CfP: VI REPS Conference (ESPAnet Spain) 16-17 February 2017, in Seville

6th REPS (ESPAnet Spain) conference at the University Pablo de Olavide in Seville Spain. The conference theme is “Dealing with the future. Towards a new agreement on Welfare.”

Deadline for abstracts is now: September 9, 2016

Deadline for full texts: January 20, 2017


More information about the conference at:

Note: the conference webpage is in Spanish.


Two panels will accept papers in English. These are panels:

 5.1) Assessing changes and outcomes of Family Policies

7.2) On developments in the field of minimum income in Southern Europe.


The call for papers, for these 2 streams, follows below in English.

Panel 5.1 Assessing changes and outcomes of Family Policies

Organised by Margarita León (UAB) ( ) and Manuela Naldini (Università di Torino) ( )

Family policies have been the subject of comparative welfare research for quite some time. We now have a clear idea of the relationship between welfare state support to families and the participation of women in the labour market. Research has also reached a consensus as to how different designs of family policy and different mechanisms have different impacts.

Starting from an ample definition of family policy (one which includes direct transfers, leave schemes, policies for the reconciliation of work and family life and childcare services and transfers) this stream seeks to bring together theoretical as well as empirical studies on the question of what path(s) of reform are family policies taking as well as analyses which try to measure outcomes in terms of not just female employment but also in its impacts on poverty reduction and social inequality among children. Papers addressing this issue from either a case-study or a comparative approach are welcome. Both quantitative and qualitative studies will also be accepted.

Possible contributions might focus on the following issues: – Impact of the economic crisis and austerity policies on changes in family policies, – Gender equality and family policy design (involvement o fathers), – Changes in Early Care and Education for Children (ECEC), – Impact of public provision on families and children from low educated/low income backgrounds, – Migration and family policy, – Access to family policy of non-standard family units.

Panel 7.2 The Great Recession and the small safety net: an opportunity for minimum income guarantee against poverty in Southern Europe?

Oranised by: Manuel Aguilar-Hendrickson (UB) and Ana Arriba González de Durana (UAH)

The Great Recession and its impact on Southern European societies have reopened debates on the weakness of the means-tested tier of their income maintenance systems.

Countries like Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal have developed over the years sizeable contributory pension systems, while income guarantee for the unemployed and, more generally, for the working-age poor has developed in a much more limited and fragmented way. With some exceptions, unemployment assistance and minimum income schemes either don’t exist, or are limited in coverage, or have a very patchy and incomplete form, or are still closer to traditional forms of discretionary poor relief than to modern income guarantee schemes. Child benefits, which are often a powerful instrument against poverty, are also underdeveloped in these countries.

It is not surprising that all four countries have social cash transfer systems that have a weak redistributive impact, as they are much better at maintaining the income levels of insiders than at offering outsiders access to a minimum level of income. This has raised questions about the effectiveness and efficiency of current institutional arrangements in this field. At the same time, the effects of the Great Recession in terms of long-term unemployment, but also of increasing in-work poverty, have put a strong pressure on public social services and private charities, which bear the brunt of income support demands by the poor.

The aim of this stream is to explore some of the main issues that have arisen in this field during the last ten years. Some of such issues are the following: Several proposals for institutional reform have appeared in Spain (where 3 of the 4 main political parties) are calling for the establishment of a national minimum income and/or tax credits for the working poor), in Italy (with the reform of unemployment assistance through the Jobs act and the debate on a possible minimum income), and Greece, where an experimental local scheme and a possible national program have been discussed.

  1. Existing income support mechanisms in these countries (limited and fragmented as they may be) have undergone more limited changes and innovations, either trying to limit expenditure or to use resources more efficiently.

  2. At least in the larger Southern European countries like Spain and Italy, the issue of the multilevel governance of income support and anti poverty policies is an important one. The responsibilities of central, regional and local governments are not usually well delimited, and regional and local inequalities are very important.

  3. The scope of income support and anti poverty policies has been slowly changing from focusing of the «marginal poor», considered to be living basically outside or at the very margins of the labour market, towards a wider population of working poor, precarious or part-time low-wage workers.

  4. This has risen the issues of how activation relates to income support, of how to combine wages and benefits and assure positive incentives towards employment, and of whether it makes sense or not to have separate schemes for the «working poor» and the «excluded». Connected to this problem is of the role of social and employment services (separately or jointly) in offering support services.

We invite you to present contributions on any of these five main issues. Both comparative analysis and national or local analysis are welcome. The witten versions of papers may be submitted in Spanish or English.