The workshop will address three questions: first, what are the major (new) socio-economic divides in post-industrial societies? Second, under what conditions, by whom and how are these divides politically mobilized? And third, to what extent do these political differences lead to changing dynamics in major areas of welfare state policy? The workshop taps into a very prolific field of the comparative political economy of welfare states in recent years: labour market segmentation, dualisation and insider-outsider divides, new social risks, and new political conflict lines in welfare state politics.
Even though these ideas have spread widely in the discipline, this emerging strand of research still faces major theoretical and empirical challenges that we would like to address in this workshop. Some examples suffice to show this: What are the theoretical implications of cleavage lines that are endogenous to the politics of welfare states? How do we measure these cleavages? When and how do these cleavages get translated into politics? And how do these cleavages affect traditional insurance- and redistribution-based politics? The workshop will thereby contribute to establishing the terms of this ongoing and rapidly growing debate in the literature.
The workshop invites theoretical and empirical (preferably comparative) contributions which deal with some of these theoretical or empirical problems. We encourage contributions that deal with both OECD or non-OECD countries. We also invite contributions from adjacent disciplines such as sociology or economics.