Welcome to the homepage of ESPAnet

The Network for European Social Policy Analysis is an association of academics involved or interested in the analysis of social policy in Europe.

The Network encourages and fosters a multi-disciplinary approach to the analysis of European social policy. It is therefore open to people from a range of disciplines, including social policy, sociology, political science, international relations, history, law and economics.

It draws its membership from and defines its remit in relation to countries spanning the European continent, welcoming analysts from western, central and eastern European countries.

Selected News

5th ESPAnet Spain Annual Conference: "Inequality and democracy: public policies and social innovation"

5-6 February 2015, Barcelona, Spain, organised by the Institute of Governance and Public Policies (IGOP) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona

Conference Website

13th Annual ESPAnet conference

3-5 September 2015, Odense, Denmark

Call for stream convenors

The organising committee for the 2015 ESPAnet Annual Conference invites expressions of interest from colleagues interested in acting as stream convenors.

Responsibilities of Stream Convenors

Stream convenors are responsible for one or more sessions organised within a particular stream. The total number of sessions per stream will depend on the number of abstracts accepted. Stream convenors participate in the selection of abstracts by ranking all abstracts submitted to their respective stream.
Final decisions on the number of sessions per stream, and the final acceptance of abstracts, will be made by the Odense organising committee. Once selected, stream convenors, together with local organisers, supervise the deadlines for paper submissions. During the conference, stream convenors chair their respective session.

Stream Themes

As organisers, we invite and give priority to suggestions for streams that fit the general themes below.Proposals may differ from the broad themes listed, but suggestions should bear in mind that topics should appeal to a large number of researchers and should clearly relate to one of the broad themes (1-12). There is room for a limited number of further streams. All streams and sessions have to be ‘open’ streams and sessions (no closed research/interest networks). Stream convenors themselves shall not submit abstracts to their respective stream. Only one abstract submission per presenter is allowed.

How and when to submit proposals

Deadline for submitting proposals is 15 December 2014. Please send proposals to Professor Klaus Petersen: klaus.petersen@sdu.dk

Proposals should include name, contact information, and link to personal homepage for the potential streams convenors as well as a one page motivation outlining the ideas and plans for the stream (this will be used in the call for papers).

Suggestions for Stream Themes

  1. Diffusion of Policy and/or Ideas
  2. EMU and Social Policy
  3. Comparative Methodology
  4. Global and Supranational Social Policy
  5. Funding Welfare States
  6. Public Opinion & Subjective Outcomes of Social Policy
  7. Family Policy
  8. Social Policy, Health care and Outcomes
  9. Work and welfare
  10. Pensions
  11. Social Care
  12. Gender and Gender Equality
  13. Migration and Social Policy
  14. Education
  15. Poverty and Social Exclusion
  16. Inequality and Redistribution
  17. The Politics of the Welfare State
  18. Historical Development of the Welfare State
  19. Housing Policy
  20. Open stream

The lost and new worlds of welfare

The theme for the ESPAnet 2015 conference in Odense, Denmark is “The lost and new worlds of welfare”. On the one hand, the theme obviously takes inspiration from ‘The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism’, one of the truly seminal works of comparative welfare state research. We will celebrate 25 years of ‘The Three Worlds’ with a dedicated roundtable talk and keynote speech by the author Gøsta Esping-Andersen. On the other hand, the theme captures the thriving field of contemporary welfare state research. We are witnessing a deep transformation of the welfare state, caused by slow-moving socio-structural changes and shifting political ideas as well as by unanticipated events such as the 2008 Financial Crisis and the Euro Crisis.

In the course of this transformation, some of what was taken for granted 25 years ago may have been lost. But other themes have emerged or are still awaiting discovery by social scientists. Priorities are further shifting towards social services, welfare-to-work and policies regulating the interfaces of previously separated programme areas. Social policy in non-OECD regions which used to be the domain of area specialists is entering the realm of mainstream welfare state research. Convergence across many areas and diffusion of practices across borders is also blurring some of the old world distinctions. New actors, from organized consumer groups, through ‘welfare-chauvinist’ parties to financial industry lobbyists, are entering the scene. And micro-level research on public opinion and social structures is being systematically linked to developments at the macro level. The old maps may have become insufficient guides for these new worlds of welfare and the traditional focus on the nation state may be inappropriate for some of the new questions.

The conference invites proposals for streams and papers that address issues across the full range of comparative welfare state research, from various disciplinary perspectives.

Best wishes from the organizing committee at the Centre for Welfare State Research, University of Southern Denmark: Paul Marx, Romana Careja, Peter Starke, Melike Wulfgramm, Igor Guardiancich, Christoph Nguyen, Luis Moreno & Klaus Petersen


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