ESPAnet Conference 2021

  • KÜHNER, S. (Chair)
  • Alexandra KAASCH (Chair)
  • Heejung CHUNG (Chair)

Activity: Involvement in Scholarly EventsOther Participation at Scholarly Events


Chair for session 28: New approaches and frameworks for combining global and comparative social policy methodologies.

Scholarship on comparative and global social policy as well as social policy and international development studies has come closer due to a mutual interest in combining research questions and methodologies as to understand countries and levels of governance in relation to each other. We need new analytical approaches and frameworks that better allow for a systematic comparative and global social policy analysis. However, such approaches and frameworks are complex and challenging to establish.

Comparative social policy analysis has struggled, for example, with the problem of policy learning from countries with very different contexts/historical legacies as well as the tension between large-N studies with its possible oversimplification of local realities and case studies where generalisation is difficult. Global social policy studies, in turn, have been limited when they studied diverse international actors involved in the formation of social policy or tried to identify causal relationships between transnational policy actors and factors and social policy reform at national levels. Besides, the Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated that some non-Western countries have successfully mitigated the related direct public health and socio-economic hazards, making them compelling benchmark cases for comparison. The mounting evidence on policy initiatives pioneered in the Global South, including conditional cash transfers, micro-financing, and provident funds, may further inform a re- centering of research agendas and suggests that Western cases may increasingly become the recipients rather than the origins of policy transfer.

In this panel, we aim to gather papers that contribute to a better understanding of comparative social policy from a global perspective using either qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods and theoretical approaches. We invite illustrative case studies that go beyond the Western-centric categories in comparative and global social policy analysis. We also welcome papers that show how we can better communicate new innovative approaches in the post-Covid-19 era as well as those that are conducive to multi-directional policy learning between different welfare geographies. Authors are specifically encouraged to consider whether new frameworks that encompass the diversity of (new) welfare states across the globe are needed and how they relate to and go beyond existing classifications of welfare regimes and types of welfare state capitalism.
Period31 Aug 2021
Event typeConference