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The European Union and Beyond

International Impacts on Welfare State Change: Theories and Methods in the Study of Social Policy Diffusion

Workshop Number
Workshop Director
Carina Schmitt
Universität Bremen
Workshop Co-Director
Kati Kuitto
University Greifswald

Welfare policy change has long been studied dominantly from the perspective of domestic politics. Originating mainly from the debates on globalization and Europeanization, ever more scholarly attention has been paid to the relevance of international and transnational factors in the (re)calibration of welfare policies in both mature Western and especially in the developing welfare states. The first generation of analyses on international impacts focused mainly on independent responses on similar external pressures or incentives, the understanding of internationalization thus being merely a functional one. More recently attention has been paid to processes of policy diffusion due to growing density of interaction patterns across countries and the importance of transnational actors. In Europe, the austerity politics after the crisis of 2008 has made the importance of international factors apparent. Yet, the study of international influences on social policy still has major theoretical and methodological shortcomings especially with regard to the applicability for macro-comparative studies. Theoretical approaches on the impact of different mechanisms of internationalization and policy diffusion are fragmented and empirical measures and methods of analysis for capturing diffusion processes in this specific field are underdeveloped. Empirical evidence is either limited to case studies or single social policy programs, or restricted by simplified empirical measures in comparative studies. This workshop therefore invites scholars working on international impacts on welfare policies in order to develop a more coherent framework of analysis and more adequate empirical tools for studying the international impacts on welfare policy change.

Paper List

Title Details
A Pathway of Korean Developmental Welfare State: Policy Borrowing and Reinforcing Dualisation View Paper Details
Changing Social Policy Models in South Asia View Paper Details
Containment of Social Unrest and Mobilisation of Popular Support: The Politics of World Bank’s Social Assistance Recommendations View Paper Details
Diffusion and Inclusion: the Implementation of the UN CRPD in East Africa. View Paper Details
Latin American Welfare Regimes at the Cross-roads: The Importance of International and Regional Diffusion Processes in the Current Reform Wave View Paper Details
The Role of Europeanisation and History in Shaping Contemporary Baltic Welfare States: Path Dependence vs. Policy Diffusion View Paper Details
The Spread of Labour Market Reforms - How Policy Characteristics Shape the Diffusion of Welfare Policies View Paper Details
The Spread of Labour Market Reforms - How Policy Characteristics Shape the Diffusion of Welfare Policies View Paper Details
Transnational Pension Reform Debate in Europe since 1990s - Competing Ideas and Actors View Paper Details
Uneven Receptiveness for Diffusion Effects? Social Policy Diffusion within the Enlarged European Union View Paper Details
Welfare State Transformation in the Context of Political and Global Social Change View Paper Details
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