'Governing the Welfare Commons in Hard Times'
Speakers: Anton Hemerijck (EUI) and David Bokhorst (EUI)
Discussant: Minna van Gerven (Professor of social policy at Tampere University)
We will present the opening chapter of an edited volume in which we assess to what extent reform processes have been consistent with the model of a social investment-oriented welfare state. The edited volume uses the WellSIre conceptual framework to assess whether the reform processes observed in ten country case studies have ensured that the buffer function of the welfare state has become more inclusive, that labour market flows have become more gender-balanced and life-course sensitive, and that human capital stock developments have become a life-long commitment. Each chapter traces reform processes over time and unpacks the governing logics of three reforms that are paradigmatic for the observed welfare state change. The opening chapter that will be presented in the working group presents the welfare state as an inter-generational contract between the young, the working class and the old. This contract must be managed, based on ‘governing the commons’ logics, with deepening and expanding the carrying capacity of the welfare state as one of the main missions. To explore these logics and allow case study authors to contextualise welfare recalibration over time, it presents several conceptual and methodological guides in line with social investment theory.
'Between conflict and consensus: The Dutch depoliticized paradigm shift of the 1980s'
Speaker: Merijn Oudenampsen (Marie Curie fellow at the Université Libre de Bruxelles)
Discussant: Anton Hemerijck (EUI professor)
How do deep economic crises reshuffle dominant policy frameworks? Institutionalist scholars such as Peter Hall, Mark Blyth, Vivien Schmidt and Colin Hay have focused particularly on the 1980s. The polarizing ascension of Thatcher and Reagan, characterized by a public battle of ideas, has become the prime example of a broader neoliberal turn. Based on this experience, it is common to assume that a shift in policy paradigm involves a politicised contest over ideas. The Dutch market-oriented reforms of the 1980s have long been described as a counter-example representing an alternative, consensual trajectory of institutional change. As critics have pointed out, the problem with this account is that there is little evidence for an economic policy consensus in the 1980s. Based on the Dutch case, this paper proposes a third, depoliticized model of institutional change, where policy makers instigate a battle of ideas within the institutions, while politicians depoliticize the reforms in public debate.
Hybrid event. The link to the session will be provided following registration.