rps_multi_inglese

Username:

Password:

Retrieve lost password

Username:

Password:

Hai perso la password?

firefox
Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict

The italian journal of social policies

last issue

What destiny for social rights in Europe?

Description

The European social model is under tension from the growing internal asymmetries in Europe. The rigid curbs of permanent austerity have meant that the aim of recalibrating the situation has either been abandoned or subjected to cost-cutting strategies that lead to new trade-offs, between expansion of the provisioning rate for social-investment services and low-paid jobs in those services, between entering the labour market and low wages, and between public and private expenditure. This is the context for the themed section of no. 3/17 of Rps. The contributions provide a cross-section of the present debate on social Europe, with special attention to its internal criticalities and the contradictions that have widened the gap between countries, as well as to the reforms and innovations that are compatible with a model of development and growth different from that which the crisis has imposed. Welfare and fiscal policies are discussed in the section Attualità, which underlines the need to organize a tax system that guarantees the financing of the Welfare State and, at the same time, makes it possible to reduce major inequalities. This is followed by the Debate section, which starts from the work by Mazzucato and Jacobs (2017), the regular feature Social Question and new populisms, with an examination of the political culture of the young, and, finally, an investigation of the importance of the State for social innovation.

To buy this issue go to the italian version

THEME: Social rights in Europe: investment actors policies

The future of Social rights in Europe. An introduction
The growing inner asymmetries in Europe constitute a serious threat to the future of the European social model. Given the strict budgetary constraints imposed on national agendas, there is a risk of a serious divarication between those countries that, in spite of fiscal consolidation, have managed to maintain room for manoeuvre to invest resources for old and new social needs, and countries with more critical budgets, which have no alternative to cutting social expenditure. In the years before the crisis, there had been the prospect of convergence on the recalibration processes, at least as regards objectives. But in this context, it now seem seriously weakened, as is the reform agenda, codified in the approach of social investment (Esping-Andersen, 2002; Vandenbroucke, Hemerijck e Palier, 2011; Bonoli, 2012; Morel, Palier e Palme, 2012; Ascoli, Ranci e Sgritta, 2016; Hemerijck, 2013, 2017), which had been officially recognized by the European institutions […]
subcribe

written by:

The social investment welfare state: what can it achieve?
The central contention of the strategy for a social investment welfare state (Siws) is that social policy can be a major means for enabling work forces in the advanced economies to sustain their competitiveness in global markets by improving their skills and competences. Three policy fields dominate the discussion: education, active labour market policy and family policy. Evidence for the effectiveness of Siws is ambiguous, but adequate to encourage continued development of the policies, especially for countries needing to upgrade their skill levels and female labour force participation.
subcribe

written by:

Social differences and the labour market. A «macro-micro» and «micro-macro» approach
The article considers the process of dualization in the care sector of the labour market. The caring and welfare services have been growing constantly in this period, and are one of the sectors that are most obviously creating new jobs. There are, however, problems in the worsening of social differences and institutional constraints, which tend to limit the work of these organizations. In analysing the segmentation, dualization, or, more generally, the inequalities of the labour market, it is indispensable to evaluate the effects of social divisions, systematically distinguishing between the macro level of employment policies, industrial relations and welfare institutions, and the micro (and intermediate) level of working conditions, workers’ rights and the strategies of the social actors, including the trade unions. The article starts from some critical reflections on the present socio-economic and socio-political debate on segmentation and dualization, before indicating the reasons behind the proposal for a combined macro-micro and micro-macro approach, and concludes with some methodological reflections based on an analysis of the relations between the macro and micro levels.
subcribe

written by:

Reforming unfair social rights by looking to Europe? The challenge of the Helplessness Allowance
This article addresses the current state of Ltc policy in Italy, focusing in particular on the main institutional scheme that aims to support the care needs of dependent people: the Helplessness Allowance. Although it is a universalistic measure, it has many critical features that affect social rights in the Italian case. In the concluding section, the article identifies four main points for a reform of the allowance aimed at bringing this measure closer to the main Ltc schemes in other European countries.
subcribe
Digitalization and work: new challenges to the Social investment approach
The ongoing technological changes have a significant impact (both quantitative and qualitative) on work and on the social and economic structure, which consequently affect welfare systems. After addressing the question of what is meant by the term «digitalization», the authors examine the international literature, firstly on the effects of these changes on the labour market and the quality of work, and secondly the literature on the impact of this transformation on the socioeconomic structure and the «shrinking of the middle class». Finally, the role of the social-investment approach in responding to these changes is examined, by highlighting strengths and weaknesses.
subcribe
Towards adequate minimum incomes: which role for Europe?
In this article, the authors consider how to give more bite to European social governance and how to further «socialize» the existing Europe 2020 strategy and the European Semester. The authors argue that binding input governance in the field of minimum income protection is the place to start. As a first step, the authors propose to augment the so called «auxiliary output indicators» with relevant «input indicators». Including input of this kind would allow European governance to make more balanced and coherent suggestions, supporting the efforts of member countries to raise the standards of policies to combat poverty.
subcribe

written by:

Minimum income in Southern Europe. What developments with the Great Recession?
Traditionally, minimum income schemes constitute the weakest front of achievement of the Southern European welfare state. In these countries, the Great Recession has brought social policy reforms that have contributed to reshaping – in some cases, dramatically eroding – social policy arrangements. This article aims to assess whether these events have been followed by a strengthening of last-resort safety nets, and, if so, whether this occurred similarly in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
subcribe
Budgetary rules and public investment: for a European industrial policy
This article links the drastic, widespread reduction of public investment to the «new consensus» that since the 1980s has become dominant in macroeconomics, and that is centred on the notion of market efficiency and a limited role for policy. The consensus was particularly influential in Europe, where it contributed to shaping the institutions for economic governance. The crisis of the consensus allows us to open a discussion on possible reforms allowing economic policy to re-assume its role as a motor force for long-term growth, as in the post war period. I propose an «enhanced golden rule» for public finances that would allow governments and European institutions to coordinate on (material and immaterial) investment conducive to long-term economic development. Such a rule would allow us to reinstate a European «industrial policy», and reaffirm the democratic features of the decision-making process.
subcribe

written by:

The financing of social infrastructure in Europe
The article focuses on long-term investments on social infrastructures, with the aim of analysing the variety of non-public resources in the realm of the European Social Agenda. In the first part it focuses on project finance tolls as they emerged at European level and in some European countries. In the second part it focuses on the role of long-term investors and national promotional banks in pan-European investment plans for social infrastructure. In the light of this analysis, the final part advances proposals for relaunching public and private investment in support of the European Social Agenda.
subcribe

written by:

Jobs and welfare: the unions and the European pillar of social rights
After years of austerity policies in Europe, which have had a negative effect on employment and working and social standards, there is a clear need to relaunch the European social model, as well as change gear and change approach in the field of social policy and collective wage bargaining and salaries. The European Commission’s desire to update the European Pillar of Social Rights provides an opportunity to do this. The article discusses the European Trade Union Confederation’s position, which, together with the national union organizations, is seeking to put pressure on governments and influence the Commission. Action on the Pillar will indicate if it will really become a starting-point for advancing the social agenda of the European Union, or whether it will remain a list of good intentions with the power to invert the policies followed in recent years.
subcribe
show the abstract

TOPICAL QUESTION: Fiscal policy and welfare: possible reforms

written by:

What fiscal reforms should accompany economic recovery?
This article addresses the issue of possible fiscal policies that can be implemented in Italy in times of crisis and also when there is an upturn in the economy. In particular, it focuses on the main lines of reform for Irpef and Ires, and on the possibility of compensating for the reduction of these taxes with the introduction of other kinds of levy imposed on new types of wealth. The article also emphasizes the need to create a tax system that can ensure the financing of the social state, while also reducing serious inequalities. However, relaunching productivity is best achieved through public investment expenditure.
subcribe

written by:

Changing direction? Some thoughts on taxes, expenditure and the future of welfare
Recent governments in Italy have practised a fiscal policy aimed at cutting revenues while containing public spending as a recipe to favour economic growth. This direction, which is also sustained by private think-tanks with radical reform proposals, seems to define a different model of the Welfare State – one with less State and more market. But what are the options? What are other countries doing? And where does the political support for the different options come from? How can we reconcile a welfare that merely insures, with a welfare aimed at redistributing resources? What are the additional constraints blocking the reform of the Italian corporative model?
subcribe
show the abstract

DEBATE: Rethinking Capitalism

Rethinking the exit from capitalism
The article aims to converse with the volume edited by Mazzucato and Jacobs (2017), whose intention is to rethink economic theory, including its policy dimension. The crisis of neoliberalism is seen as the opportunity to discuss what is needed to ‘save’ capitalism by achieving a sustainable and inclusive growth. The merit of the book lies in its dialogue between a post-Keynesian macro-monetary approach and a neo-Schumpeterian evolutionary theory of innovation, both of them updated to understand contemporary capitalism. Some problematic points in the various chapters are here discussed and, above all, the main proposition of the book is questioned: does the socialisation of investment mean rethinking capitalism or rethinking the ‘exit’ from capitalism?
subcribe
Innovation and Capitalism
The first part of this article summarizes the volume (Mazzucato and Jacobs, 2017) following the reconstruction made by the editors in the introduction. The second part synthesizes and analyses Lazonick’s essay critically by highlighting the limitations of a concept of innovation lacking the kind of direction to be found in other contributions, Mazzucato’s in particular. Finally, the idea that a process of social transformation is possible, based on the contrast between innovative and non-creative companies, is considered inadequate. The systemic and interconnected nature of capitalism, in fact, requires radical policies to change the system, as supported by many of the contributions in the volume.
subcribe
show the abstract

In-depth analysis

written by:

Social innovation and knowledge: the role of the State
The article analyses the importance of the State with respect to social innovation, focusing on two related issues: the relation between innovation and knowledge, and the role of the State as an institution for public knowledge. Social innovation is a quasi-concept, with vague borders and meanings. This makes it malleable and adaptable to different points of view and at the same time elusive and ambiguous. Indeed, the empirical reality of innovation is markedly heterogeneous. After highlighting how the institutions and the State intervene in this context, the essay discusses the cognitive and ideational dimension of social innovation. The aim is to outline the profile of an innovative state and the problems it faces on the basis of changes in public action in recent decades. In addition to supporting upscaling processes and addressing the risk of uncertainty, this profile involves: mediating and redistributing ideational powers; supporting social capacities in configuring new connections between problems and solutions; and opening up informational bases of decisions to public discussion.
subcribe
show the abstract

Social Question and Neo-populism

Features

written by:

Are young people «populist»? Collusions and collisions between populism and the political culture of the young
Populism today may look less like a coherent ideology than a repertoire of action and communication styles that it is hard for almost any politicians not to resort to. In fact, in Western democracies the fracture between traditional political élites and anti-establishment protest is becoming increasingly marked, and is connected with the issues of neoliberal globalization. On the one hand, there are the «globalists», who support the political, economic, cultural and media élites who govern the processes of globalization, and, on the other, «globalization’s losers», who are ever more alienated from the élites, their language and their policies, which are seen as unable to tackle middleclass impoverishment and increased inequality. These factors contribute to bias the political offer in a populist direction. In this perspective, it is worth asking how the offer and the demand may meet, with particular reference to a specific segment of the latter: young people, who are in the vanguard of social change. In other words, this contribution aims to identify possible proximities and differentiations between populism and young people’s political culture.
subcribe
show the abstract

News

Giovedì, 25 Gennaio 2018 - 10:14 Roma

RPS 3 2017