Social investment is part of a strategy to modernize the European welfare states by focusing on human resource development throughout the life-course, while ensuring financial sustainability. The last decades have seen cost containment in areas such as pensions and health care, but also expansion in areas such as early childhood education, higher education and active labor market policies. This development is linked to a Social Investment (SI) approach, which should, ideally, promote a better reconciliation of work and family life, high levels of labor market productivity and strong economic growth, while also mitigating social inequality. However, institutionalization of policies that may mainly benefit the middle class has some unintended effects, such as perpetuating new inequalities and the creation of other Matthew effects. While research on the rise of the social investment state as a new paradigm of social policy-making for European welfare states has grown significantly, there are still important gaps in the literature. The chapters in this book address the controversies around social investment related to inequalities, individual preferences and the politics of social investment. This volume is therefore organized around policies, politics and outcomes. The contributing authors bring together expert knowledge and different perspectives on SI from several disciplines, with original path-breaking empirical contributions, addressing some key questions that thus far are unanswered, related to Matthew effects, inequalities, ambiguities of social investment and institutional complementarities. Furthermore, it is the first volume that covers the core policy areas of social investment: childcare, education and labour market policies.
The chapters in this book were originally published in a special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy.
1. The future of the social investment state: politics, policies, and outcomes
Marius R. Busemeyer, Caroline de la Porte, Julian L. Garritzmann and Emmanuele Pavolini
2. Social investment as a policy paradigm
3. Agents of institutional change in EU policy: the social investment moment
Caroline de la Porte and David Natali
4. Public demand for social investment: new supporting coalitions for welfare state reform in Western Europe?
Julian L. Garritzmann, Marius R. Busemeyer and Erik Neimanns
5. The multidimensional politics of social investment in conservative welfare regimes: family policy reform between social transfers and social investment
6. The Matthew effect in childcare use: a matter of policies or preferences?
Emmanuele Pavolini and Wim Van Lancker
7. Good intentions and Matthew effects: access biases in participation in active labour market policies
Giuliano Bonoli and Fabienne Liechti
8. Political participation in European welfare states: does social investment matter?
Paul Marx and Christoph Giang Nguyen
9. Pro-elderly welfare states within child-oriented societies
Róbert Iván Gál, Pieter Vanhuysse and Lili Vargha
This series seeks to bring together some of the finest edited works on European Public Policy. Reprinting from Special Issues of the Journal of European Public Policy, the focus is on using a wide range of social sciences approaches, both qualitative and quantitative, to gain a comprehensive and definitive understanding of Public Policy in Europe.