SPA Symposium Call for Papers

Symposium: Social Innovation and Social Policy: Solution or Surrender to Welfare Austerity? Submit abstracts by 19 February 2016

SPA Annual Conference Belfast 4 – 6 July 2016 Theme: Social Policy: Radical, Resistant, Resolute.

The symposium “Social Innovation and Social Policy: Solution or Surrender to Welfare Austerity?” will explore the potential value of social innovation as a policy concept and what benefits and risks it may engender in the short and longer term. It will bring together a range of papers reflecting on instances of social innovation in social policy and its impact on citizens, practitioners and welfare services. Particularly welcome are empirical and/or theoretical papers drawing connections between social innovation and social policy in the following (distinct, but complementary) areas:

  •  Civil Society and Third Sector Policy
  •  Welfare Pluralism and the Mixed Economy of Welfare
  • Outcome-based Commissioning and Payment-by-Results contracts
  • Social Impact Investment and Social Finance
  • New Public Management and Public Service Reform
  • Welfare Reform

Contributions are invited from postgraduates, early career researchers and more established academics. If you are interested in contributing a paper in this proposed Symposium, please contact Stephen Sinclair ( or Daniel Edmiston ( Please send the title of your proposed presentation and abstract (200-400) by 19th February.

Research findings from two EU FP7 research projects (CRESSI and EFESEIIS) will also be disseminated during the symposium.