266 Politics, public opinion and social investment reform

The Future of the Social Investment State: Policies, Politics, and Outcomes
Friday, July 14, 2017: 2:00 PM-3:45 PM
Humanities LT G255 (University of Glasgow)
This session is part of the proposed mini-symposium on "The Future of the Social Investment State". It focuses on political conflicts related to the introduction and expansion of social investment policies, both on the micro-level of public attitudes and preferences as well as on the macro-level of policy-making. Our core question is whether the recent advancement of social investment as a new paradigm of welfare state policy-making is really driven by public demands or by other factors influencing policy-makers. We ask: Which political coalitions support the expansion of SI, while potentially accepting cutbacks in other parts of the welfare state? Which political cleavages can be observed and do they correspond to the well-known cleavage structures of the previous era of welfare state expansion? To what extent are policy-makers responsive to emerging new public demands and to what extent is this responsiveness biased in favor of some groups?

The first paper by Busemeyer, Neimanns and Garritzmann provides new empirical evidence on public demand for social investment policies across eight European countries. The second paper by Häusermann and Zollinger adds nuance and complexity to this analysis by engaging in an in-depth analysis of changing family policies in the case of Germany. The third paper by Marx and Nguyen analyses the impact of SI policies on political engagement of vulnerable groups, adding the important political dimension. Finally, the paper by de la Porte and Natali focuses on the macro-level  by tracing the development of SI as a dominant paradigm of EU policy-making.

Marius R. Busemeyer
Discussant :
Emmanuele Pavolini
Public Demand for Social Investment Policies: New Supporting Coalitions for the Welfare State?
Julian Garritzmann, University of Konstanz/University of Zurich; Marius R. Busemeyer, University of Konstanz; Erik Neimanns, University of Konstanz
Political Dynamics of Family Policy Modernization in Post-Industrial Welfare States
Silja Häusermann, University of Zurich; Christine Zollinger, University of Zurich