Towards Sustainable Welfare States: Shaping an Eco-Social Agenda

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 17:30-19:20
RC19 Sociology of Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy (host committee)

Language: English

The starting point for this session is the need to develop what Gough has labelled the eco-social agenda. Human well-being is being threatened by severe changes to the global environment, raising issues not only for environmental policy but also for welfare state research. It is, thus, important to identify conflicts between social policy and climate objectives. The conclusions from this exercise should be followed up in public policy design, maximising complementarity across traditionally separate policy fields. For example, to resolve distributional challenges linked to climate policy, social policy instruments may play an offsetting role.

The interactions between climate change and social policy will likely gain in salience as the effects of global warming increase. It is difficult to speak of sustainable welfare states without thinking about how social policy can contribute to the transition to low-carbon societies, which is a necessary condition for the well-being of coming generations.

The session encourages normative/theoretical contributions and papers that assess concrete policies that may be part of the eco-social agenda. Papers may focus on single countries and/or policy measures or compare more countries or policies. Issues that could be addressed include (but are not limited to):

  • Justice and distribution related to unequal human, social and territorial impacts of climate changeĀ 
  • Welfare state adaptations to meet direct and indirect consequences of climate changeĀ 
  • Political conditions conducive to the reconciliation of ecological and social objectives, including a shift towards less carbon-intensive production forms, transport and consumption
  • Synergies and conflicts between climate and social policy.
Session Organizers:
Bjorn HVINDEN, NOVA, Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway and Mi Ah SCHOYEN, Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway
Oral Presentations
Social Protection and Climate Resilience: Evidence from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda
Martina ULRICHS, Freelance, United Kingdom; Rachel SLATER, ODI, United Kingdom
(Im)Possibility of Sustainable Wellbeing in the Nordic Welfare State?
Paula SAIKKONEN, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland
The Closure of Emerald Mine: A Case-Study on Retrenched Workers from the Coal Sector in United-States
Clara DALLAIRE-FORTIER, Economic Policies in the Age of Globalization (EPOG Master), France