WSF Newsletter #8/2018

Dear <<Full Name>>,
the WSF newsletter keeps you up to date with all the news from the WSF research network, recent and upcoming events and publications.

This month's newsletter will inform you about
HiNEWS Umbrella Review of Public Health Policies, TransJudFare's Special Issue in the Journal of European Public Policy "Free Movement and Non-discrimination in an Unequal Union". Furthermore, we have introduced a new Alumni section.

Your WSF Scientific Coordination Office

News from the Scientific Programme Coordinator
Scientific Programme Coordinator Ellen Immergut

In a few days, the Welfare State Futures Programme will officially be ending - but of course, the publications, scientific and stakeholder dissemination and research network cooperation will be continuing.  For this reason, we have added a new 'Alumni' column to our newsletter.  Please keep us up-to-date on your career progress so that the WSF Network can stay in touch! Starting in the new year, we will end our newsletter with a five part final series describing our project achievements and their policy implications.  Looking forward to hearing more about this in September! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the final days of summer. 

Your WSF Scientific Coordination Office

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HiNEWS Umbrella Review of Public Health Policies

by Katie Thomson (HiNEWS)

Welfare states use a variety of policy mechanisms – namely public health policies, social policies and healthcare services – to improve the health of their citizens. Policies such as minimum alcohol pricing, tobacco taxation or banning junk food advertising aimed at children, have great potential to improve public health, by shifting the distribution of health risk and addressing the underlying social, economic and environmental conditions. However it is imperative to understand the impact of these policies on health across the entire social gradient. Thereby ensuring the most marginalised, are not adversely effected by policies which aim to improve health overall.

As part of the HiNEWS project, we recently completed an umbrella systematic review (‘review of reviews’) which aimed to understand the effects of public health policies in high-income countries. We found evidence of 29 reviews (comprising 150 unique primary studies) which detailed the evidence of how fiscal, regulatory, education, preventative treatment and screening approaches can be used by governments to influence health inequalities across eight key domains.

Our research highlighted thirteen specific policies which reduce health inequalities which policy makers may wish to adopt to improve the health of the most marginalised within society. These include, taxes on unhealthy food, tobacco advertising control, traffic calming measures and oral heal initiatives amongst others. Our review also demonstrates that for some potentially important interventions, such as for policies to control alcohol, there is a lack of robust evaluations highlighting the effects on different groups of people. Upstream public health interventions offer great hope to improve health for all. However, a comprehensive understanding on the effects of different interventions is a necessary first step to ensure policies have an equitable benefit for all members of society and therefore are worthy tools at the disposal of governments tasked with improving health.

To access the publication, go to:

Text based on Fuse open science blog:


Journal of European Public Policy Special Issue “Free Movement and Non-discrimination in an Unequal Union

Special Issue edited by Susanne K. Schmidt, Michael Blauberger and Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen

The European Union’s fundamental principles of free movement of persons and non-discrimination challenge the traditional closure of the welfare state. Whereas this appeared largely unproblematic before Eastern enlargement, the increased heterogeneity in economic development and welfare provision among EU Member States has spurred fears about potential welfare migration and claims of so-called ‘social tourism’.

A recently published special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy, edited by Susanne K. Schmidt, Michael Blauberger and Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen of the TransJudFare project, addresses this increasingly salient subject. The special issue brings together a collection of articles by TransJudFare researchers as well as other experts to explore the current dynamics, scope and limits of free movement and equal treatment for EU citizens on the move.

More specifically, the contributions are covering three issues: One part is discussing the normative and legal basis of EU citizenship, free movement and cross-border access to social benefits. Another part takes a closer look at the politicised discussion of welfare migration in the media and its impact on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice. A final part examines the theoretical and empirical nexus between European free movement and its reconciliation with the welfare state’s need for closure.

By analysing free movement and equal treatment from multiple perspectives, this special issue adds to several core debates in current EU studies. This includes the (im)balance between liberal market freedoms and social protection; the relative power of judicial and political decision-making in the EU; the gap between abstract EU legal principles and Member State implementation on the ground; and, lastly, the differences between actual problem pressure and patterns of politicisation. The individual contributions raise the level of debates by presenting and moving beyond the state of the art in their respective fields.


11-14 August 2018
ASA Annual Meeting

Philadelphia, USA

30 August - 02 September 2018
APSA Annual Meeting
Boston, USA

10-12 September 2018
5th International Conference on Evidence-based Policy in Long-term Care
Vienna, Austria

Copyright © 2018 NORFACE Welfare State Futures Coordination Office, All rights reserved.

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