Thematic Panels

Care policy and institutional setting

1 - Basic income and cash for care policies: implications for gender and social equity

Support for the idea of a universal basic income paid to every eligible adult and child is gaining traction across the developed world, though it remains a controversial and largely untested proposal. It has been defined by van Parijsas ‘an income paid by a political community to all its members on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement’. Basic income may well be a necessary government response to the predicted reduction in paid employment opportunities following technological innovation. Such a basic income would have significant implications for all socially valuable activities, including those without direct economic benefit, and care is one such activity.

What the gendered implications might be of a basic income are contested, in particular with relation to what it might mean to be a parent responsible for childcare. Whilst advocates argue that basic income would alleviate child and maternal poverty, critics are concerned that a basic income would further entrench a gendered domestic division of labour and exacerbate gender pay gaps and other inequalities.

Research into care leaves, cash-for-care and other care allowances highlights that the design of policies is key if they are to support Nancy Fraser’s ‘universal caregiving’ model. That is to say, fathers tend only to use care benefits to which they are entitled in certain contexts. There are surely lessons from this understanding that could apply to any implementation of basic income or other cash-for-care policy should an aim be to support a more equal sharing of care between men and women.

Cash for care policies are likely to be appreciated differently across a given population. How basic income and other family policies might interact across social classes and across different forms of gender inequity would be interesting to explore. A balance of theoretical and empirical papers would be sought for a panel.


Stream convenor

Alison Koslowski, University of Edinburgh,

2 - The varieties of multi-level governance systems in long term care: opportunities and risks

Long-term care (LTC) is a rapidly evolving policy field. The ageing of population, increasing health care demand and costs, higher female labor force participation and the contraction in the provision of informal care are pushing forward a policy field that has become one of the central elements of social investment strategies.

Although with different rhythms and forms, most developed countries have been shifting from a traditional poor-relief oriented set of care services towards a more universalistic system of LTC. Such reforms have affected multilevel governance arrangements (MLG), and reforms have been eased or hindered by those arrangements. Traditional poor relief care services are usually local and fragmented, and while some reforms have focused on redefining the role of local authorities, others have set up new centralized systems. MLG arrangements are not always the same for health and social care, both of which are involved in LTC.

The impact of this growing complex interrelationship of LTC policies, from a territorial and institutional point of view, seems to be ambivalent. Indeed, fragmented authority may discourage or slow down reforms due to veto and cost-shifting strategies, ease retrenchment and increase territorial inequalities. But it may also support the development and endurance of social programs. The “layering” of governance levels is crucial: a clear attribution of responsibilities and resources among levels of government (“virtuous layering”) can allow for coordination and local adequacy. Poorly framed inter-institutional relations (“vicious layering”) may cause multiple problems.

This panel addresses the problems of MLG in the field of LTC policies (for instance  dependent elderly people and adults with disabilities). We welcome papers that focus on models of multi-level governance in this field (single case studies or comparing countries), and on their effects and impact and recent trends in the wake of the ongoing great economic recession.


Stream convenors

Marco Arlotti - Laboratorio di politiche sociali, DATSU, Politecnico di Milano,

Manuel Aguilar Hendrickson - Escola de Treball Social, Universitat de Barcelona,

3 - Cui bono? Policy design and inequalities in access, use and outcomes of care

In the past decades public care systems in many developed countries have dealt with the pressures for social and financial sustainability they are facing witha shift towards enhanced user-choice and competition, increased targeting of benefits to those in greater need, greater reliance on informal caregivers and devolved responsibilities to lower levels of government. As a consequence, care utilisation and access have become increasingly dependent on criteria beyond the influence of many users, parents, or family members, including social and financial capital. This thematic session addresses an issue that has been relatively overlooked in the context of the aforementioned transformations of care: the impact of changing institutional or care arrangements on socio-economic or class inequalities in the access, use and outcomes of different types of care, both from the perspectives of care recipients (e.g. frail older or disabled adults) and their families (e.g. grand-parents, informal caregivers). Contributions to this thematic session are invited that investigate developments in care (childcare, long-term care for older people, or both) in Europe and beyond, using qualitative, quantitative or multi-method research approaches. We particularly welcome papers with a longitudinal design or a comparative focus so as to better capture the impact of institutional design or care practices on unequal patterns of access, use and outcomes in the care sector.



Chiara Saraceno, WZB Berlin (confirmed)

Ricardo Rodrigues, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research or

Andrea E. Schmidt, Austrian Public Health Institute


Stream convenors

Ricardo Rodrigues, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Austria,

Andrea E. Schmidt, Austrian Public Health Institute, Austria,

4 - Social investment and long-term care - is there a connection?

Social investment has come to be seen as a new approach in contrast to Keynesian and Liberal understanding of the development of welfare states. It can also be argued to be in contrast to a neoliberal approach, for a description of neoliberalism (Piven, 2015). An abundant number of books and articles have been published in recent years around social investment. The concept is although not completely new (Smyth and Deeming, 2016). Recent years has further seen articles trying to measuring and analyzing whether and how social investment has developed (Kuitto, 2016, Ahn and Kim, 2015). SPRINT ( is an example of a EU-funded project looking into the area.

This session aims to explore whether there in long-term care – as for example in child-care – can be good arguments for a social investment perspective, and, further discuss how this might influencing the development of long-term care. This, as, the field of LTC is in different welfare states (Greve, 2017) so different and varied in different countries and welfare regimes that one can discuss to what degree a perspective of social investment influence the delivery, structure and possible level of public resources available to long-term care. Social investment in LTC could, as just a few examples, be rehabilitation and re-enablement, but also policies towards active ageing, or investing in welfare technology that might make it possible to continue a life independently. Benefits of investment can be better quality of life for the elderly, but also increase in labour supply (for children taking care of their parents) or reduced pressure on informal carers.

National and as well as comparative papers that tries to link the relation between social-investment, including how to measure it will be prioritized. This can also include the view of stakeholders on social investment and long-term care.


Stream convenor

Bent Greve, University of Roskilde, Denmark,

Innovation and trade-offs in care services

5- Personalization and user participation in care for older people and people with disability: between innovation and marketization

In recent decades, care and support for older people and people with disabilities has become increasingly diverse, as empowerment, choice and disability rights perspectives have influenced policy and practice in how services are developed and delivered. Providing independent living support for people with disabilities is very different from care work traditionally provided toolder people in their homesor in institutions. In different countries, developments include employing personal assistants/live-in workers; using new technologies; offering arts and humanities-based therapies; new forms of rehabilitation. Funding and employment arrangements also vary: in different systems/schemes care workers/personal assistants may be publicly funded; publicly/privately employed, but privately recruited; privately paid via formal or informal arrangements; self-employed; on-call; or in precarious employment.

This panel will explore diversity in care and support arrangements and the policy, practice, political and ethical issuesit raises. The presentations will explore the following questions:

  • To what extent has the introduction of policies of personalisation, independence and user participation led to new kinds of care and care work?
  • What claims are made about these new forms of care, and does evidence from implementation and practice support these?
  • What have been the consequences (intended/unintended) of these developments structurally in regards e.g. to marketization (for-profit actor market development), and for service users, care and support workers, care providers, family/friend carers?
  • How and why do the processes and consequences of these new forms of care work differ between countries, cultures and care-policy regimes?

Central to the discussion will be the new policies promoted within social care systems – personalisation; choice, control and independence for service users; user involvement and participation – and the new kinds of work and social relations these have ushered in. Contributors may subsequently submit their papers in a Themed Issue of the International Journal of Care and Caring.


Stream convenors

Karen Christensen, University of Bergen, Norway,

Yueh-Ching Chou, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan,

6- Achieving sustainable innovation in care: identifying effective pathways for scaling-up

Social innovation, defined broadly as “new ideas that simultaneously meet social needs more effectively than alternatives and create new social relationships or collaborations” (European Commission, 2011), has become a buzzword within the social policy discourse, despite  confusion and lack of consensus about what ‘social innovation’ actually means in the context of care. There has been considerable research conducted into the mapping of innovative practices (e.g. from new types of care services for specific target groups to new care arrangements and partnerships and new policy instruments), but much of the evidence on what works and what doesn’t has been confined to pilot studies and evaluations of interventions that are limited in their scope and reach. Evidence concerning innovations in care models and processes that have been successfully transferred, scaled up and/or mainstreamed into regional or national practice is scarce.

This thematic panel, therefore, seeks papers that contribute to the evidence base on national strategies and structural conditions implemented in different countries to ensure the sustainability of innovation in care. Innovation in care can refer either to new products/solutions or to new care processes and partnerships in the childcare and long-term care sectors. We welcome papers analyzing specific policies, papers that present case studies of innovations that have successfully been scaled up, or papers that are theoretical in nature. Papers are encouraged that critically reflect on the concept of social innovation itself, namely that address issues of definition, evaluation, or transferability, or the implications of social innovation in care on the relationship between the public, private and non-profit sectors.


Stream convenors

Katharine Schulmann, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna, Austria,

Gudrun Bauer, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Berggasse, Vienna, Austria,

7 - Caring for the places of care

Besides the extension and consolidation of large systems of monetary transfers, the Golden Age of the welfare state has been a fertile time also for the development and construction of physical welfare facilities (schools, hospitals, care centres, shelters) that often displayed high levels of planning innovativeness and material quality, in relation to the standards of the period. Some of these remain still today as symbolic artifacts of the past, and their adaptation to changing social demands and solutions is a challenge both for the organization of social and care services and for the design of their physical space.

As a matter of fact, the major transformations that followed the fiscal crisis of welfare and the emergence of new social risks related with the shift to post-fordism have come along with an increase but also a diversification of care needs, and with trends towards the de-institutionalization and de-standardization of care solutions, the diversification of welfare providers and a more active involvement of recipients. Nowadays the provision of care is less confined only within large institutions and increasingly organized also in a variety of settings, combining specialized structures, community-based services and home-based solutions, often with the crucial support of technological innovation.

The panel aims at exploring the intertwining between the new social organization of the places in which care is accessed, organized and/or provided and their material configuration. We welcome papers that tackle such issues from different disciplinary standpoints, including sociology, urban planning, policy design, architecture. The focus may be on different care policy domains (long-term care, disability, early child education and care). Particularly welcome are papers that stem from the analysis of concrete case studies.


Stream Convenors

Massimo Bricocoli, Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani, Politecnico di Milano,

Lavinia Bifulco, Dipartimento di Sociologia e Ricerca Sociale, Università di Milano Bicocca,

8 - Reablement as a strategy to regain independence: its challenges and impacts

In a number of developed countries, ‘reablement’ has emerged as a key aspect of government reforms in home care services. Prototypically, it consists of a short-term intervention (3-12 weeks) at home, of multi-disciplinary, goal-oriented and person-centred nature, aiming for the older person to regain independence and reduce - or at best eliminate - the need for continued care services. The approach is currently being implemented on a larger scale in Denmark and Norway and is also applied in Australia, New Zealand and the US where it is known as ‘restorative care’.

As it seems simply the right thing to do, reablement is increasingly being seen as a solution to a number of longstanding challenges and problems in health care and social care, including the cost pressures of an ageing population, the impact of new technology, rising public expectations and changing family and social structures. However, the evidence base is limited and some of the individual arguments and motives above may be in conflict with each other. A series of key questions therefore remain for national policy makers, local leaders, front-line practitioners and older people themselves, some of which we wish to address in this thematic panel. We solicit papers, amongst others focusing on:

  • Which organisational models and interventions are most cost-effective and work best for the individual user?
  • What is the impact on people’s dignity, well being and life satisfaction?
  • Does reablement lead to unexpected hidden side-effects such as earlier admission to hospital and or increase of alternative services?
  • Which user groups gain most from reablement: dementia, substance abuse, chronic needs, nursing home residents?
  • What are the effects on informal carers, specifically in relation to women's labour market perspectives?
  • How to translate person-centred goals into effective multimodal intervention strategies that meet the needs and desires of older people?
  • What is the impact of reablement on care workers and their working conditions, motivation and skills?


Stream convenors

Rudi Westendorp, University of Copenhagen, Denmark,

Avril Drummond, University of Nottingham, UK,

9 - Technological innovation and social investment strategies in the care sector: challenges and opportunities

Care of the elderly is a major component of mature market economies, but more research is needed to explore its potential for economic growth and its importance for future employment. In this thematic session we invite contributions addressing these issues from the twin perspectives of social investment and technological innovation. While innovation is especially relevant for two of the care dimensions this Conference focuses upon - the impact of technology on care practices and working conditions – both perspectives add a macroeconomic dimension to the analysis of elderly care.

A recent strand of research views expenditure in the care sector as investment in social infrastructure and includes econometric studies where a euro (or dollar) spent in social infrastructure is found to yield higher or equivalent employment and growth dividends than investment in physical infrastructure (Antonopoulous et al.’ Investing in Care’ 2010; Bargawi and Cozzi ‘Engendering recovery for Europe ‘2014; ITUC ‘Investing in the care economy’ 2016). While these studies are important to redress a widespread notion that expenditure on care merely drains existing resources, the aggregate and quantitative standpoint they embrace ought to be complemented by in-depth analysis of employment trends. In the elderly care sector, in particular, technological innovation holds both promises and challenges for future employment trends. On the one hand assistive technology, domotics and robotics may replace labour intensive care tasks, hence employment. On the other hand, technology tends to up-skill existing care work and creates employment in related manufacturing and service branches.  Researchers and policy makers are just beginning to explore the quantitative and qualitative repercussions of technical innovation on care work and the cared for (see for example

We invite contributions addressing the challenges and the opportunities of technological innovation in the eldercare sector. Relevant questions include:

  • Can ICT and innovation in the eldercare sector create new jobs and economic growth?
  • Assistive technologies may be effective in decreasing the caregiver burden, thereby favouring permanence in the labour market. But what are the effects on care worker’s skills, wages and working conditions?
  • To what extent do technological innovations in the eldercare sector replace care work as opposed to complementing it? Do they call for extensive re-training? Do they imply shifts in the gender and ethnic composition of the workforce, e.g. in favour of male and native workers?
  • Which technological solutions offer suitable (and cost-effective) alternatives to home care as opposed to institutional care?
  • Can technology enhance the quality of life of older adults while strengthening the industrial base in Europe through the use of ICT?
  • How can small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) participate in and contribute to the growth of care-related technology?
  • How can enterprises be encouraged to cooperate with user organizations, universities and research organizations for developing innovative solutions?.
  • How do social attitude and culture affect acceptance of new technological solutions?


Stream convenors

Francesca Bettio, Università di Siena,

Annamaria Simonazzi, Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’,

10 - The transformative power of care

In this session, we take the general theme of the conference and turn it upside down. Instead of asking how care is transformed in the current European societies, we ask how care transforms these societies. By care we refer to a wide range of ethical-practical responses to the inevitable human vulnerability and neediness in the different phases of life course and in the different scales of the society. The ways and the extent to which care needs are met by the state and by other actors, transform the society, its structures, and human agency in ways that have significant consequences for the well-being of those in the frontlines of care, such as old people in need of care, care workers and informal carers.

Already in the early days of care research, care emerged as a concept through which to engage ethically, critically and innovatively with the world we live in. Drawing from this legacy, we understand care as a resource for innovative policies, research and thinking, instead of understanding care solely as a societal expense. We insist that whilst economic pressures to the welfare state and care policy need to be taken seriously, economic targets should not overrule the quest for safe and socially sustainable care. If the transformative power of care is dismissed in care policies, there is a danger that we find increasing inequality, neglect, and abuse instead of, or entangled, with care.

We invite papers that empirically, theoretically or methodologically contribute to this question. We are interested in papers that ask, for example, how such phenomena as marketization, robotics or personalization of services answer to the expanding care needs, and vice versa, how care shapes and affects welfare mix, housing, intergenerational exchange, ICT, and overall everyday lives and (human) agencies.


Stream convenors

Olli Karsio, University of Tampere,

Liina Sointu, University of Tampere,

Intergenerational care arrangements and informal care

11 - New shapes of intergenerational care relationship

Demographic, economic and social changes are challenging intergenerational care relationships within families. Population ageing has radically increased the demand for elderly care - either formal or informal - in all advanced countries. Despite the consolidation on Long Term Care systems within national welfare state that occurred in the last two decades, evidence suggest that, across OECD countries, family still constitutes the first agency in elderly caring. Additionally, increasing life expectancy and shrinking family size have amplified the individual and family probability to experience bi- and even tri-intergenerational relationships, with the relative bidirectional care responsibilities. Despite the falling birth rate and delayed childbearing, the share of people in three- and four-generation families that can experience caring responsibilities either upward, toward older generations - as parent -, and downward, toward younger generations - as children and grandchildren - is raising in the last decades.

Social transformation, on the other side, indicate that the traditional care model, based on the focal role of women within families, is no longer feasible. Increase in female activity rates and the widespread need for families to secure a dual income have reduced the caring capacity of the family. Welfare support, especially in relation to elderly care, with marked differences across EU countries, account only partially for the bulk of care need, and it is left to the family to compensate for this gap, directly or via market solution, with potential for rising inequalities. In this scenario, the reduction of financial resources generated by the recent economic crisis, and their possible redirection toward the emerging needs of elderly population, are generating new form of recalibration between the state, the market and the family, suggesting a predominant role of the latter.

These demographic and social transformations indicate that a large pressure in terms of caring activities is, and increasingly will be, on the shoulders of the ‘sandwich generation’, who may have care responsibilities towards their (grand)parents and (grand)children at once. In this context, the mismatch between growing care needs and reduced family capacity suggests that families are facing a reorganization of the internal caring mechanisms along the horizontal line, e.g. family members, as well as vertical line, generations.

With a special focus on gender, family forms and care policies, this panel is dedicated to analyze how societal and institutional transformations as well as cultural orientation influence the intergenerational care arrangements within families.

In particular, the stream is addressed to understand:

  • How caring resources are shared between family members when multiple generations are in place, especially in relation to conflicting care demands.
  • How welfare state arrangements, care and family policy address the multigenerational care demands
  • To which extent intergenerational care is outsourced or combined with informal (work) care arrangements
  • How intergenerational care reflects on inter-individuals and inter-household inequalities

To this end the stream encourages comparative studies with socio-economic and demographic approaches, studies on gender and care arrangements, studies on family and care policies. We welcome more general comparative contribution and in-depth empirical, single case study or country comparison.


Stream convenors

Tiziana Nazio, University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto,

Matteo Luppi, Collegio Carlo Alberto,

12 - Co-production between new care arrangements and informal practices for chronic conditions

Co-production of public services is not a novelty as it has long been studied since Ostrom’s seminal work (1981). However, there has been a resurgence of interest in this topic in the wake of New Public Governance discourse. According to the well known Boivard’s definition (2007) coproduction consists in “the provision of services through regular, long-term relationships between professionalized service providers (in any sector) and service users and or other members of the community, where all parties make substantial resources contribution”. When it comes to health care, it means that health professionals and users as seen as co-participants, co-designers, and co-producers in order to improve and tailor the care process (Dunston et al, 2009).

However, policy intentions are differently translated into formal organizational practices and, besides, there are still multiple understandings of what co-production is about. As a matter of fact, co-producing services adds another layer of uncertainty and complexity to care arrangements as it entails a reorganization of formal care processes and settings in order to include and coordinate also informal channels and lay expertise. Moreover, on a sociological perspective, co-production raises issues of choice, responsibility and participation (Newman, Tonkens, 2011; Fotaki, 2011; Dent, Pahor, 2015).

Framed in this context, the aim of the panel is to bring together scholars working on diverse disciplines and diverse streams of co-production research in health care (childcare, care for frail older people and for people with disabilities), who have a common interest in advancing the field. The thematic panel will shed light on the following topics, among others:

  • deeper theoretical understanding of what users co-production is about and of the differences
  • between co-design, co-production and more traditional forms of participation;
  • existing good practices of co-production in health care (both institutionalised and informal ones), with special reference to childcare, care for frail older people and for people with disabilities;
  • organisational challenges to co-production;
  • comparison concerning co-production in different national and policy contexts;
  • the role of technologies in enabling and enhancing co-production practices.


Stream convenors

Micol Bronzini, Polytechnic University of Marche,

Chiara Guglielmetti, Università degli Studi di Milano,

13 - Making-up caregivers. How policy instruments frame and enroll family and informal caregivers?

This stream raises the issue of making and including informal caregivers into formalized care systems. It invites contributions which look specifically at the influence of policy instruments and other forms of social regulation on framing and enrollment processes.

This new enrollment of informal caregivers takes place in a complex and fraught context. On the one hand, the pressure for funding care systems induces care arrangements to relay increasingly on informal caregivers. Frequently, even the so-called “complex cases”, for people with dementia for instance, are taken care for at their homes, a situation which demands strong involvement of informal caregivers. On the other hand, the professionalisation of care – with growing intervention of both public and private regulations – for quality issues for instance –  or the differentiation of services lead to a continuing formalisation of domiciliary care provision.

Most care policy systems in Europe deal in ambivalent ways with this complex, on-going transformation. On the one side, cash for care systems, which in various cases open the possibility to compensate for the work accomplished by family or informal caregivers, might, depending on contextual settings, work as an incentive for family members to get involved in semi-professional ways in the family care tasks. In similar ways, the diffusion of training programs for informal caregivers promotes new ways to support their involvement. However, various policy discourses remind that family caregivers should not get “trapped” into caregiving activities against their will, and promote the principle of “freedom of choice.” Moreover, the labour market participation of skilled women is a further and partially contradictory goal.

How do policy systems deal with contradictory objectives and tendencies in society? How do policies concretely impact informal caregivers identities and life courses? How do newly implemented schemes frame gender, race and/or class order? Quantitative inquiries on the level of involvement of informal caregivers, micro-level studies about the decision-making process of informal caregivers to participate in caregiving arrangements, comparative analysis of the influence of policy instruments or other forms of service supply, etc. are  types of studies we welcome to this stream.


Stream convenors

Olivier Giraud, Lise-CNRS-Cnam,

Barbara Lucas, HETS-HES-SO,

Carework and changing care arrangements

14 - Men as paid care workers: barriers and opportunities for their incorporation in elder and long-term care

Care has been traditionally undertaken by families and it has been predominantly a feminine responsibility. This has led to a naturalization of care as feminine and unpaid labour which set the basis for its low social value and difficulties to acknowledge it as work. The increasing marketization and internationalisation of care has led to the configuration of a highly feminized and ethnicized labour market niche characterised by precarious working conditions.

A higher participation of men both in paid and unpaid care-work is essential to achieve a care provision system based on gender equality and social justice, and an imperative to meet the increasing demands for adults and long-term care. The proposed panel will focus on the incorporation of men as paid care workers, identifying barriers and opportunities to this end, in different national contexts and diverse care provision systems, in elder and long-term care. Attention will be paid to both home-based and institutional work as well as private and public funded care provision.

Men incorporation in women´s professions has been analysed under the lenses of the “glass-escalator”(Williams, 1992), addressing their structural advantages in these occupations. This concept has later on incorporated an intersectional perspective, highlighting that the glass escalator might not work equally for all men (Wingfield, 2009). Incipient research analysing men´s incorporation in care work has identified both barriers and opportunities related to gender and ethnicity (Bodoque et. al, 2016; Scrinzi, 2010; Quartararo and Falcinelli, 2013).

In order to move in this direction, we invite contributions to discuss further on these issues, considering differences that might arise when work is developed in home-based or institutional settings, specifically for long term and elder care-work. We need a clearer idea of the profiles and backgrounds of men currently involved in paid care-work (age, working background, education, origin), their working conditions (salaries, contractual arrangements, health impact of care), and career perspectives (temporal/long term involvement, mobility, satisfaction). We welcome papers addressing:

  • Men paid care workers’ experiences: gender barriers and opportunities, working trajectories, careers perspectives.
  • Impact of men incorporation in care work: care crisis and economic crisis as key factors in men involvement in care. Structural or temporary transformations?
  • Care provision policies and the incorporation of men in paid care work: what needs to be done?


Stream convenors

María Offenhenden, Department of Anthropology, Philosophy and Social Work, Rovira i Virgili University (Tarragona, Spain),

Natalia Alonso Rey, Department of Anthropology, Philosophy and Social Work, Rovira i Virgili University (Tarragona, Spain),

15 - Care work in different arenas: organization, work content and working conditions

Care workers are employed to provide support to children and disabled or frail older persons in home and institutional settings. Services for these groups are rapidly changing in many countries and so are the employment and working conditions for care workers. The conditions of  work affect not only the quality of the care that care workers are able to offer, but also the content and quality of the jobs in which they are employed. Working conditions in care work are themselves shaped by a wide range of national, local and workplace policies and practices that govern care as labour and care as a social service. Thus, working conditions in care work are an important focus for care research.

Papers that explore any aspect of the complex relationships between working conditions and the quality of care and jobs and/or working conditions in care and broader social and labour policies are welcome. In particular, we welcome papers with a comparative approach to care work across different sectors (care for children, disabled or older persons), different arenas (home based versus institutional; public versus private etc) or between countries, as well as papers that investigate the relationships between the organization of work, work content, working conditions and quality of care.


Stream convener

Marta Szebehely, Department of Social Work, Stockholm University,

16 - Working conditions and every-day life of migrant care workers in different care regimes

Taking as a common basis the European Parliament resolution of 28 April 2016 on Women domestic workers and carers in the EU (2015/2094(INI), we expect comparative papers describing how the economic crisis has changed, in the last few years, the access to labour and naturalization rights of migrant care and domestic workers in different countries, their working conditions, the quality requirements or the professionalization of their practices, the non-transparent mix of care and domestic work now deemed acceptable in different cultural and institutional contexts. Institutional context may include the mix of legal, semi-legal and irregular employment, the stratified and differentiated access to social protection rights as well as the influence of different practices of paying for care schemes on the part of the public hand. The main aim of the panel is to understand recent changes in social practices by focusing the deep interconnectedness of care regimes with labour market changes and migration regimes regulations at a European or global level and possibly by identifying elements of convergence in care practices and emotions.

For instance, we aim at understanding how much domestic work or how much emotional involvement are tacitly implied in care-work contracts in the ideas of the different actors involved and in the practices by which they make sense of their world. This would also show how their unspoken implications do in fact combine or sometimes explode as conflicts in circumstances of discrimination and violence. This may imply the different configurations of cultural and practical elements which are connected in everyday life in justifying the niche for care-work migrants in different countries and their social and moral image in public opinion.


Stream conveners

Brunella Casalini, DSPS Università di Firenze,

Rossana Trifiletti, DSPS Università di Firenze,

Care policy in different care regimes

17 - Family-based caregiving under transforming regimes: challenges and opportunities in Asian societies

The commitment and burden to care for children, adults with disabilities and older people depend on interactive political-socio-cultural factors. These factors include societal values and norms as well as existing policies and services for caregivers.

In Asian societies where traditional Confucian values – such as the obligation to nurture a child and a filial responsibility –are fostered, families are usually the first-line caregivers. It seems that the duty of family caregiving in Asian societies is still heavily reliant on family members, no matter whether the individuals requiring the care are children, members with disabilities or older people. The care policies may also echo these cultural values by relying on family-based caregiving for society welfare provision. In comparison, western culture may regard caring more as a collective responsibility and the position of caregiver as a social role. Theresulting long-term care costs are also publically supported.

Recently, Asian caregivers have encountered even more challenges in the transforming situations. For instance, the ‘double-ageing’ issue becomes crucial among families with members who have intellectual disabilities (ID) in Hong Kong. This isdue to an increasing life expectancy of people with ID and insufficient provisions of both residential and community-basedcare services. Increasing ageing populations in Asian countries (e.g., Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong) has further accumulated caregiving stresses on adult children. Rural migration in mainland Chinahas created a shift in the caregiving system– the able grandparents living in the countryside take care of the dependent grandchildren. Asian caregivers who have migrated to the west face other challenges such as resolving conflicts between their cultural beliefs and receiving available services provided by the local government.

In view of these factors, we propose a panel session from the Asian perspective. Papers that discuss caregiving on 1) cultural, 2) policy or 3) service level are welcome.


Stream convenors

Phyllis King Shui WONG, Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong,

Haijing DAI, Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong,

19- The Mediterranean Big Chill? Factors, trends and impacts of care policies inertia in Southern European countries

Policy reforms in the domain of long-term eldercare (LTC) and early child education and care (ECEC) have been comparatively limited in Southern European countries in the last two decades. Public intervention in these countries has been lacking, or limited in scope (temporary, incremental and/or local programs), or has undergone severe difficulties in the implementation phase. A limited increase in public coverage has not given rise to new social rights and has been increasingly matching with the growth of loosely regulated and little supported care markets on one side and with traditional informal care resources based on family solidarity on the other.

This system has come more and more under strain, because of the growth in female activity and employment rates, the reduction of intergenerational informal care resources and, lastly, the recession and austerity programs.

In the same period, though, continental-conservative countries that also used to be latecomers in care policies have reformed their care systems and expanded public support to care needs, either through direct provision and/or through cash benefits or voucher systems.

The panel aims at discussing the reasons and factors at the basis of the lack or failure of care policy reforms in Southern European countries. We invite papers that comparatively analyze the influence of different factors (cultural, political, financial, features of the State and multi-level governance structures, socio-economic regulation) on the policy inertia and on the development of care markets in ECEC and/or LTC fields, as well as papers that tackle the impact of such trends on the care arrangements, the quality of care provision or the conditions of care work.

Papers will be particularly welcome if based on empirical analysis, either quantitative or qualitative, and on a comparative approach (between Southern European countries, between Southern and continental countries; between policy areas).


Stream convenors

Barbara Da Roit, Dipartimento di Filosofia e Beni Culturali, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia,

Stefania Sabatinelli, Laboratorio di Politica Sociale, Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani, Politecnico di Milano,

20 - Post-communist transformation and transforming care: Central and Eastern Europe in comparative perspective

Kati Kuitto argues that patterns of welfare state policies in Central and Eastern Europe should be studied with a particular reference to the post-communist transformation (Kuitto 2016). Therefore, it can be hypothesized that such approach might be equally applied with regard to specific filed of policy: care for children, for frail elderly and/or disabled people. This session builds from the premise that the focus on care could greatly stimulate the research on tensions within the welfare system that rise due to the major political, societal and economic transformations. Ideally, papers presented during the session will be aimed at establishing links between post-communist transformation and the issue of care.

The second object of the session is to highlight that CEE countries with regard to care policies should not be treated as a homogenous group. Therefore, the session will be the opportunity to examinevariety of care arrangements and diversity of institutional settings among CEE countries.

Questions to be examined during the session may include (but are not limited to):

  • Did the post-communist transformation provide a specific context of transforming care?
  • Are there similar or divergent care transformations in the post-communist countries? How can similarities/differences between countries be explained?
  • Did the architecture of welfare state influence the prevalence of informal care in the post-communist countries?

The attention is mainly confined to the two main dimensions of the conference: (a) the institutional setting of care policy and (b) the care arrangements and practices, organized through formal and/or informal channels. Both case studies and comparative analyses are welcome. However, given the fact post-communist countries have been rarely studied in the comparative manner, the preference is given to the latter approach.


Stream convenor

Paweł Łuczak, Department of Labour and Social Policy, Poznań University of Economics and Business,