*Stream 7:* *‘'Enhancing Capablities? Rethinking European Social Policies from a New Perspective'’*
European social policies aim to address a broad array of issues, including (un)employment, activation, child and elderly care, education, health, housing, migration, aging and poverty. The design and evaluation of these policies has been approached from different perspectives, including the social investment paradigm, which has featured prominently in recent research. However, one key question has yet to be answered sufficiently: To
what extent do European social policies enhance individuals’ capabilities to achieve valued be-ings and do-ings (*functionings*)?
This stream proposes to view European social policies from a new perspective, welcoming papers that take the Capability Approach (CA) to evaluate and understand the impact of social policy, as well as to redesign policies with an aim of enhancing capabilities of different social groups. CA, originally developed by Sen (e.g. 1992, 1999), and later expanded on by Nussbaum (2000, 2011) and Robeyns (2005) is increasingly used to analyse
European social policies. Examples include employability policy (van der Klink et al., 2011), work and care policy (Yerkes and den Dulk, 2015; den Dulk and Yerkes, 2016 forthcoming; Hobson 2014; Fahlén 2013; Korpi et al. 2013) or parental leave policy (Javornik and Kurowska, forthcoming). CA has also been recently used to reconceptualize the (de)familialization perspective in comparative family policy research (Kurowska, 2016).
We aim to bring together the latest research in this area across a broad range of social policy fields to explore the risks, opportunities and challenges facing European social policy today, focusing on the capabilities of different social groups. This stream proposal invites scholars to contribute to the field with theoretical, methodological or empirical papers.
Possible analytical entry points include, but are not limited to:
1) Theoretical discussions of the feasibility of using the capability approach for evaluating European social policies, e.g. looking at theoretical advantages and/or limitations;
2) Methodological papers focusing on how best to measure policies in relation to capabilities, overcoming methodological obstacles in comparative research, etc.
3) Empirical policy evaluations, considering how and to what extent European social policies enhance (or limit) individual capabilities;
4) Empirical micro-level analyses on the impact of social policies on the capabilities of different social groups.
- Mara A. Yerkes, Dept. of Interdisciplinary Social Science, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands, E-mail: M.A.Yerkes@uu.nl
- Anna Kurowska, Institute of Social Policy, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
*To submit abstracts, please go to: *ESPAnet 2017 - Submission of abstracts
*Deadline for submission of abstracts is 15thMarch 2017.*