Program

WOPSI

Sessions during the ISA conference

Yokohama, July 14-15th 2018

 

Session I : Social investment in East Asia 

Monday, July 14, 2018

Start Time : 

10:30 AM

The “New” Social Investment Policies in Japan and South Korea: Social Inclusion through Social Care Expansion?

Ito PENG, Department of Sociology, and School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Start Time:

10:45 AM

Social Investment Strategy in Japan: A Failed Attempt?

Mari MIURA and Eriko HAMADA, Sophia University, Japan
Abstract Text:

A rapidly aging society with low birth rates, an increasing public distrust to the sustainability of the social security system, a high level of child poverty, and a high rate of suicide among the youth all suggest that Japan should embrace social investment strategy. A large gain in social benefits seems possible with the rethinking of an inter-generational redistribution. Yet, social investment strategy has been weak both in discourse and in practice. Although the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) government (2009-2012) pursued some policy innovation in the area of childcare and youth programs under the slogan of “children first,” a paradigm shift has failed to take place.
This paper asks why the adoption of social investment strategy is so limited in Japan despite the fact that its social and economic conditions should provide a fertile soil for such a strategy. We shall explore the political conditions which prevent the full-fledged development of the ideas and practices of social investment strategy. In so doing, we show how the dominant force of neoliberalism constitutes a stumbling bloc in policy innovation.
This paper will cover major policy changes in the realms of childcare policy (cash allowance and daycare), youth programs for job training and job seeking, and “career education” from the 2000s to the present day. Its main focus will be on the rightward shift of partisan dynamics, legacy of statism, and the persistence of traditional gender roles.

Start Time:

11:00 AM

Uncomfortable Compromise Between Developmentalism and Welfarism?: Politics of Social Investment in South Korea

Young Jun CHOI, Korea University, South Korea, Moo-Kwon CHUNG, Yonsei University, South Korea and Jiyeun CHANG, Korea Labour Institute, South Korea
Abstract Text:

While South Korea (hereafter Korea) has been experiencing unprecedented social risks together with the weakening stability of family and the labour market, a comprehensive set of social protection schemes has been introduced and expanded during the last two decades. In the process of building the welfare state, one of the noticeable aspects is the emphasis on social investment policies and social services, less favorable to cash-providing schemes such as pensions. Free childcare services, a range of active labour market programs, and the long-term care insurance are the significant outputs of the policy trend. The recent development of the Korean welfare state, however, leaves many interesting research questions in comparative perspectives. The questions that this paper pays attention to are about the politics of social investment policies and also whether these policy developments are functional outputs against increasing social risks or political outputs in the course of emerging welfare politics. The Korean welfare state has revealed the vulnerability of its income maintenance schemes against ‘old social risks’ such as the highest old-age poverty rate among OECD countries. Comparing to other ‘developmental’ welfare states in East Asian region, one could easily notice that social investment policies and politics have been much more visible and stronger in Korea than any other countries. This paper will trace the origin and the development of social investment discourse in Korea and discuss why and how these social development policies and politics have been possible. In so doing, it will explain ‘developmentalism’, the important legacy of the Korean welfare state, and discuss how this legacy has been transformed in the waves of socio-economic-political changes. It will argue that it is crucial to analyze social investment politics to understand the dynamics and the identity of the Korean welfare state.

Start Time:

11:15 AM

Incorporating the Social Investment Element into East-Asian Productivist Welfare System: Path Dependence or Path Breaking?

Peter Jen-Der JEN-DER LUE, Department of Social Welfare, National Chung-Cheng University, Taiwan
Abstract Text:

The critical difference between East Asian productivist welfare state and European social investment welfare state is the logic of social policy formation. East Asian productivist welfare state was designed according to the principle of ‘economic developmentalism’ to achieve economic catch-up. However, European social investment welfare state is emerging as a new policy paradigm to adapt new knowledge-based economy and deal with new social risks.
Recommodification and decommodification are both prominent in the social investment welfare state. However, the logic of economic developmentalism in East Asia (and probably, in Southeast Asia) led East Asian governments to push labours into labour market (the process of commodification) by devoting most of resources to human capital formation policies, such as universal education system. Family policy is very prominent in European social investment welfare state, but not in East Asian productivist welfare state. Third, one of the critical features of the social investment welfare state is the focus being placed more on the life course and on the future than on equality of outcomes in the present . Last but not least, the concept of citizenship in East Asian productivist welfare state and European social investment welfare state is different.
Given the differences of the East Asian productivist welfare regime with the social investment strategy in Europe, some ‘active’ components and mode of welfare delivery have changed recently in East-Asian countries, particularly Japan, Korea and Taiwan. This article aims to highlight the contend of discourse and rationale for this change. The political position of different actors (political parties, unions and employer organizations) toward this change will be examined. Moreover, a new social/political cleavage and possible building of effective coalition for pushing this social investment in East Asian context will be examined.

Session II : Social Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean

Wednesday, July 16, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:20 AM

Start Time:

8:30 AM

Breaking the Cycle: Inequality, Social Investment, and Human Capital in Latin America

Evelyne HUBER, University North Carolina Chapel Hill and John D. STEPHENS, University of North Carolina
Abstract Text:
Latin America has long lagged behind the East Asian Tigers in investment in education. In particular, Latin American countries failed to invest heavily in public secondary education. This has had costs both in terms of economic growth and inequality. After some 20 years of democracy and particularly with the turn to the left, social investment in the form of increasing expenditures on education and health care and the spread of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs has received unprecedented attention. The CCTs are based on the recognition that investment in the human capital of the next generation requires that poverty in the present generation be addressed. We argue that in Latin America social investment, human capital stock and inequality and poverty are linked in a feedback causal process and present quantitative and qualitative evidence supporting our argument.

Start Time:

8:45 AM

Conditional Cash Transfers: A Social Investment Instrument in Times of Economic Crisis and Austerity?

Moira NELSON and Johan SANDBERG, Lund University, Sweden

Abstract Text:
Conditional cash transfers receive recognition as a way to address poverty within present and future generations while also promoting economic growth by investing in human capital. Such policies have been used extensively across Latin America and are now being promoted as part of the European Union’s ‘Social Investment Package’. We assess and compare these policies in Latin America and in Europe. Specifically, we question whether they can be considered social investment policies and, in doing so, illuminate the various factors that condition the success of such policies. We draw particular attention to the need for policy approaches to take a life-course perspective and the risk of ‘policy crowding out’ in the European context. Finally, we elaborate on the implications of a uniform trend in the passage of these policies, the timing of their implementation in the aftermath of economic crisis.

Start Time:

9:00 AM

Conditional Cash Transfers, Job Markets and Capabilities in Latin-America: A Missing Link

Andrea LAMPIS, Sociology, National University of Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia
Abstract Text:
The paper is part of an on-going joint project between the National University of Colombia and the University of Buenos Aires that is re-examining the achievements of conditional cash transfer programmes (CCTs) in the region. Within the acknowledgment of their diversity in terms of targeting, modalities and composition, CCTs have been mostly praised by international co-operation agencies, Latin-American governments and the academia. Nonetheless, there seems to be a missing link. Social policy presents a strong relationship with how societies deal with dilemmas concerning social inclusion and justice within an increasingly competitive milieu articulating local and global dynamics. Beyond technical debates related to CCTs financing and implementation there lays a key interrogative: do CCTs increase people’s capabilities and reduce key individual and household-related vulnerabilities? Do they provide access to a key asset such as greater job and income security? In 2012 the research project started to analyse six national CCTs programmes in the region (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua) and two regional job markets (Argentina and Colombia). The paper present two interesting insights: a) so far the great majority of CCTs evaluations have been unable to present any solid result about medium or long-term improvements in the security of people’s livelihoods and capabilities, b) in the face of substantially unaltered rates of unemployment and informality; CCTs do not seem to have improved the participation of beneficiaries in the job market. These results are based both on the analysis of national and capital cities-based household’s surveys, and on programmes assessments and internally available data. Through the presentation of quantitative and qualitative the paper aims to contribute to the challenging of mainstream wisdoms on CCTs and to an already renewing debate in the region.

Start Time:
9:15 AM

Bringing the State(s) Back in: From Lula’s Bolsa Familía to Dilma’s Sem Miséria

Tracy FENWICK, Australian National University, Australia
Abstract Text:
Since Brazil’s former President Lula Ignacío da Silva launched his successful national conditional cash transfer program (CCT) known as Bolsa Familía (BF) in 2003, academics and development practitioners have been fixated on—who gets it, how are the beneficiaries identified, where does the money come from and how is it delivered, and what are the program’s impacts—usually, does it reduce poverty. Judged upon these variables, BF has been quite successful and has been widely diffused throughout Latin America. It has however, been criticized for being a rather narrow form of social protection. This paper argues that BF and like-CCTs should not be considered as ends in themselves, but rather as a means towards consolidating a broader poverty alleviation strategy that includes complementary social investment initiatives such as labour activation policies and vocational training. Within Sem Miséria, new supply-side initiatives are being grafted onto the otherwise stable framework of BF. By tracing the timing and sequencing of Brazil’s poverty alleviation initiatives over three presidents, this paper will demonstrate that Dilma’sSem Miséria is an institutionally feasible next step in expanding Brazil’s social investment strategy beyond CCTs, a strategy that is dependent both here and elsewhere on cross-sectorial and intergovernmental collaboration.

Start Time:
9:30 AM

Social Investment at Sub-National Level in Mexico: The Role of Actors and Institutions

Anahely MEDRANO, Public policy, UNAM, Zinacantepec, Mexico
Abstract Text:

Sub-national governments have been largely considered to be better equipped to respond to local preferences and needs more effectively than central governments. While this capacity has been mainly associated with the role of sub-national governments in delivering social services, their role in as social policy innovators has been scarcely studied, especially in the Latin America context. Nonetheless, as the case of Mexico shows, in the context of increasing political and financial decentralization, sub-national governments have been more active in implementing their own social policy initiatives. This paper explores the most important factors that may explain the increasing activism of sub-national governments in the social policy realm, measured by the size and type of social investment, apart from their spending in health and education services. To do so, we produce a qualitative comparative analysis that comprises three different states in Mexico; state-level is the second-tier of local government in the Mexican union. This comparative analysis looks at the relationship between social policy and different political and institutional variables, including the actual capacity of the government to get financial resources, as well as the type of actors in charge of social policy in each state.

Session III: The Politics and Policies of Social Investment in Europe

Wednesday, July 16, 2018

Start Time:

10:30 AM

Disambiguating and Re-Conceptualizing Social Investment

Nathalie MOREL, Sciences po, France and Joakim PALME, University of Uppsala, Sweden
Abstract Text:
Since the late 1990s, ‘social investment’ has appeared in the policy discourse of international and European organisations, as well as on the policy agenda of several governments across Europe and elsewhere. As a strategy that aims to combat social risks while enhancing economic performance, the social investment perspective seems to have appealed to a variety of governments. Indeed, policy analyses show how the notion functions as somewhat of a ‘catchall’ strategy. This is true also on the theoretical side, where social investment is both over-determined on the ideational level, and under-conceptualized. This paper aims to contribute to a finer conceptualisation of social investment by 1. assessing and re-specifying its normative and social dimensions, 2. by offering a discussion of how we can conceptually and empirically identify investment-oriented policy instruments, and 3. by taking stock of existing analyses of the distributive consequences of social investment policies. In doing so, the paper aims to contribute to a reconceptualization of social investment that goes beyond an analysis of its economic returns to also address the social basis and social returns of a social investment strategy, and its possible pitfalls.

Start Time:
10:45 AM

Different Paths of Family Policy Modernization in Continental Welfare States

Christine ZOLLINGER, Political Science, University of Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland and Silja HÄUSERMANN, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Abstract Text:
Family policy in continental welfare states strongly reflected the male breadwinner model at the beginning of the 1970s. This model has become increasingly ill-suited with regard to new social structures and values. This paper studies the impact of new social needs and demands on family and care policy and politics in Germany and Switzerland. The power resources approach falls short of explaining the recent continental care policy “modernization”, since the labor movement has no strong interest in care policy and the mobilization of women’s organizations has remained weak. The paper argues that the politics of reform must be analyzed with a coalitional approach in a multi-dimensional policy space. Indeed, the adaptation of the male breadwinner model to new needs and values can be achieved along different paths, namely via a) the recognition of care work (recognition model), b) increased female labor market participation (working mother model) or c) an overall rebalancing of work and care for both men and women (social transformation model). Both the working mother model and the social transformation model contain elements of the social investment agenda. Each of these reform directions gives rise to different conflict lines that foster specific actor alliances.
Based on an empirical analysis of actor positions in all family policy reform processes since the 1970s, the results show that in both countries, social-liberal value alliances and cross-class alliances between employers and the left have become important drivers of the working mother model, whereas social-conservative alliances tend to advocate the recognition model. This multi-dimensionality of care policy modernization has led to sequential waves of care policy reforms in Germany and to reform stalemate in Switzerland until the end of the 1990s. Recently, social-liberal and cross-class alliances have become successful drivers of family policy, mostly in the direction of a working mother model.

Start Time:
11:00 AM

Social Investment Policies in Times of Permanent Austerity

Giuliano BONOLI, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Abstract Text:
The objective of this paper is to identify the political conditions that are most likely to be conducive to the development of social investment policies. It starts from the view put forward by theorists of welfare retrenchment that in the current context of permanent austerity, policy is likely to be dominated by retrenchment and implemented in a way that allows governments to minimise the risk of electoral punishment (blame avoidance). It is argued that this view is inconsistent with developments observed in several European countries, were some welfare state expansion has taken place mostly in the fields of childcare and active labour market policy. An alternative model is put forward, that emphasises the notion of “affordable credit claiming”. It is argued that even under strong budgetary pressures, governments maintain a preference for policies that allow them to claim credit for their actions. Since the traditional redistributive policies tend to be off the menu for cost reasons, governments have tended to favour investments in childcare and active labour market policy as credit claiming tools.
Policies developed in this way while they have a social investment flavour, tend to be rather limited in the extent to which they genuinely improve prospects of disadvantaged people by investing in their human capital. A more ambitious strategy of social investment sees unlikely to develop on the basis of affordable credit claiming.
The paper starts by presenting the theoretical argument, which is then illustrated with examples taken from European countries both in the pre-crisis and in the post-crisis years.

Start Time:
11:15 AM

What Are the Opportunities for Social Investment in the Continental European Welfare States ?

Bruno PALIER, Centre d’études européennes, Sciences Po, France and Anton HEMERIJCK, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands
Abstract Text:
With their passive, employment-based, status-preserving, social insurance and male-breadwinner oriented welfare states, continental European countries are the least likely cases for social investment policy innovation. Nevertheless, some continental welfare states have introduced social investment reforms. While both the Netherlands and France have a similar legacy of a typical continental European passive social insurance-based welfare state, they have changed in various ways since the early 1990s. The Netherlands has made a strong social activation turn in social security, coupled to a more “flexicure” service-based labour market. In France, there has always been a strong policy legacy of pro-natalist childcare support. Recently, an important policy focus has been paced on the Youth in France. In both these countries, social investment policies have come under pressure after the 2008 financial crisis. Some policy areas (like work–life reconciliation policies) seem to have been hit harder than other areas (active labour market policies).
Moreover, there is also substantial variation across countries. How to account for this? By analyzing the reform trajectories with respect to social investment both before and after the 2008 financial crisis, the paper assesses the (variable) opportunities and related feedback effects for social investment in continental Europe.