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Participation and governance in Social Services and Dependency Systems in Andalusia Community.

Maria Belén Martin Castro
Universidad de Granada
Maria Belén Martin Castro
Universidad de Granada
Open Panel

Abstract

The State of Autonomies established in Spain due to the Constitution of 1978 and the following processes of democratization and decentralization have been essential in the design and development of our Welfare State (WS). This fact is demonstrated in the Public System of Social Services whose exclusive responsibilities were assumed by the Autonomous Communities, though without being restricted because the State undertakes a certain role and the local organisms develop an increasing advocacy. As a consequence, a complex multilevel government is created and it requires a very high co-ordination between administrations and the participation of the actors involved in its implementation. Consequently, the diverse prominence held by different public and social agents in the pursuit of citizens’ welfare are changing in special in a crisis time. The example of these challenges can be recently tested in Spain with the "National Dependence Policy", as a new opportunity to improve the above mentioned general System and its governance. In this paper we are going to analyze the main advances, gaps and challenges in both systems in the case of Andalusia, one of the not many regions with only one law for Social Services (1988) that created the SS Council. We will focus in the role played by civil society through their forums, checking the intensity of empowerment, social capital, partnerships, cooperation, sustainability and equity. It takes place in the structure of the WS’s deep crisis. Nowadays we assist to certain measures to reduce it (cutting pensions, helps and wages) which affects specially families, retired, elderly and unemployment people. However there is no very high level of social mobilization in Spain and specifically the Andalusia society is not articulated as other communities. Individualistic or personal strategies are growing against other perspectives in the general framework of political disaffection and ethical crisis. In fact, clienteles’ networks with an overloaded Administration and strong traditional support from Mediterranean families were pointed out as possible keys by the specialists. So, we should ask and reflection on it: is there a real freedom political in our pretended consolidated Democracy? Has been the transition already made from traditional participation to enhanced one? Anyway they are complicated process where other factors are involved (practices and political culture, path dependency, even psychological features