Feb 3, 2017

CfP: Stream 8 “Social Policy-Making under Pressure: Interests, Power and Discourse

We would like to invite paper proposals for the* stream 8 “Social Policy-Making under Pressure: Interests, Power and Discourse"* at the *2017 ESPAnet conference*, 14th-16th September 2017, Lisbon.

Abstracts (500 words) should be submitted until* March 15th, 2017.* Abstract submission online at: http://espanetlisbon2017.eu/papers/

Kind regards,
Daniel Cardoso (NOVA University of Lisbon)

*Stream 8: “Social Policy-Making under Pressure: Interests, Power and Discourse”2017 ESPAnet conference  "New Horizons of European Social Policy: Risks, Opportunities and Challenges*

Convenors: Catherine Moury and Daniel Cardoso - NOVA University of Lisbon

Many European countries have undertaken spending cuts and deep structural reforms since the outbreak of the sovereign debt crisis, making, in particular, profound changes to the welfare state and the labour code. While the content and effects of these policies have been analysed in many studies, as yet very little is known about the processes leading to their adoption and the discourse surrounding them. In fact, two narratives co-exist in the scarce literature on the former. On the one hand, it is often claimed that governments have been forced to implement specific reforms against their will, either in return for bailout loans and monetary support from the European Central Bank, or due to the threat of sanctions by the European Commission under new economic governance rules. By contrast, other scholars claim that the crisis empowered ideologically oriented governments to pass reforms they privately wanted all along but were domestically powerless to introduce.

Hence, who really decides the content and scope of retrenchment and structural reforms under strong international pressure? What determines government autonomy? Which discourses are used to legitimise these
policies? These are the questions addressed in this stream. Papers are welcomed from economists, argumentation scholars, sociologists and political scientists addressing the following and other related issues: the concentration of power that has taken place within the political system; the preferences of international and domestic actors for spending cuts or structural reforms; the changing nature of these preferences, and the
existence of learning or persuasion; the decision-making processes that led to reforms; the domestic actors’ room for manoeuvre in shaping (social) policies; the public discourse used by domestic and international actors.

*Full conference details can be found at:* http://espanetlisbon2017.eu

*Full details of the streams can be found at:* http://espanetlisbon2017.eu/streams/