WSF Newsletter #6/2017

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 the TRANSWEL Lecture Series at the University of Vienna, WelfSOC's self-organized Conference on "The Future of the Slovenian Welfare State" and two new working papers by TRANSWEL and GlobLabWS.

Your WSF Coordination Office

News from the Scientific Programme Coordinator

Congratulations to Peter Taylor-Gooby, Benjamin Leruth and Heejung Chung and all members of the WelfSOC project!  Their new book "After Austerity" is now in production, and marks the publication of the first book in our Oxford University Press Welfare State Futures Book Series. The attractive cover design and colors, as well as the frontspiece, effectively set the style for all future books published in the series. This will be incorporated into the SPC Poster Presentation at the American Political Science Association Meetings in San Francisco, 31 August- 3 September 2017. Hope WSF members will stop by!

TRANSWEL Lecture Series “Migration and social security in the EU: Theoretical approaches and empirical findings“

During summer semester 2017, the WSF Project TRANSWEL organizes a series of sociological lectures on migration and social security inside the European Union.
Three of the four lectures are presentations by the principal investigators of the international and interdisciplinary TRANSWEL project: Prof. Anna Amelina (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, ), Prof. Emma Carmel (University of Bath) and Prof. Elisabeth Scheibelhofer, Nora Regös, Clara Holzinger (University of Vienna). Two of the lectures (see also picture gallery) have already taken place. This includes the presentation by Prof. Anna Amelina on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 on "European Portability of Social Security Rights as a Paradigmatic Example of Transnational Social Citizenship", where she presented part of the TRANSWEL results and embedded them into a larger theoretical framework (transnational social citizenship). Guests from different disciplines and universities from Vienna (University of Vienna, WU Vienna) were present and contributed to a comprehensive and inspiring discussion. A further lecture by Prof. Emma Carmel took place on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. on "What is the European Union anyway? How the governance of social security and free movement can illuminate our understanding of the European Union". Emma Carmel illustrated her approach to the understanding of the EU on the basis of the example of the TRANSWEL findings resulting in an exciting discussion. Both events were followed by a short reception where time was spent on networking and discussing joint future projects. The final lecture will take place on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at 5:00 pm. Prof. Elisabeth Scheibelhofer will present the results of the fourth phase of the TRANSWEL project together with her project collaborators Nora Regös and Clara Holzinger. The lecture deals with the issue of migrants with limited access to social rights. The organizers are looking forward to lively participation and exciting discussions. Further details, lectures and publications on the TRANSWEL project can be found at
The Future of the Slovenian Welfare State – A Conference Organized by the Slovenian Team of the WSF WelfSOC Project

Within the WelfSOC project Our Chidren’s Europe a national conference the »Future of the Slovenian welfare state« was organised on 24th of May 2017 on the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. The goal of the conference was to disseminate key findings from the project on people’s attitudes toward the welfare state futures and stimulate a discussion on the main concerns of social policy such as inequality and poverty, challenges on the labour market and intergenerational solidarity in Slovenia. The Conference started with an opening speech of the Slovenian Minister of labour, family, social affairs and equal opportunities Anja Kopač Mrak and the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Rado Bohinc. After main project findings were presented by project leader Maša Filipovič Hrast, the discussion continued on round tables on inequalities and poverty, intergenerational policies and labour market issues, where several known experts participated as well as representatives from civil society organisations and high government officials from relevant ministers such as the Ministry of labour, family, social affairs and equal opportunities and Ministry of Health. The conference was attended by academics, policy makers and general public.
Reforming the Liberal Welfare State - International Shocks, Unemployment and Household Income Shares.

In their new WSF Working Paper, Hassan Molana, Catia Montagna and George E. Onwordi from project GlobLabWS examine how labour market and welfare state reforms in the direction of flexicurity affect long-run unemployment and the dynamic response to international shocks of an economy characterised by a liberal welfare state regime. The working paper makes a relevant contribution to contemporary debates around international economic shocks and their effects on labour markets outcomes and GDP. It also complements the nascent interest in distributional impacts of international shocks and welfare-based tax-and-benefit policies by tracing changes in shares of household income. Flexicurity denotes a combination of relatively low degrees of employment protection with generous unemployment support accompanied by the adoption of active labour market policies (ALMPs) aimed at increasing workers’ employability. The notion of flexicurity has been widely embraced as a guideline for welfare state reforms capable of reconciling the rationale for labour market deregulation and welfare state retrenchments on the one hand and growing insecurity and a greater demand for social safety nets on the other. The team considers an economy such as the UK, a liberal welfare system characterised by high flexibility and low unemployment insurance, and examines the effects of implementing reforms packages in the direction of the flexicurity system of Denmark – which would entail reducing the flexibility of the labour market and increasing unemployment insurance. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the paper finds that higher employment protection and unemployment insurance do not provide a greater buffer against adverse shocks. Instead, reforms towards flexicurity result in a higher volatility in unemployment and GDP in response to exogenous foreign shocks. However, the analysis shows that when they combine greater income support for the unemployed and stronger firing restrictions with active labour market policies that enhance employability and job creation, such reforms can improve labour market outcomes and increase the level of economic activity in the long-run.
More info and working paper for download at
Intra-EU Mobility and Portability of Social Security Rights between Bulgaria and Germany: Formal Regulations and Barriers to Mobile Bulgarians.

by Jana Fingarova, TRANSWEL
Intra-European mobility is directly connected to the transfer of social security rights for mobile EU citizens within the framework of the EU’s social security coordination system. In fact, the portability of social security is a central factor in enabling and guaranteeing free movement between mobility-sending countries and mobility-receiving countries and thus contributes to the realization of a European labour market. Portability of social security rights involves the recognition and transfer of entitlements, which, rather than being a straightforward process, creates barriers for mobile EU citizens who are required to meet complex regulatory and institutional conditions. The goal of the TRANSWEL project was to analyse the portability of social security rights with regard to its regulations, practices and limitations by comparing patterns of post-enlargement labour mobility between four EU country pairs: Hungary–Austria, Bulgaria–Germany, Poland–United Kingdom and Estonia–Sweden. Focusing on the transitional state of Bulgaria and the conservative welfare state of Germany, this paper presents an analysis of institutional regulations with respect to the portability of social security rights in four areas: unemployment, family-related rights, healthcare and pensions. Building on interpretative policy analysis and expert interviews, the research revealed that the portability of benefits concerning statutory pensions and healthcare is to a large extent clearly regulated, whereas regulations in the areas of unemployment and family-related benefits remain largely obscure. In sum, the analysis identified three most significant barriers to portability: a high level of discretion in some policy fields, differences between national security systems and the organization of information exchange between countries.
More info and working paper for download at


August 21-25, 2017 
WSF Thematic Workshop & Summer School on "The Future of Child and Family Welfare Policy"
Groningen, The Netherlands
Organization: Mónica López López (HESTIA), Lennart Nygren (FACSK)
Registration has closed

June 19-20, 2017
WSF Thematic Workshop on "Inequalities and Welfare States"
Oslo, Norway
Organization: Kalle Moene (GIWeS), Alexander Cappelen (FPRWS)
Registration has closed

December 5-6, 2017
WSF Thematic Workshop on "Migration and Welfare"

Birmingham, UK
Anna Amelina (TRANSWEL), Jenny Phillimore (UPWEB)
Registration is open.

14-17 June 2017
31th Annual Conference of the European Society for Population Economics
Glasgow, Scotland

21 - 23 June 2017
Health and Demographic Research (HeDeRa) Workshop ‘Comparing Health Across Societies (CHASE) - Keynote of Professor Bernice A. Pescosolido about ‘The Global Landscape of Stigma

3-5 July 2017
Regulating Decent Work (RDW) 2017 Conference
Geneva, Switzerland

12-14 July 2017
Council of European Studies Conference
Glasgow, UK
Papers accepted: Diana Burlacu (HEALTHDOX), Tamara Popic/Simone Schneider/Maria Asensio (HEALTHDOX), Ave Roots (HEALTHDOX) +++ DEADLINE for presenting authors to upload their papers: 29 June, 2017

12-15 August  2017
Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association
Montreal, Canada
Accepted paper: Simone Schneider (HEALTHDOX)
29 August – 1 September 2017
European Sociological Association Conference
Athens, Greece

14-16 September 2017
ESPAnet 2017 Conference - New Horizons of European Social Policy: Risks, Opportunities and Challenges
Lisbon, Portugal
Stream Convenors from or affiliated with WSF Network
Stream 14: Health, Employment Status and Disability: A Comparative and Institutional Perspective (Verle Buffel and Kristian Heggebo, HiNEWS)
Stream 24: The Achilles' Heel of Health Care Futures (Maria Asensio, HEALTHDOX and Beatriz Padilla, UPWEB)

TRANSWEL Lecture Series “Migration and social security in the EU: Theoretical approaches and empirical findings”
Universität Wien, Department of Sociology, 5pm, Seminar Room 3, Rooseveltplatz 2, 1090 Vienna, Austria

13 June 2017
Elisabeth Scheibelhofer, Nora Regös, Clara Holzinger, Universität Wien

Im Labyrinth europäischer Systeme sozialer Sicherung. (Transnationale) Erfahrungen ungarischer MigrantInnen in Österreich

24-25 May 2018
WSF Final Conference
planned for Florence, Italy


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