Return to Seminars & Conferences

Past Seminars and Conferences

6th ESPAnet Poland International Social Policy Conference 26th – 28th September 2019 in Warsaw

The conference was organized by the Janusz Korczak Pedagogical University in Warsaw and the Polish Society of Social Policy in Warsaw.  the Conference had 5 paper sessions with 2 parallels.

More information about  the Conference on the website: 

12th ESPAnet Italy 2019 Conference 19th -21st September 2019 in Urbino 

  “Territorial Welfare: (de-)globalizations, innovative and reactionary outcomes”.                                                        

The conference was hosted by the University of Urbino (Department of Economy, Society, Politics).

More information on the Conference website:                        (Tabs for information in English are on the right hand side of the conference homepage)

Email organizers: 

Eleventh ESPAnet-Italy annual Conference                  Beyond Continuity:

Challenges to Social ProtectionSystems in a Globalized World

University of Florence, 13-15 September 2018

Six panels in English:

 Panel 1: Social investment in different socio-economic contexts: what preconditions? What impacts? (Chairs: Y. Kazepov and  C. Ranci).

Panel 8: The rise of radical and populist parties between social needs and policies. Opportunities and challenges to European Welfare States (Chairs: E. Pavolini and M. Natili).

Panel: 15: Beyond continuity, still a “Southern model” of welfare? State, market, family, political economy (Chairs: M. Jessoula and  M. Guillén).

Panel 16: Social protection in the EU: could one speak of a “return of nations”? (Chair: J.C Barbier).

Panel 22: Social workers affecting social policies in times of permanent austerity. Challenges for theory, practice, and education (Chairs: R. Guidi and A. Campanini)

Panel 24: Trends in socio-economic inequalities in Europe (Chairs: P. Brunori and M. Triventi).

Link to description of each panel:

 The conference will be hosted by the University of Florence, at the “Polo delleScienzeSociali”.


English at the end of each section on the website.

International PhD Conference and Expert Seminar of ESPAnet 2018
New Trends in the Development of Work-Family Policies, Gender and Care – Causes, Dynamics and Consequences
University of Hamburg
Date: March 19-21, 2018

Since the 1970s, welfare state policies towards childcare and long-term care (LTC) for older people in need of care have experienced fundamental reforms in many countries. They were often based on the extension of social rights and a publicly funded infrastructure for childcare and LTC for older people. At the same time, the way in which welfare state institutions are framing care work of formal care workers and of caring family members have changed. Policy reforms that started in the 1990s were also in part based on political support for the outsourcing and marketization of care, particularly in the field of LTC policy for older people. In part, the cultural ideas towards the ‘ideal’ forms of care and about the ideal type of caregiver have also changed.
This PhD Conference aims to analyze change in welfare state policies towards the interaction of family, care (childcare, elderly care) and employment and why it to some extent went along different trajectories in different welfare states. It also evaluates the role of cultural ideas, institutional traditions and actors for this development and for the explanation of cross-national differences. The conference aims as well to explore the actual structures of care work and the work-family relationship in the context of welfare state policies, and the consequences for social inequality on the basis of gender, social class, and ethnicity. It will also be discussed which theoretical approaches and concepts are suitable for comparative and cross-national analyses.

The PhD Conference will address the following research questions:
* What are new trends in the development of care policies (policies for childcare and long-term care for senior citizens) of welfare states, and how do they differ in a cross-national perspective?
* How is it possible to explain change and cross-national differences in the development of care policies?
* What is the relationship between care policies and the structures of care work in the field of childcare and LTC for older people?
* What are the consequences of new developments in the policies and structures of care and care work for social inequality in relation to social class, gender and ethnicity?
* How useful are the common theoretical concepts of social sciences that address these issues, how could they be further developed, and how far is it possible to use concepts which might fit better?
* What are useful designs and methods of comparative research, and which quantitative and qualitative data are suitable?

The PhD Conference is organized by the University of Hamburg, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, and the European Social Policy Analysis Network ESPAnet. It is planned for two and a half days. It offers plenary sessions with lectures of leading social scientists in the field from different countries, and sessions in which PhD students present draft papers about their PhD research which they aim to develop further for publication. The invited senior social scientists will act as discussants of the presentations of the PhD students.

The PhD Seminar is targeted at advanced PhD students who in their dissertation project are aiming to further develop theoretical concepts and research about new trends in welfare state policies and structures of childcare and care for senior citizens. It will be possible for 24 PhD researchers to participate.


The following international leading welfare state researchers will act as lecturers and commentators at the ESPAnet PhD Conference and Expert Seminar:
Mary Daly, University of Oxford, UK
Yueh-Ching Chou, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
Guðný Eydal, University of Iceland, Iceland
Teppo Kröger, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Birgit Pfau-Effinger, University of Hamburg, Germany
Costanzo Ranci, Politechnico di Milan, Italy
Tine Rostgaard, VIVE – The Danish Centre of Applied Social Science, Denmark
Hildegard Theobald, University of Vechta, Germany

Coordinators: Prof. Dr. Birgit Pfau-Effinger (also member of Board of ESPAnet) and Team, Dept. of Social Sciences, University of Hamburg, Germany


2nd ESPAnet Baltic International Conference “Social Policy in Baltic States through the Lens of Data”

30th November to 1st December 2017 in Tallinn and Tartu (Estonia)

The first day of the conference will be in Tallinn and the second day in Tartu. The conference will be hosted by the University of Tartu, Institute of Social Studies.

The aim is to bring together social policy experts and practitioners from Baltic States and other European countries, to share latest research, experiences and best practices in the field of social policy analyses and data. The working language of the conference is English.

Keynote Speakers

  • Olli Kangas, Kela – The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, will talk about Basic income experiments in Europe and Finland

  • Henk Stronkhorst, European Science Foundation, Head of Unit of Social Sciences

  • Marju Lauristin, University of Tartu

Call for Papers

The call for papers closed 15 September 2017.

Fees Participation at the conference is free of chargWe have limited number of scholarships to cover the travel and accommodation costs for scholars and students from Baltic countries, whose presentation is based on European Social Survey data.

The conference is organised by the University of Tartu, Institute of Social Sciences and supported by ESS ERIC, University of Tartu, Faculty of Social Sciences, and Doctoral School of Behavioural, Social and Health Sciences.

The organizing committee: Mare Ainsaar (, Mai Beilmann (, Ave Roots (

More information: Mai Beilmann (; +372 737 6156) 

The link to the conference website:



10th ESPAnet Italia Conference 21-23 September, Bologna

 “Welfare and Globalization: Social Policies Facing New and Old Inequalities”

Streams in English and Italian. Link to descrpition of streams here

Link to conference homepage here

For further information contact the conference committee:

4th International ESPAnet- Poland Conference in Wroclaw 25-27 September 2017

“Social Policy: Controversies and Paradoxes”

Streams in English and Polish, list of streams here

All the details about the conference can be found at:

For more information and abstract submisson send an e-mail to:

The 3rd Transforming Care Conference “Innovation and Sustainability” will be held at Polytechnic of Milan, Italy 26-28 June 2017.

The conference focusses on care policies and practices for children, older people and people with disabilities. The conferences series will be held every two years, alternatively in Milan and Copenhagen (2019).

The 2017 conference focuses on the tensions between policy and social innovation in care policies on the one hand, and pressures for financial and social sustainability of care systems on the other. Care policies not only need to respond to changing care needs, but also to be financially and socially sustainable, also in a long-term and inter-generational perspective, and from the perspectives of care users, their families and paid care workers. This is a difficult challenge for policies as well as for informal and formal care practices, with strong implications as to how care services and care work are organized and provided.

Four main dimensions of transforming care are addressed in the conference through parallel thematic panels:

–   Changes in the institutional setting of care systems and in care policy    

–   The impact and dilemmas of social and policy innovation in care services

–   Changes in intergenerational care arrangements and informal care        

–   Transformations affecting care workers and their working conditions

Keynote speakers:

Prof. August Oesterle (Vienna University of Economics and Business)    Long-term Care and Social Sustainability

Prof. Chiara Saraceno (Collegio Carlo Alberto di Torino)              Sustainability in social care: a twofold perspective

More information at the conference website:


Foundation for International Studies on Social Security (FISS) Conference 5-7 June 2017 – Sigtuna, Sweden



This year’s conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on how social security systems are responding to the many challenges they face, including growing inequality, the adverse impacts of poverty in all its dimensions, the equitable treatment of vulnerable groups, the changing nature of work, the aftermath of the financial crisis, and political uncertainty and instability. How are these factors impacting on social security systems and what reforms are being implemented to address them? What role can research play in identifying problems and designing solutions? What can individual countries learn from the experience of others about how to understand the nature of current problems, their underlying causes and the effectiveness of alternative solutions? Is there a need to explore more radical solutions to what appear to be a growing number of complex problems?

As in the past, the conference will provide a robust but relaxed forum for researchers and policy makers to come together to discuss these and other issues related to the design, financing, delivery and impact of social security provisions – broadly defined to include health care systems.

Keynote speakers:
o Philippe Van Parijs – Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics, Catholic University of Louvain
o Elsa Fornero – Professor of Economics, University of Turin
o Qin Gao – Associate Professor of Social Policy and Social Work, Columbia University
o John Hudson – Professor of Social Policy, University of York

More information is available at the FISS website.The FISS/Intersentia Best Paper Prize will be awarded to the contributed paper assessed as best from among those presented at the conference. Judging will be conducted by a sub-set of the FISS Board of Governors who will be attending the conference. The winner will receive 500 Euros and the paper will be published in The European Journal of Social Security (subject to satisfying the journal’s refereeing process).


Japan Association for Social Policy Studies (JASPS) Conference June 3-4 2017, Tokyo

JASPS invites ESPAnet members to present papers at the JASPS 134th Biannual Conference at Meisei University in Tokyo.

Deadline for paper proposal was 16 January 2017.


JASPS is one of the oldest academic associations in Japan in the areas of labor/industrial relations and social policy studies, and started exchanges of scholars with ESPAnet from 2013. In 2015 there were two exchange sessions of JASPS-ESPAnet, and four papers by ESPAnet members were presented.

JASPS-ESPAnet exchange sessions are planned for the JASPS 2017 spring conference. In these sessions (planned to be held on June 4), all papers will be presented and discussed in English, and a relatively small numbers of presenters (both from ESPAnet and JASPS) will exchange opinions and comments based on presented papers.

For more information, go to the JASPS website  or the JASP Call for papers

International Experts Workshop May 25-26 2017 in Madrid    

Funcas c/Caballero 17de Gracia n. 28, Madrid Spain


Link to the final programme and information on how to follow the workshop via streaming:

Organised by European Social Policy Network (ESPAnet); Red Española de Política Social (REPS) and Institut de Govern I Polítiques Públiques (IGOP/UAB)

Coordinator: Margarita León, (UAB) (

Conference May 19th, 2017 in Finland Finnish Centre for Pensions, Helsinki

Changing labour markets, life-course and pensions 

The one-day conference, organized by the Finnish Centre for Pensions, will bring together top researchers and professionals to debate this highly topical issue.

Keynote speakers: Anna D’Addio (OECD), Joakim Palme (University of Uppsala), Traute Meyer (University of Southampton), Dirk Hofäcker (University of Duisburg-Essen), Kathrin Komp (University of Helsinki) and comments by stakeholders.

Link to Conference website:

International conference 5 April 2017 in Utrecht (the Netherlands)

Barriers to Family Diversity? Policies, Practices and Challenges

Organised by bEUcitizen (Utrecht University) and the European Social Policy Analysis Network (ESPANet)

More information about the program at:

6th REPS (ESPAnet Spain) conference 16-17 February 2017, Sevilla Spain

The conference theme is “Dealing with the future. Towards a new agreement on Welfare.”

More information about the conference at:                                                                              Note: the conference webpage is in Spanish.


9th ESPAnet Italy Conference 22-24 Sept. 2016, The University of Macerata, Italy

The Conference Welfare Models and Models of Capitalism. The challenges for socio – economic development in Italy and Europe at the University of Macerata, has sessions in both English and Italian.

ESPAnet Italy:

3rd International Conference ESPAnet Poland, 22 – 24 September 2016 Warsaw, Poland                         

Conference theme:Social Investment and Development

Conference details at:—home.html


2nd ESPAnet Poland Conference, 15-17th October 2015, University of Łódź, Poland

Title: “Innovations in social policy”

Conference website: >

Deadline for abstracts: June 15, 2015.

BIGSSS International Conference 24th-25th September 2015, University of Bremen, Germany

Title: “From POVERTY to PARTIES & INSTITUTIONS to INEQUALITY: Linking Structural Inequalities to Social Policy-Making”


Deadline for Abstract Submission: April 15th, 2015


8th ESPANET Italy Conference 17-19 September, 2015, University of Salerno, Italy 

Title: Welfare in Italy and global welfare: comparing experiences and models of development

Conference website: 

DEADLINE for Abstract Submission: May 25th, 2015.


BIGSSS International Conference 2014

The Link between Social Stratification and the Welfare State

12-13 June 2014, Bremen, Germany

Keynote Speakers: Conchita D’Ambrosio (University of Luxembourg), Wim van Oorschot (University of Leuven, Belgium), Sonja Drobnic and Steffen Mau (both BIGSSS Bremen, Germany)

Organizers: Nate Breznau, Alexi Gugushvili, Katja Möhring and Nadine Schöneck-Voß

Conference Website

Call for Papers:

This conference aims to identify the linkages between research on social stratification and mobility with social policy and welfare states. It looks for questions and answers that lie at the intersection of stratification and policy. For example: Does social policy enable or inhibit social mobility? Do welfare states change in response to increasing social inequality? It brings together the stratification focus of the ECSR and the policy focus of ESPAnet into a common framework in order to broaden both associations’ themes and illuminate the social inequality and political process nexus.

For paper submissions we seek abstracts of no more than 300 words. The conference is open to all academics, and we hope for a good mix of PhD students, postdocs, lecturers and professors. The conference welcomes those from any discipline germane to stratification and social policy; i.e. sociology, political science, economics, demography, and social psychology. It welcomes research on any geographic states or regions. Please see the website for specific session themes and details on submission of abstracts.

Deadline for Abstracts: 15 February 2014, per email to

Conference Partners: ESPAnet, ECSR and ZeS

IMPALLA-ESPANET International Conference

Building blocks for an inclusive society: empirical evidence from social policy research

LUXEMBOURG, 18-19 April 2013

Call for papers

The legitimacy of welfare states is based on the willingness to provide the tools for achieving an inclusive society. This implies that life chances are partly detached, or decommodified, from social and economic origins and circumstances. The core of an inclusive society is to create equal opportunities and equal access to services and infrastructure for specific groups such as unemployed and disadvantaged people, disabled people, children and adolescents, older people and pensioners, ethnic communities, etc.

The joint IMPALLA-ESPANET* conference seeks to discuss questions such as the following: What are the essential building stones for welfare states to accomplish an inclusive society? How to avoid marginalization: activation versus means-tested? Which policies respond to the flexibility required on the labor market? How can welfare states reach participation into society in social, political and economic spheres while respecting diversity? How to empower the disadvantaged? How could education and family capital underpin an inclusive society?

Given today’s demographic, economic and political pressures as well as financial constraints, welfare state reforms are on the political agenda, not only in Europe. From which European and global best practices can social policy makers learn? How to coordinate action at local, Member State and the EU level?

Our objective is to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue between academic researchers and policy analysts. The organizers welcome abstracts for empirical papers and panels around the themes mentioned. Potential paper topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Exclusion in education and the labor market
  • Income distribution, poverty and financial inequality
  • Living conditions
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Family formation and child care
  • The family as social, cultural, and economic capital, and educational attainment
  • Social protection and old-age pensions
  • Social integration and networks
  • Political and cultural participation
  • Attitudes towards the welfare state and social cohesion
  • Gender equality/ empowerment of women
  • Combating social exclusion: intervention programs, implementation and evaluation

The Scientific Committee of the Conference anticipates publication of a selection of the best papers in a book.

Important Deadlines:

– Submission of abstracts (maximum 500 words): 14 December 2012

– Notification of paper acceptance: 18 January 2013

– Full paper Submission: 8 April 2013

Reminder: Participants to the Conference are kindly requested to register here. Registration for the Conference is now open until 5 April 2013


More Information about the Conference:

Programme (click here)

Practical Information (click here)

Access to Conference Venue (click here)

Train Schedule (click here)

Confirmed key note speakers

Prof. Jaak Billiet (contact)
University of Leuven
Centre for Sociological Research CESO
Full professor in social methodology (since 2007 Emeritus Professor)
Member of the central co-ordination team of the European Social Survey
Main fields of research interest: survey methodology dealing with validity assessment, interviewer and response effects, and the modelling of measurement error in social surveys; His substantial research covers longitudinal and comparative research in the domains of ethnocentrism, political attitudes and religious orientations; He also plays a central role in the implementation of the fourth wave of the European Value Study in 2008.

Prof. Ides Nicaise (contact)
University of Leuven
HIVA – Research Institute for Work and Society
Main fields of research interest: poverty and social inequality; (Economics of) education; Labour market policy; Social economy; Evaluation of social policy; Within Belgium as well as from an international comparative perspective, on EU-level, in Western as well as developing countries.

Prof. Wim van Oorschot (contact)
Professor of Sociology at the University of Leuven
Centre for Sociological Research CESO
European Data Centre for Work and Welfare EDAC
Main fields of research interest : social policies of European welfare states; Social security and labour issues; Cultural determinants and legitimacy of policies that aim to promote social cohesion, solidarity and social justice;
He analyses and compares policies and public opinion.

Prof. Dr. Georg Vobruba (contact)
Professor of Sociology at the University of Leipzig, Germany
Since 2010 member of the Senate of the University of Leipzig
Since 2011 member of the Executive Committee of the European Sociological Association

Associated Professor Dr. Jacques Zeelen (contact)
University of Groningen (RUG)
Department of Lifelong Learning
involved for many years in training and capacity building programmes in mental health, adult education and international development co-operation;
Member of the organizing committee of the World Congress for Action Learning and Action Research, held in Groningen in August 2006;
One of the editors of the book publication informed and inspired by the World Congress, published by Sense Publishers in 2008;
Currently, participating in collaboration projects between the RUG and Uganda Martyrs University and Mzumbe University in Tanzania: local governance and human rights.

* The International Master of Science in Social Policy Analysis (IMPALLA) is run by CEPS/INSTEAD in Luxembourg and the University of Leuven. (

*ESPANET is an association of academics involved or interested in the analysis of social policy in Europe. (

Conference Website

Conference description

The organizing committee can be contacted via email at:

The European Social Model in a Global Perspective

Luxembourg, 6-7 March 2009 (Organised jointly with IMPALLA)

The conference will take place at the Cultural Centre of Neumünster in Luxembourg. The aim of the conference is to facilitate the exchange of research ideas and results on issues that place the European Social Model in a global perspective. The organizing committee invites submissions of relevant papers from academic, government, and business social scientists for oral presentation. A discussant will be assigned to each paper. Jos Berghman (Leuven University, Belgium) will serve as the program chair. The keynote speakers are:

• Bob Deacon, Globalism and Social Policy Programme (GASPP) and University of Sheffield.
• Anton Hemerijck, Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) and Erasmus University of Rotterdam.
• Maria João Rodrigues, Institute for Strategic and International Studies, Lisbon.

The organizing committee encourages the participation of scholars and researchers from developing countries. Junior researchers from these countries as well as PhD students from all countries may apply for a partial or full waiver of the conference registration fee. Conditional on the financial support of the conference by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg, all presenters may apply for a partial reimbursement of their travelling and accommodation costs.Abstracts and/or full papers in .pdf or .doc format should be submitted electronically using the on-line submission form on the conference web-page.

The organizing committee can be contacted via email:

The submission deadline is 1 October 2008. Acceptance decisions will be communicated by 15 October 2008.

More information on the conference description as well as on the location, registration, and hotel reservations is available at the conference web page.

Welfare Architecture IV: Welfare State Change: Policy feedback, the role of ideas, and incrementalism

SFI & CCWS, Aalborg, 30 January – 1 February 2008

Previous assumptions about the immobility of European Welfare States are challenged both by actual developments and by theoretical advances. However, there remains considerable disagreement and confusion about the sources and processes of change. This conference will address three partially connected themes: The role of policy feedback, including learning effects, the role of ideas more generally, and the silent revolutions that are brought about by incremental change, sometimes as a result of conscious strategies, but occasionally as the unintended results of muddling through.

The conference is not only aimed at presenting papers, but also at informal exchange of ideas. This is why the conference takes place at a castle, where informal discussions can continue after the sessions. It also means that presenting short research notes will be possible. However, the number of participants is limited to 35, and paper givers are prioritized. The conference organizers invites submission of abstracts for papers and research notes. Please indicate whether you want to present “normal” paper (some 15-20 pages) or “research note” (some 5-10 pages).

Further information:

The europeanization of the reforms of welfare systems

8-10 March 2007 (Jointly organised with CONNEX)

Since late 2005, a comparative trans-national research project on the “politics of welfare reforms in continental Europea has been conducted by Bruno Palier. The principal aim of the project is to evaluate the impact of the similar social protection institutions that characterise Bismarckian welfare states – eligibility based on work, earnings-related benefits, contribution financing and devolved para-state management – on the politics, timing and content of social reforms over the last 25 years. The basic hypothesis lays on the idea that these countries share the same problems and politics of reforms, and may follow similar reforms trajectories, leading to an Europeanization of welfare reforms.

The project systematically compares patterns of reform in Bismarckian welfare states/programmes, aiming to explain commonalities and differences, and to understand and draw out the implications of innovations that have been introduced in Bismarckian systems in recent years. This thrid seminar is an attempt to wrap up the lessons of this comparative project, and is aimed at providing a new understanding of welfare reforms in continental Europe, but also orientation for innovation as well as assessment of the political conditions in which welfare reforms can be implemented. Evidence of an Europeanization of welfare reforms are critically analysed. The expert seminar will be an opportunity to present and discuss the policy implications of the findings of this research project, and their implication for national and European policies.

Click here to download the programme.
Contact: Bruno Palier

Welfare Architecture III: Welfare State Feedbacks: From outcomes to input

SFI & CCWS, Denmark, 31 January – 2 February 2007

Understanding the causes and consequences of welfare state reform lies at the heart of a growing body of literature. This conference highlights how consequences of welfare state reform become causes for welfare state reform, how outcomes become inputs. This feedback mechanism is analysed within six areas relating to on-going European welfare reforms: opinions, health, labour market, social indicators, demography, and migration.

The conference is not only aimed at presenting papers, but also at informal exchange of ideas. This is why the conference takes place at a castle, where informal discussions can continue after the sessions. It also means that presenting short research notes will be possible. However, the number of participants is limited to 35, and paper givers are prioritized. The conference organizers invites submission of abstracts for papers and research notes. Please indicate whether you want to present “normal” paper (some 15-20 pages) or “research note” (some 5-10 pages).

Further information:

Migrations and Social Policies in Europe

Pamplona, Spain, 8-10 June 2006

Intensifying migration flows pose a challenge to European social policies, and at the same time open a very interesting opportunity for their development. On the one hand, migrants’ arrival requires social program transformations and specific measures especially oriented towards the social inclusion of migrant population. On the other hand, immigration also brings about a very interesting rejuvenation of European population, with the resulting consequences in revitalizing of labour markets, economic growth and increase of social contributions. Nevertheless, the intensity of migration flows, the way of organizing its regulation and control systems, the politics and management of a rising multicultural societies, and social policies oriented towards migrants’ social integration, meaningfully vary between European countries, according to the different conditions in each case, shaped by the various welfare state models and also by the structure and dynamics of the labour markets. The aim of this seminar is to achieve an in-depth analysis of these factors from a comparative point of view, an understanding the way in which all these circumstances are interrelated, and trying to offer practical proposals for building a European model of migration policy and social policy oriented towards social integration of migrants.

Conference website:

Welfare reform – the dependent variable problem

Stirling, Scotland, 13-14 May 2005

Organizers: Jochen Clasen and Nico Siegel

Public Opinion and Social Policy in Europe: Towards European Academic Networking and an Extension of International Comparable Data

Tilburg University, Tilburg, 21-23 October 2004

Welfare and the Social Bond

Tilburg University, Tilburg, 26-27 March 2003