The Challenges of Innovating Social Policies

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:00-10:30
Location: Hörsaal 11 (Juridicum)
RC19 Sociology of Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy (host committee)

Language: English

A long wave of reforms has affected welfare policies ever since the 1970s. More substantial changes have been introduced in the last two decades, further boosted by the 2008 Great Recession, affecting both the vertical and horizontal regulation axes.
On the vertical axis, supra-national arrangements and devolution processes challenge the established national configuration of social policies, highlighting the increasing role of the local dimension in structuring inequalities. 
On the horizontal axis, social innovations involve new actors, with different degrees of engagement and accountability, and through participatory and/or competitive approaches that risk to discriminate social actors, and territories, with different capabilities. 
The context in which innovations occur influences both the type of innovation and its impact: the variable configurations of scales and actors may favour or hinder specific forms of innovation. Moreover, the combined effects of vertical and horizontal cleavages have potentially relevant impacts on the institutional design, and on the inequalities’ structure. 
It is time to take stock of ongoing research, critically tackling the interplay between institutional levels, actors and resources in order to answer both empirically and theoretically the following questions: 

  • Do participatory and localized innovations undermine the redistributive capacity of the state?
  • Do social innovations produce new forms of inequalities? Who is affected?
  • What (pre)conditions could allow to avoid such risks?
  • What consequences have different welfare arrangements in producing social innovation?
  • If successful social innovations are strongly embedded in their context, how can they be upscaled? 

Papers presenting comparative research results are especially welcome.

Session Organizers:
Yuri KAZEPOV, University of Vienna, Austria, Massimo BRICOCOLI, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg and Stefania SABATINELLI, Polytechnic of Milan, Italy
What Is Social in Social Innovation?
Lavinia BIFULCO, Department of Sociology, University of Milano Bicocca, Italy; Vando BORGHI, University of Bologna, Italy
Fostering Collaborative Practices: The Governance of Sharing Economy
Emanuele POLIZZI, Ecampus University, Italy; Matteo BASSOLI, Ecampus University, Italy
Social Innovation As a Challenge for Urban Governance Policies. Analysing Local Administrations' Approaches and Their Inclusive Policies.
Santiago EIZAGUIRRE ANGLADA, Universitat de Barcelona - CRIT, Spain; Marc PRADEL MIGUEL, Universitat de Barcelona - CRIT, Spain
Scaling up Housing First-Pilots – Drivers and Barriers
Marcus KNUTAGÅRD, School of Social Work, Lund University, Sweden; Arne KRISTIANSEN, School of Social Work, Lund University, Sweden
Social Innovation to Address Social Exclusion Among Youth: The Case Study of Two Deprived Neighbourhoods in Barcelona
Olga JUBANY, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain; Berta GUELL, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Housing First: From Local Social Innovation to a New Policy Strategy?
Fabio COLOMBO, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy; Tatiana SARUIS, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy
The Actors in the Reform of Provisions for the Elderly in France: Difficulties to Generalise a Global Service.
Loic TRABUT, Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques / National Institute of Population Studies, France; Alexandra GARABIGE, Ined, France