Theme

The theme of the conference this year is Borders in Social Policy, Boundaries of Social Policy.

The theme focuses on two aspects of transboundary processes: on the one hand, the transnational (border crossing) dimension of social policy in a globalising world and, on the other hand, the capability of social policy to define and direct social development. These two aspects of boundary crossings are interdependent in a variety of ways. During the Annual Social Policy Conference, crossings, ruptures and uniting forces of boundaries/borders will be discussed. Borders do not only separate; they also unite people, labour, capital, commodities, and social problems – as well as solutions to them.

Throughout the conference, the following questions will be addressed: How do international mobility and migration impact social policy practices such as the provision and maintenance of various service systems? In what ways do service systems impact mobility? How is care organised in a period of transnational flows? The boundaries of political economy and social policy will be challenged as the aim of the conference is to go beyond the current discourse of the ‘budget deficit’ vs. ‘investment’ divide. Instead we ask: who are the agents drawing boundaries between citizens’ rights to legitimate services and social security and who ultimately mandates these rights? How far may such processes be defined and directed with the help of traditional social policy means? What role do equality and welfare (well-being) play in the formation of a new and emergent social policy logic? How do people survive or perish within these conditions; how do they find their place and a place for others in the contemporary world?