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Social Investment in an Age of Austerity: A Comparison of Family Policy Reforms in Four European Countries

Sonja Blum orcid id ; FernUniversität in Hagen, Hagen, Deutschland
Sónia Correia ; Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Mikael NygÅrd ; Kasvatustieteiden ja hyvinvointialojen tiedekunta, Åbo Akademi, Vaasa, Finland
Tatjana Rakar orcid id ; Fakulteta za družbene vede, Univerza v Ljubljani, Ljubljana, Slovenija
Karin Wall ; Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 438 Kb

str. 267-267

preuzimanja: 267


Puni tekst: engleski pdf 438 Kb

str. 249-266

preuzimanja: 199



The focus of this article is on family policy reforms in four European countries – Austria, Finland, Portugal, and Slovenia – between 2008 and 2015.
These years were marked by the ‘Great Recession’, and by the rise of the social-investment perspective. Social investment is an umbrella concept, though, and it is also somewhat ambiguous. This article distinguishes between different social-investment variants, which emerge from a focus on its interaction with alternative social-policy perspectives, namely social protection and austerity. We identify different variants along the degree of social-investment: from comprehensive, over crowding out, towards lean forms. While the empirical analysis highlights variation, it also shows how there is a specific crisis context, which may lead to ‘crowding out’ of other policy approaches and ‘leaner’ forms of social investment. This has led to strong cutbacks in family cash benefits, while public childcare and parental leaves have proved more resilient in the investigated countries. Those findings are revelatory in the current Covid-19 pandemic, where countries are entering a next, possibly larger economic crisis.

Ključne riječi

family policy, crisis, social investment, austerity, case studies

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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