Catching up or Falling behind? the Politics of Labor Market and Family Policy Reforms in Southern Europe

Friday, July 14, 2017
Humanities LT G255 (University of Glasgow)
Reto Bürgisser , Institute of Political Science, EUI
Distributive choices lie at the very heart of most political decisions. This applies especially to welfare state reforms in Southern Europe, where in a context of limited resources and increasing social demands, political parties have had to decide to what extent they want to recalibrate their welfare states towards a social investment logic or to stick with the traditional consumption-oriented welfare logic. Building on an self-collected, extensive database on the actual policy content of family and labor market policy reforms in four Southern European countries over the last 25 years, I code whether reforms can be considered as consumption- or investment-oriented. This allows me to evaluate to what extent Southern European welfare states have witnessed a social investment turn over the last 25 years and how the socio-economic context, the already existing welfare state institutions and the strength of political parties have affected the reform outcome.