Welfare provision is often conceived through the lens of decommodification and analysed in (re)distributive terms. This article argues that a distributive approach does not sufficiently capture the complexity of 21st century welfare state dynamics. It proposes re-conceptualizing provision as a mix of three policy functions: raising and maintaining human capital stock; easing the flow of gendered life-course and labour-market transitions; guaranteeing social safety-net buffers. This analytical perspective allows theorizing life-course multiplier effects and policy (non-)complementarities, both at the level of individual objective and subjective well-being and in terms of aggregate employment, poverty and fiscal sustainability. This perspective also enables us to extend the temporal horizon of welfare politics beyond short-term electoral logics for explaining welfare reform. The article underscores how methodological pluralism remains key for understanding contemporary welfare states, and for grasping welfare outcomes and institutional change in a research endeavour that involves both generalization and contextualization.

Social investment as a conceptual framework for analysing well-being returns and reforms in 21st century welfare states / A. Hemerijck, S. Ronchi, I. Plavgo. - In: SOCIO-ECONOMIC REVIEW. - ISSN 1475-1461. - (2022), pp. mwac035.1-mwac035.22. [Epub ahead of print] [10.1093/ser/mwac035]

Social investment as a conceptual framework for analysing well-being returns and reforms in 21st century welfare states

S. Ronchi
Penultimo
;
2022

Abstract

Welfare provision is often conceived through the lens of decommodification and analysed in (re)distributive terms. This article argues that a distributive approach does not sufficiently capture the complexity of 21st century welfare state dynamics. It proposes re-conceptualizing provision as a mix of three policy functions: raising and maintaining human capital stock; easing the flow of gendered life-course and labour-market transitions; guaranteeing social safety-net buffers. This analytical perspective allows theorizing life-course multiplier effects and policy (non-)complementarities, both at the level of individual objective and subjective well-being and in terms of aggregate employment, poverty and fiscal sustainability. This perspective also enables us to extend the temporal horizon of welfare politics beyond short-term electoral logics for explaining welfare reform. The article underscores how methodological pluralism remains key for understanding contemporary welfare states, and for grasping welfare outcomes and institutional change in a research endeavour that involves both generalization and contextualization.
Welfare; Well-Being; Poverty; institutional complementarity; social policy; capabilities; sociology; comparative politics;
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
Settore SPS/09 - Sociologia dei Processi economici e del Lavoro
11-ago-2022
https://academic.oup.com/ser/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ser/mwac035/6661210
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/936046
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