The development of welfare systems was one of the defining characteristics of the 20th century, especially in Europe. However, in times of change, it will be important to re-think “the welfare state”. The title of the research programme ERA-NET Cofund Welfare State Futures emphasizes that the future is not pre-determined. Countries have choices about how to respond to economic and social challenges, and their choices will shape the future of their welfare states.
The European Commission is providing top-up funding via an ERA-NET Cofund grant to this joint research programme.
Research on the welfare state is a well-developed field in social science, based on various theoretical approaches and a long tradition of comparative studies. However, the aim of this programme is to encourage innovative thinking: to stimulate novel research questions, to orient research towards the future, and to bring disciplines together in collective and comparative projects. In these ways, it hopes to foster theoretical, conceptual and methodological innovation.
The aim of the transnational and interdisciplinary projects is to analyse the societal, economic, political and legal contexts in which the welfare state will develop in the future and to understand better the logic of its evolution. By doing so they enable and encourage multi-disciplinary research and offer a fruitful European approach, with opportunities for comparison.
Researchers are looking at topics ranging from health inequalities, globalisation, families, migration and social security rights, to citizens’ support for the welfare state. In these projects, researchers from a wide variety of disciplines are working together across Europe, from Slovenia to Norway and Estonia to Portugal, and will look beyond Europe too.
Please visit the Welfare State Futures website for more information about this programme.
Fifteen transnational research projects were funded in the NORFACE Research programme Welfare
New brochure Presenting NORFACE Welfare State Futures now available.
Scientific Programme Coordinator
Professor Ellen M. Immergut of the Humboldt University Berlin has been appointed as Scientific Programme Coordinator for the research programme Welfare State Futures.