Redistributive Politics and the Question of Social Europe in the Post-Crisis EU

Call for Papers for a Panel at the 14th General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research in Innsbruck in August 2020. Deadline: February 10, 2020

 While the impact of the Euro crisis is still observable – in particular in the former crisis countries – question arise how the European Union (EU) and its member states should ‘do politics’ in the post-crisis era. While many EU member states (still) face massive social inequalities, economic recession and financial turbulences with regard to the banking sector, a stronger support for redistributive politics from the people, an increasing political interest in the Europeanisation of social policies and better supranational coordination in the EU still seem to be missing. How can this ‘political stagnation’ be explained? Brought the austerity paradigm and the Euro crisis the death to the idea of ‘Social Europe’ as scholars recently coined or do we rather see the revival of this crucial idea that promotes European solidarity as a ‘social pillar’ in the EU? Moreover, we are interested in revealing factors that might explain the rise and fall of ‘Social Europe’. Who are important actors when it comes to the Europeanisation of social policies and how does the institutional multi-level system of the EU enable or constrain common policies? Is the idea of a ‘Social Europe’ another elitist project or do citizens in Europe support it and if so, under which conditions?

The panel will shed fresh light on redistributive politics in the EU after the crisis and aims at identifying current challenges in the Europeanisation of social policies, investigating national and European actor constellations that hinder or promote redistributive politics in the EU and reflecting about the theoretical and normative implications of the ‘Social Europe’ paradigm. Four main questions shall guide the panel and potential presentations in the panel:

  • How do individuals perceive and evaluate redistributive policies in the EU?
  • How do political and societal actors, like parties, civil organizations or the media, frame an Europeanization of social policies?
  • What are the institutional and ideational foundations of social policies in the EU and in particular of the idea of ‘Social Europe’?
  • Did the recent economic turbulences substantially affect the idea of ‘Social Europe’ or did the EU return back to normal after the flattening of the Euro crisis?

We welcome empirical studies on these subjects and the panel is open for different methodological approaches and applied methods. Presentations do not have to deal with every aspect of the panel theme, but demonstrating how those are linked is very welcome. Please submit your abstract (max. 500 words) to ann-kathrin.reinl(at)gesis(dot)org and wallaschek(at)uni-hildesheim(dot)de until February 10th 2020. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

We are looking forward to your submissions!

Panel organizers

Ann-Kathrin Reinl (GESIS): ann-kathrin.reinl(at)gesis(dot)org

Stefan Wallaschek (University of Hildesheim): wallaschek(at)uni-hildesheim(dot)de

Further Informations (PDF)