Welcome to PESP
In recent years, social policymaking in developing countries has undergone fundamental changes and diverted scholarly interest from welfare state research in well-established democracies to the nascent field of developing economies (Carnes & Mares 2009). Non-contributory programmes, such as Bolsa Familia in Brazil or Progresa in Mexico, are increasingly prevalent in the universe of social protection (Carnes & Mares 2014, forthcoming). These policies are designed to protect large groups of citizens – formerly excluded from programmes of social protection tied to contributions – from a number of risks associated with labour market dislocations, but also old age, sickness and, more generally, poverty. They have important implications for inequality and social cohesion, even though the scope of the programs is still below its full potential. Welfare regimes in low- and middle-income countries, frequently labelled as ‘truncated’ (De Ferranti et al. 2004) or ‘informal’, ‘hierarchical’ systems (Schneider & Soskice 2009, Barrientos 2009), still redistribute benefits with an upward bias and leave large parts of society without coverage. Understanding who benefits from social policy, who is hurt by it and when political actors are most likely to provide it is crucial to understand the different patterns of social policy, its causes and consequences, in developing economies. Our initiating workshop in Cologne 2016 gathered a group of scholars devoted to the question of obstacles and challenges of social policymaking in developing countries to address a topic of urgent interest: the expansion of social protection programs to the poor and vulnerable. It presented the take-off meeting to generate a research group devoted to studying the political economy of social policy in a broader sense.
Workshop Cologne 2016 "New Approaches to the Political Economy of Social Policy"
The international workshop "New Approaches to the Political Economy of Social Policy" organized by Irene Menéndez Gonzalez (University of Zurich), Santiago López-Cariboni (Catholic University of Uruguay) and Sarah Berens (Uoc) took place on May 23rd-24th 2016 at the Robert Ellscheid Saal of the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation in Cologne, Germany.