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EU, FREE MOVEMENT, MIGRATION, REGIONAL SOCIAL POLICY, SADC and SOCIAL PROTECTION

Social policies are central to regional social integration. This article addresses this with the European Union (EU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). It considers the part that access to social security, social assistance, health and education services play in facilitating free movement within regions. The article shows that in the EU the formal reality of free movement is substantially curtailed by problems with the portability of and access to social benefits. In SADC migrants' access to social protection and social services show remarkable similarity to the EU. Access to social assistance is missing in both regions for some movers. Given the symbolic nature of the “no recourse to public funds for migrants“ mantra of national social policies in both regions the article concludes that a policy and funding response at the regional or even global level is required if regional social integration is to be enhanced through social policy.

Spanish Las políticas sociales son fundamentales para la integración social regional. Este artículo aborda este precepto en la Unión Europea (UE) y la Comunidad de Desarrollo de África Austral (SADC), considerando que los servicios de acceso a la seguridad social, a la asistencia social, a la salud y a la educación juegan un papel en la facilitación de la libre circulación entre regiones. El documento muestra que en la UE la realidad formal de la libre circulación se ve sustancialmente reducida por problemas con la portabilidad y el acceso a las prestaciones sociales. En la SADC el acceso de los migrantes a la protección social y a los servicios sociales muestra una marcada similitud con la UE. En ambas regiones, el acceso a la asistencia social no existe para algunos sujetos. Dado el carácter simbólico del mantra de las políticas sociales nacionales en ambas regiones de "no recurrir a los fondos públicos para los migrantes", el trabajo concluye que se requiere una respuesta política y definanciación a nivel regional, o incluso mundial, si se pretende mejorar la integración social regional a través de la política social.

French Les politiques sociales se situent actuellement au cœur de l'intégration sociale régionale. Ce document aborde ce e question dans le cas de l'Union européenne (UE) et de la Communauté de développement d'Afrique australe (SADC). Il considère le fait que, l'accès à la sécurité sociale, aux services sociaux, à la santé et à l'éducation participe de manière effective à la libre circulation des personnes au sein des régions. Le document montre que dans l'UE, la réalité formelle de la libre circulation est considérablement restreinte par des problèmes liés à l'adaptation et à l'accès aux prestations sociales. L'accès des migrants à la protection sociale et aux services sociaux au sein du SADC montre des similitudes remarquables avec l'UE. L'accès à l'aide sociale est absent dans les deux régions pour certains transfrontaliers. Compte tenu de la nature symbolique du «non recours aux fonds publics pour les migrants" appliqué dans les politiques sociales nationales de ces deux régions, cet article conclut qu'une politique et une réponse financière élaborée au niveau régional ou même mondial sont nécessaires si l'on souhaite que l'intégration régionale sociale soit renforcée par la politique sociale.

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Sabine Weiland, Vivien Weiss and John Turnpenny

Ecological challenges are becoming more and more complex, as are their effects on nature and society and the actions to address them. Calls for a more sustainable development to address these challenges and to mitigate possible negative future impacts are not unproblematic, particularly due to the complexity, uncertainty, and long-term nature of possible consequences (Newig et al. 2008). Knowledge about the various impacts—be they ecological, economic, or social—policies might have is therefore pivotal. But the relationship between such knowledge and the myriad ways it may be used is particularly challenging. The example of policy impact assessment systems is a case in point. Recent years have seen an institutionalization of such systems for evaluating consequences of regulatory activities across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD 2008) and the European Union (CEC 2002). It is argued that, by utilizing scientific and other evidence, impact assessment has the potential to deliver more sustainable policies and to address large-scale global challenges.

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Policing, Policy and Practice

Responding to Disorder in North Belfast

Neil Jarman

Rioting and street disorder have been a recurrent problem in Northern Ireland over the course of the peace process. This article reviews a range of the responses that have been developed to try to address the disorder and to better understand the process of the creation and development of policy. The article starts from interpretation of policy as a process of social relations involving the interaction of different sectors of society and it discusses how government and community actors have responded in different ways to the violence, but over the course of time have come to a broadly shared understanding of the most appropriate means of managing the conflict.

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Did Policy Change Work?

Oregon Women Continue to Encounter Delays in Medicaid Coverage for Abortion

Bayla Ostrach

Women in poverty experience greater delays in the process of seeking abortion. Timely access to both safe abortion care and early prenatal care reduces morbidity and mortality among pregnant women. This article examines the impacts of a policy change intended to facilitate poor women's applications for pregnancy-related Medicaid (a federally funded, state-administered health coverage programme for the poorest Americans), in Oregon (Western U.S.). The mixed-methods data from this applied anthropology study demonstrate that though health coverage waiting times grew shorter on average, poor women and the clinic staff who cared for them continued to perceive delays in obtaining Medicaid coverage for abortion. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the U.S.A. (aka Obama-care) is now thought to be contributing to a return to greater delays in accessing prenatal care and abortion. More research and advocacy are needed to improve access to reproductive health care through state Medicaid programmes.

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History and Transport Policy

The Swiss Experience

Ueli Haefeli, Fritz Kobi and Ulrich Seewer

Based on analysis of two case studies in the Canton of Bern, this article examines the question of knowledge transfer from history to transport policy and planning in the recent past in Switzerland. It shows that for several reasons, direct knowledge transfer did not occur. In particular, historians have seldom become actively involved in transport planning and policy discourses, probably partly because the academic system offers no incentive to do so. However, historical knowledge has certainly influenced decision-making processes indirectly, via personal reflection of the actors in the world of practice or through Switzerland's strongly developed modes of political participation. Because the potential for knowledge transfer to contribute to better policy solutions has not been fully utilized, we recommend strengthening the role of existing interfaces between science and policy.

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Hijacking Cultural Policies

Art as a Healthy Virus within Social Strategies of Resistance

Marina Fokidis

The Egnatia Road project describes a cooperative action between European artists and local populations along the ancient route from Rome to Constantinople. Focusing on myths and memories of territorial and metaphorical displacement over centuries, it represents a space of resistance realized in narrative and physical action. The process of constructing the road engages artistic activism and local communities in creating a participatory cultural product. Begun as a road trip to the Balkans, the research in history, storytelling, and half-forgotten traditions has resulted in the creation of mobile laboratories and events involving a range of people and experiences. The ongoing intention has been to produce paving stones recording the personal and communal experiences of people along the road. As an exercise in public art, the project has raised new questions and insights into the nature of popular dissent and the role of art in giving it a voice in wider venues and situations.

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Gender Policy in Australian Schools

A Missed Opportunity?

Deborah Hartman

This paper describes the rise of boys’ education as a substantial social and educational issue in Australia in the 1990s, mapping the changes in Australian discourses on boys’ education in this period. Ideas and authors informed by the men’s movement entered the discourses about boys’ education, contributing to a wave of teacher experimentation and new ways of thinking about gender policies in schools. The author suggests that there is currently a policy impasse, and proposes a new multi-disciplinary approach bringing together academic, practitioner, policy, and public discourses on boys’ education.

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Regions, borders, and social policy

The limits of welfare in regional cohesion debates

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

This first issue of Volume Four of Regions & Cohesion continues a trend of articles that gained momentum in Volume Three, focusing on the territorial aspects of welfare in social cohesion debates. The Summer 2013 issue of the journal presented a collection of articles that specifically discussed the role of borders and border policies in social cohesion politics. Although this collection was not intended to be presented as a thematically specific issue, the simultaneous arrival of these pieces highlighted the importance of borders in defining the territorial limits of cohesion and the ensuing renegotiation of these limits in political debates. For example, the article by Irina S. Burlacu and Cathal O’Donoghue focused on the impacts of the European Union’s social security coordination policy on the welfare of cross-border workers in Belgium and Luxembourg. The article illustrated the limits of this regional policy as cross-border workers do not receive equal treatment compared to domestic workers in the country of employment. Similarly, an article by Franz Clément in the same issue analyzed the “socio-political representation” of cross-border workers and discusses how such workers can mobilize for socioeconomic rights in institutions aimed at worker protection (such as professional associations, trade unions, etc.). Both articles show that despite formal regionalization of legislation concerning social rights and representation, national boundaries clearly present challenges to cross-border workers who have difficulty negotiating rights in both their country of employment and country of residence.

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Social Movements and Social Policies

Political Challenges under Austerity in the UK

Gregory White

The economic crisis of 2007/2008 presented a challenge to the welfare state in the UK, and, more widely, across Europe. It also presented a challenge to many citizens, who were on the receiving end of the austerity agenda, and subsequent tightening of welfare spending. If nothing else, the financial crisis demonstrated the hegemony of economic theories prominent in neoliberal capitalism. As many academics and commentators have identified, however, the current period of instability is indicative of a systemic crisis. In addition to this analysis, the crisis also exposed the intricate and opaque links between western governments and the financial sector. During and after the crisis an eruption of activity in civil society galvanized many that had been directly affected by either the crisis itself—through loss of employment—or by the subsequent austerity measures imposed. This article aims to examine the current crisis affecting the welfare state in the UK, and social policy more broadly, and, begins to suggest how social movements are seeking to challenge the dominant discourses surrounding austerity politics. The article suggests some reasons as to why traditional forms of resistance and organization—such as the mobilizations of the trade union movement—have largely been unsuccessful in challenging such narratives. The article concludes by considering the shift from trade unionism in the UK to post-crisis social movements, and where an anti-austerity movement more broadly might develop further in pursuit of defending the principles of social welfare, and, ultimately, the welfare state.

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Public Policy or Popular Demand?

Why Californians Shifted from Trains to Autos (and Not Buses), 1910-1941

Gregory Thompson

This essay examines the transition from a rail-based intercity transportation system in California in 1910 to a road/private auto-based system thirty years later, with hypotheses that the transition could be explained by either corporate and state decisions for supplying infrastructure or by public demand. The essay examines trends of automobile ownership, road investment, bus organization and service provision, intercity passenger rail service provision, and intercity rail revenues, both within California and to and from California in each of the three decades. It concludes that public preference for private automobility explains most of the transition but that unserved demand remained for fast passenger train service between the state's large metropolitan areas. Failure to serve that demand derived from California's legacy of popular disdain for the private railroad industry.