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RPS 1 2017

In uscita ad aprile il numero 1/2017: Il servizio sociale italiano nell’ambito dell’attuale sistema di welfare sarà il focus della sezione monografica del n.

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social policies

Reforming Pensions: Myths, Truth, and Policy Choices

Articolo scritto da:

This paper discusses the building of pension reform in the light of economic theory, and their application to different types of economy. The opening section sets out the simple economics of pensions. The second section discussed a series of myths which have proved remarkably persistent. Building on this analysis, the latter part of the paper sets out the foundations of effective pensions policy. The third section discusses the prerequisites which any pension reform must respect, i.e. those things which policy advisers can - and should - assert authoritatively. The fourth turns to the range of choices facing policymakers, drawing of the very different arrangements in different countries. The main conclusions are threefold: (1) The key variable is effective government. (2) From an economic perspective, the difference between pay-as-you-go and funding is second order. (3) The range of potential choice over pension design is wide. One size does not fit all. only subscribers can see the full article

The Costs of the Failure to Integrate Social and Health Care

Articolo scritto da:

That health service costs tend to increase staggeringly is well known. The most recent forecast of PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute estimates a tripling of its impact on Gdp in the next fifteen years, reaching 21% in the USA and an average of 16% in other OECD countries. Italy’s relatively favourable position at 8.5% will tend to be eroded, if for no other reason than the worldwide tendency of health service consumption, supply systems and costs to converge. only subscribers can see the full article

Social Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa: a Glance in the Rear View Mirror

Articolo scritto da:

This paper takes a retrospective view of social policy in post-colonial sub-Saharan Africa. In doing so it seeks to account for two distinct phases in the nature of social policy and its linkages to wider economic and political objectives in the region. We argue that in social policy in the nationalist phase (1960-1980) played an ex-ante transformative role: in this period investment in education and healthcare is the key mechanism of social policy. The weaknesses of this phase were growing authoritarianism and failure to structurally and dynamically transform the economies. The implications of the retrenchment of the public realm under the neoliberal policy regime were not only in its disastrous social consequences of entitlement failure but extend to the crisis of citizenship and statehood in the region. only subscribers can see the full article

Children in the Welfare State. An Approach to Social Investment

Articolo scritto da:

The paper states the necessity for substantial investment in policies to support childhood. Children, considered both in quantitative and qualitative terms, are identified as the focus for the definition of the new welfare balance. First of all, the article considers the reasons that influence the reproductive choices of women and the reasons behind the low fertility rate, analyzing the negative effects on growth and development resulting from present circumstances. In the light of the importance of human capital as a strategic factor of economic growth, the author supports the necessity to invest in a mix of policies which, on the one hand, allows people, especially women, to satisfy their reproductive desires without them becoming an obstacle to participation in the labor market; on the other hand, it aims to support the growth and development of children by overcoming the social and cultural inequalities inherited from their parents, allowing them to acquire skills that can be put to use in the labor market when they are adults.only subscribers can see the full article

The Role of Irap in the Italian Fiscal System

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The paper examines the role of Irap in the Italian taxation system. In particular it analyses the role of this regional tax in the 1997-98 fiscal reform in the light of the objectives to simplify and streamline the system, increase neutrality, reinforce the financial autonomy of the regions and reform their funding. Successive developments are also looked into, especially the greater autonomy of the regions. The matter of the announced abolishment of Irap is discussed considering the problems faced by the regions in terms of financial autonomy and coverage.only subscribers can see the full article

The importance of Political Cultures for the Future of «Social Europe»

Articolo scritto da:

It is possible to draw important lessons from the last 15 years that saw the attempt to build a significant layer of «Social Europe», from the first initiatives in the very early 1990s. The near collapse of this dynamics was triggered by the double rejection of the project for a constitutional treaty in the Netherlands and France. But this failed attempt at adopting a constitution has much deeper cultural and political roots. In the absence of the «social» dynamics, the substance of the discourse of coordination at Eu level has quickly reversed back to good and solid mainstream «economicism» while perfunctory service was paid to the necessity of «better communication». The fundamental conditions that brought the refusal from voters in France and the Netherlands can be seen as «cultural». This opens up a research programme where the status of a «missing variable», culture, could be considered anew, with its role enhanced in comparative welfare state literature. only subscribers can see the full article

Process-Produced Data. An Abandoned Data «Mine» Source

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This contribution deals with the importance of process-produced data in government information systems (particularly at regional level), or of the usefulness of linking synergically the information gaps for social planning with the information gaps for bureaucratic purposes. There are two basic criteria behind this method: information-gathering techniques used for censuses and the choice of the organizational unit of service providers (and not the individual user) as the basic unit of observation. The essay also considers the strategic choice of the unit of service provision and unit of elementary observation in activating reliable information flows and the correct placing and evaluating of information tools and data bases on the individual user for case management. The development of social information systems based on information taken from process-produced data also fills in many of the information gaps, that can also be defined at differentiated territorial levels, including central national level, with an undoubted advantage for the trans-regional comparability of data, as well as for reconstructing otherwise incomparable data on a national scale. only subscribers can see the full article

Eu: a Focus on Social and Employment Policies

Articolo scritto da:

The article outlines the history of social Europe and describes the present situation, focusing on the implications of the European Council of Lisbon in March 2000 when Heads of State and governments decided to set a new ambitious objective for the EU: to become the most competitive knowledge economy in the world, based on full quality employment with an increased social cohesion. The common strategy for occupation, the new social agenda and the efforts for greater co-operation on inclusion and social protection are examined in detail. The article also takes a look at the future scenario, examining the results of the Convention from a social perspective and drawing some conclusions on the prospects of the intergovernmental conference.only subscribers can see the full article

Social Policies: Governing through Fragments?

Articolo scritto da:

I’d like to continue in the same direction as the other papers, analysing what we are trying to define as a welfare system. It’s a very particular system, incomplete, and which at the moment can at least be rebuilt theoretically. In fact, in considering social and health policies, we come up against the difficulty of having fragments rather than a real system: something that actually is more like a nebula, an archipelago or a system of archipelagos. Much has been written on whether social policies make up a system or not, and there are in-depth analyses and case histories; despite the lack of useful information, particularly as regards databases, for making decisions and evaluating results, there is an overall survey of these policies in the literature. The thoughts advanced in this debate too suggest that we actually know quite a lot about this «system».only subscribers can see the full article

Revisiting Welfare Developmentalism: Economic Reforms and Trajectories of Social Policy in East Asia

Articolo scritto da:

Prior to the crisis of the late 1990s, East Asia’s welfare states were premised on two sets of ideas: «welfare developmentalism» according to which social policy is viewed principally as an instrument for economic growth, and Confucian familism, which saw the family as the main site of welfare provision. The weaknesses of this approach were painfully exposed during the economic crisis of the late 1990s. In response, many East Asian countries have strengthened and expanded their welfare provisions. This paper explores the contrasting trajectories of welfare development across E. Asia, highlighting ways in which both the economic reform context and the political dynamics of reform are shaping welfare state outcomes. only subscribers can see the full article