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social policies

The Territorial Dimension in Welfare Policies in Europe: Some Reflections on the Processes of Rescaling and Governance

Articolo scritto da:

in the issue
Europe and Regions
This article examines the changes in the welfare systems of eight European countries, considering the (implicit and explicit) processes of the territorial reorganisation of welfare policies as a valuable observation point. These processes have involved new territorial configurations and public and private agents in organising and financing various welfare policies. The vertical and horizontal analysis of these changes brings out a notable interaction between these two dimensions that leads to coherent, but specific, outcomes. Indeed, the convergence of trends of rescaling and governance leads to outcomes linked to the characteristics of the national and local welfare models that adapt changes to local conditions.only subscribers can see the full article

The Social in Social Policies

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The author considers the essence of the idea of «social» in sociological analyses and in the analysis of public policies. The social is interpreted as «states of the world that are indirect effects of others» originating in social action. The essay also presents a short comment on the concept of social by B. Latour and a digression on the idea of social capital and the principle of subsidiarity (still more crucial for any future social policy). Starting from the peculiarities of the social that have been brought out, it also deals with a comments on some implications for analysis and for social policies. only subscribers can see the full article

Social Dialogue and Union Enlargement

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The paper focuses on the importance of social dialogue in the enlargement process of the European Union, intended as a support for the strategy of convergence towards the progressive reduction of existent economic and social gaps between the new member countries and the rest of the Union. It is clear that the efficacy of European social dialogue depends on the existence of a solid national industrial relations system, and thus on the stronger legitimisation and representativeness of the social partners and the development of collective bargaining.only subscribers can see the full article

Three Years of Isee: Evidence and Assessment

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in the issue
Nhs
This paper offers a concise overview of evidence from the Isee 2004 Report, which has just been published by the Cabinet and the Employment Department thus providing an updated framework of the provisional data for 2004. A critical evaluation of the Isee can now be given after the first three years in activity as the sole tool wanted by the legislator for the selectivity in social policies. Various problems are here discussed, from the role of immovable and moveable assets to the difficulty in guaranteeing horizontal equity with the Isee given widespread hidden incomes. Particular attention is placed on the matter of the singular criterion for the different services, distinguishing it from the problem of the single information system, a resource to be reinforced and valorised.only subscribers can see the full article

Latin America: a New Social Agenda in the Making?

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Different processes and facts seem to indicate the emergency of new social agendas in Latin America, and more generally, new strategies of economic and social development. The trend can be identified in the growing criticism about the so-called Neoliberal paradigm, that ruled the region for the last quarter century; but also, recently, in the electoral victories of political leaders of left and centre-left, supposedly committed to different and socially more progressive alternatives of economic growth and international insertion; and, finally, in the reforms of social security and education that started in Chile in 2006. A central question is whether the model of growth that oriented the region in the recent past may be reaching its limit. only subscribers can see the full article

Changing Family Life: Significance for State and Society

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The intent of the article is both to elaborate the nature of family change in European societies and to interrogate contemporary policy on the family in the light of emerging changes and risks. The first part of the article undertakes an overview analysis of the main changes affecting families, looking at structure, organisation and relations. It then moves on to consider the key risks and challenges posed by recent changes for individuals, states and society. The risks discussed include the seeming lack of readiness to commit to parenthood, a polarisation between parenthood and partnership, overburdening of women and risks around care. The final section of the article turns to the state’s response, in terms of what it has been and what it might (need to) be.only subscribers can see the full article

Poverty as an Adaptable Concept and Policy Informer

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Each year the Commission on social exclusion presents a «Poverty Report» which illustrates, through a series of indicators and analyses, the main features of poverty in Italy and the policies which have been implemented to contrast it in the previous year. Most of the data presented initially seem to be easily interpreted but it is not always the case: in the construction of some indicators, there may be some hidden conceptual traps which can be misleading and offer a distorted vision of the reality. Without a «preventative» clarification of what is really meant by poverty, you run the risk of misinterpreting the real condition of poor families and the most appropriate policy measures needed to improve their standard of living. It is thus necessary to clear up any possible confusions to prevent any policy mystification from causing policy errors.only subscribers can see the full article

Culture, Multiculturalism and Welfare State Citizenship

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Culture pervades the rights and expectations of citizenship. Recent decades have seen increasing cultural diversity in western nations, yet their multicultural condition has been little recognised in theories of citizenship and social policy. This paper looks at three theoretical accounts of the relation between multiculturalism and citizenship with a view to making the study of welfare state citizenship more responsive to the issues raised by cultural diversity. only subscribers can see the full article

Regional Governances: Models and Performance’s Evaluation

Articolo scritto da:

in the issue
Europe and Regions
In the last thirty years Italy has witnessed a process of the decentring of regulatory and management powers for social policies from the state to the sub-national, and often regional, level. Starting from an analysis of regional welfare is useful, not only for analysing an important dimension of welfare organisation (most health expenditure is managed at this level and much of the resources and control of other social policies is in the hands of the Regions), but also to understand more generally how the regional political and socio-economic systems are changing. More territorialised welfare systems built to a greater extent around the sub-national level of government raise the problem of territorial difference and inequalities, particularly in a country like Italy, where these features are already evident. The article focuses on how different the performance levels are for systems of regional welfare and what might explain them, trying to evaluate the role of dimensions such as political orientation, models of governance, the level of economic development and the more socio-cultural aspects such as social capital.only subscribers can see the full article

The Social Investment Approach in Welfare Policies: An Opportunity for Innovation?

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in the issue
Territorial Welfare
The article describes the social investment approach applied to social policies placing it in the wider ongoing debate about welfare states transformations. The emergence of this new paradigm in the «market of ideas» is outlined as well as its contents and the criticisms that it received in the last years. Some policy fields are review through this conceptual lens and discussed as empirical field of its rationale and application. The article poses some questions related to the usefulness of the social investment approach in a crisis time and it explores to what extent it can be followed to innovate Italian welfare policies.only subscribers can see the full article