FES | Federación Española de Sociología

XII Congreso de la FES

Adjusting to the post-industrial era: How have the Spanish and Italian welfare states performed?

GT 11 Southern European Societies

David Luque Balbona (Universidad de Oviedo)
Ana M. Guillén Rodríguez (Universidad de Oviedo)


Sesión de comunicaciones orales Franja 5 : Welfare
Tipo de sesión: Sesión de comunicaciones orales
Día: sábado, 2 de julio de 2016
Hora: 09:00 a 10:45
Lugar: 205

The Spanish and Italian welfare states are among those most affected by the recession because of the sharp increase in social needs and, in parallel, the intense pressures towards the achievement of fiscal balances. Moreover, the post-industrial period requires that welfare states of advanced economies pay attention to new social risks and to needs along the whole life-cycle in order to support economic growth and enhance competitiveness. Hence this paper analyses to what degree the two aforementioned welfare states have adjusted to the requirements of the post-industrial era prior to the onset of the financial and economic crisis and whether the reforms introduced henceforth went in the direction of such an adjustment. We approach the analysis from a comparative perspective, especially with the other members of the Eurozone, but also, and most outstandingly, from the point of view of the trajectory undergone by said welfare states both in terms of retrenchment, rescaling and recalibration strategies and in terms of their capacity to redistribute and reduce social inequalities. The paper is organized as follows. First, the assessment is centred on the phase prior to the crisis in order to elicit how much effort was made in order to shift protection from old to new risks. Second, developments during the crisis period are considered. The paper concludes by signalling achievements and shortcomings in the quest for re-balancing social protection in accordance to post-industrialism, by pointing out the factors that allowed for or prevented path departure and by discussing prospects for the future.

Palabras clave: welfare states; Italy, Spain