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TRALEG workshop in Mannheim

Thursday 06 March 2008 — Saturday 08 March 2008

Welfare State Institutions and Welfare State Outcomes

The TRALEG workshop in Mannheim, organized by Joakim Palme (SOFI) and Claus Wendt (MZES), focused on the increasing external and internal pressures that European welfare states are facing. These challenges are related to the processes of globalisation and demographic change: on the one hand, the dependency on welfare state transfers has increased for certain population groups; on the other hand, the financial scope for social policy intervention has become more limited, thus reopening the political debate on the extent of state responsibility for citizens’ welfare. As an answer to this challenge, controversial institutional reforms have been introduced throughout Europe during the last decade.

The question is if and how these reforms have changed national redistributional outcomes across different branches of the welfare state, affecting poverty, inequality, social security and thus the life chances of different population groups. Emerging new inequalities may deeply influence how institutional arrangements are perceived and assessed by the public, this link being crucial for the long-term legitimacy of welfare states.

As a result of the workshop the research team “welfare state institutions and welfare state outcomes” will concentrate on three main topics: