The International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW), European Region, is, together with its academic partners, a member of the ENIQ Project. These academic bodies have developed and formulated the theory of social quality, together with appropriate indicators. The role of the ICSW differs from this because its purpose and basic mission is different. ICSW represents social NGOs and its mission is to advance social welfare, social justice and social development. The approach of the ICSW in this article is practical and clearly connected with social policy issues at an especially European level. However, a deep theoretical understanding of social quality and a successful choice of indicators are very important to the ICSW. After all, they do determine the usefulness of the image received through the concept of social quality in developing European welfare. The theory and indicators of social quality may also define which questions or problems will be primarily raised when discussing citizens’ welfare or its defects in European societies.
The View from the International Council on Social Welfare
Aki Siltaniemi and Marja-Liisa Kauppinen
Does the Immigration Issue Divide German Attitudes toward Social Welfare?
Laura Häkkilä, Michael Pfeifer, and Timo Toikko
In this article, we explore the attitudinal basis of the immigration issue and the German welfare state. Scholars have shown that immigration influences social welfare attitudes by the immigration rate, 1 a person's socioeconomic background, 2
Convergence in Social Welfare Systems
From Evidence to Explanations
After the Second World War, the view that people of every nation would be entitled to experience rising standards of living pervaded all corners of the globe. Convergence was seen as a positive way of achieving a Golden Age and a peaceful and affluent utopia, through modernisation and technical progress. Within this general belief, the development of national social welfare systems in Europe in the postwar period appears to be the outcome of autonomous national processes. The construction of Europe, which imposed common rules in many areas, was nonetheless consistent with the national development of social welfare systems within each national culture. The idea of a common system of social protection has always been linked to European political and economic construction, which was expected to create a more cohesive society. Reference is made constantly to convergence as a catching-up process in the comparative evaluation of national social policies, but the implementation of an ambitious European system of social protection and the creation of harmonised national welfare systems have always proved to be impossible. The paper focuses on two specific topics. Firstly, it examines attempts to quantify convergence among EU and OECD countries at the macro-economic level, using social indicators to assess the convergence or divergence of social expenditure. The evidence of convergence is shown to be ambiguous due to a number of methodological problems. Secondly, two main interpretations of convergence are examined: economic forces and legal frameworks. The paper shows that the analysis of national trajectories of social expenditure and the link with economic development can enrich the analysis of convergence or divergence in social protection. Even if the maturation or reform of national social policies explains the origins of increases in social expenditure, macro-economic pressures, or constraints (globalisation, Single Market), on public expenditure can fuel certain type of convergence. In all the developed countries, social welfare systems are based on national legal frameworks. A goal of social Europe is not only to work towards European solidarity but also to build common social rights throughout Europe. Convergence of national social welfare systems can, therefore, be interpreted as a component in a general process of convergence in law within the developed countries, especially within Europe. However, common explanations of convergence in social welfare systems often neglect elements of divergence. They, therefore, conceal the complexity of the process and very often underestimate the full extent of divergence.
A “Capital of Hope and Disappointments”
North African Families in Marseille Shantytowns and Social Housing
Dustin Alan Harris
of state-run agencies or state-subsidized private charities that carried out shantytown clearance initiatives and oversaw the construction of rent-controlled social housing estates. Part of a larger social welfare network that formed in France just
Separating Church and State
The Atlantic Divide
James Q. Whitman
Americans commonly believe that their country is unique in its commitment to the separation of church and state. Yet by the European measure, the American separation of church and state looks strikingly weak, since Americans permit religious rhetoric to permeate their politics and even cite the Bible in court. In light of these striking differences, this article argues that it is wrong to imagine that there is some single correct measure of the separation of church and state. Instead, northern continental Europe and the United States have evolved two different patterns, whose historical roots reach back into the Middle Ages. In northern continental Europe, unlike the United States, historic church functions have been absorbed by the state. The consequences of this historic divergence extend beyond familiar questions of the freedom of religious expression, touching on matters as diverse as welfare policy and criminal law.
Acts of Assistance
Navigating the Interstices of the British State with the Help of Non-profit Legal Advisers
Alice Forbess and Deborah James
This article explores everyday interactions with the British welfare state at a moment when it is attempting to shift and transform its funding regimes. Based on a study of two London legal services providers, it draws attention to a set of actors poised between local state officers and citizens: the advisers who carry out the work of translation, helping people to actualize their rights and, at the same time, forcing disparate state agencies to work together. Advice and government services providers are increasingly part of the same system, yet advisers' work runs counter to the state's aims when formal legal process is used to challenge unfair legislation. The article reveals that ever more complex, vague, and idiosyncratic interconnections between state, business, and the third sector are emerging in the field of public services.
‘Turning Human Beings into Lawyers’
Why Anthropology Matters So Little to the Legal Curriculum
Does anthropology matter to law? At first sight, this question might seem redundant: of course, anthropology matters to law, and it does so a great deal. Anthropologists have made important contributions to legal debates. Legal anthropology is a thriving sub-discipline, encompassing an ever-increasing range of topics, from long-standing concerns with customary law and legal culture to areas that have historically been left to lawyers, including corporate law and financial regulation. Anthropology’s relevance to law is also reflected in the world of legal practice. Some anthropologists act as cultural experts in, while others have challenged the workings of, particular legal regimes, including with respect to immigration law and social welfare.
Liberating the Land or Absorbing a Community
Managing North African Migration and the Bidonvilles in Paris's Banlieues
Melissa K. Byrnes
In the late-1950s, the Parisian suburbs of Saint-Denis and Asnières-sur-Seine launched major urban renovation projects to eliminate the bidonvilles, shantytowns that often housed North African migrants. While Asnières viewed the bidonville occupants as obstacles to modernization, Saint-Denis billed its efforts as a humanitarian project to provide migrants with better housing and to support migrants' rights and social welfare. Officials in Asnières used their renovation plans to bring new, metropolitan French, families into the reclaimed areas and redistribute the single male workers outside their city. Dionysien officials, however, aimed at inclusion, providing new accommodation within the city for many families and a majority of workers. The renovation efforts in these two cities demonstrate the diversity of French reactions to North African migrants, suggest the existence of alternative notions of local community identity, and highlight the importance of the Algerian War in defining France's migration framework.
Situating ascriptions of independence and dependence in Italian family capitalism
Recent anthropological studies of Italy have presented vivid and compelling accounts of the anxieties about precarity and economic dependence that have emerged as both state protections of employment and social welfare provisions have weakened. This essay, in contrast, argues that for a substantial sector of the Italian populace, work relations have been governed less by a state‐regulated regime of labour than by kinship ideologies and relations. Since the beginning of industrial manufacturing in the mid‐19th century and continuing into the 21st century, family firms have been the dominant employer in Italy. By following the changes in the silk industry and its allied clothing manufacturing sector in the 25 years from 1985 to 2010, this essay shows how aspirations and ascriptions of economic independence and dependence among firm owners, their children and hired managers are shaped by kinship relations and class trajectories.
Critical Theory of the Police in a Neoliberal Age
In Discipline and Punish the police is a state institution isomorphic with the prison. In his Collège de France lectures, Foucault unearths a 'secret history of the police' where greater attention is paid to public health, social welfare and regulating the marketplace than investigating and arresting criminals. This broad overview of Foucault's writings on the police exhibits a 'splintering-effect' in his modalities of power. To resolve this apparent contradiction, a nominalist reading that conflates Foucault's divergent paradigms of power results in a more multifaceted history and a ubiquitous mode of power with diverse and precise techniques. There are strengths and weaknesses in Foucault's theory when applied to modern neoliberal police. Foucault should not be employed for one-dimensional criticisms of modern police or as an analytical cure-all.