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Wednesday 12 April 2023 08.30 - 10.30
V-1 SOC02 Decentring and Localizing the Mixed Economy of Welfare
Västra Hamngatan 25 AK2 134
Network: Social Inequality Chair: Giomi Fabio
Organizer: Célia Keren Discussant: Marco H.D. van Leeuwen
Moderators: -
Célia Keren : Productive Entanglements: the Co-constitution of Public and Private Actors in the Field of Welfare, Humanitarian Aid and Global Health
This paper will present the recently published edited book Public and private welfare in modern Europe: productive entanglements, Abingdon, Oxon?; New York, NY, Routledge, coll. ‘Routledge open history’, 2022. Since the 1980s, neoliberals have openly contested the idea that the state should protect the socio-economic well-being of its citizens, making ... (Show more)
This paper will present the recently published edited book Public and private welfare in modern Europe: productive entanglements, Abingdon, Oxon?; New York, NY, Routledge, coll. ‘Routledge open history’, 2022. Since the 1980s, neoliberals have openly contested the idea that the state should protect the socio-economic well-being of its citizens, making ‘privatization’ their mantra. Yet, as historians and social scientists have shown, welfare has always been a ‘mixed economy’, wherein private and public actors dynamically interacted, collaborating or competing with each other in the provision of welfare services. This book develops three innovative approaches. Firstly, it illuminates the productive nature of public/private entanglements. Far from amounting to a zero-sum game, the interactions between the two sectors have changed over time what welfare encompasses, its contents and targets, often engendering the creation of new fields of intervention. Secondly, this book departs from a well-established tradition of comparison between Western nation-states by using and mixing various scales of analysis (local, national, international and global) and by covering case studies from Spain to Poland and France to Greece in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Thirdly, this book goes beyond state centrism in welfare studies by bringing back a host of public and private actors, from municipalities to international organizations, from older charities to modern NGOs. (Show less)

Morgane Labbé : Social Movement and Economic Statistics in Interwar Poland. Building an Alternative Expert Knowledge on the Condition of the Working Class
The growth and operation of welfare states were accompanied by a considerable public production of statistical information describing the living and working conditions of populations. However, this information was also produced by private actors (workers’ unions, associations, etc.), who collected their own data either in addition to or in opposition ... (Show more)
The growth and operation of welfare states were accompanied by a considerable public production of statistical information describing the living and working conditions of populations. However, this information was also produced by private actors (workers’ unions, associations, etc.), who collected their own data either in addition to or in opposition to the publicly collected data. This was particularly the case in Poland between the two world wars: this new state aimed to take up the challenge of creating a modern system of economic and social information, but, faced with the financial crises that made a large part of the population insecure, it found itself rivaled and overtaken by the provision of information by private institutes representing workers’ unions. These private institutes often pre-existed the state itself and had previously represented the voice of the populations of the Polish territories under imperial rule. This chapter shows how a private institute, the Institute of Social Economics, helped to set up a statistical information system concerning wages and prices and to organize a survey on the budgets of workers’ families both in partnership and rivalry with the Polish Statistical Office in order to construct a cost-of-living index. (Show less)

Antoine Perrier : Muslim Charitable Societies and Public Action against Poverty in Colonial Morocco (1912-1956)
The history of assistance in the colonial Maghreb is currently limited by two factors: first, the over-determined place of the colonial state, which is supposed to have a monopoly on the very late post-1945 social policies; second, the comparison of Maghrebian welfare with a European model, comparison which underlines its ... (Show more)
The history of assistance in the colonial Maghreb is currently limited by two factors: first, the over-determined place of the colonial state, which is supposed to have a monopoly on the very late post-1945 social policies; second, the comparison of Maghrebian welfare with a European model, comparison which underlines its unfinished aspect. The notion of a mixed economy of welfare, on the other hand, highlights the mobilization of local actors, both private and public, against poverty. This mobilization was not simply the importation of metropolitan mechanisms but extended ancient forms of Muslim assistance. This paper takes as a case study the law regulating Muslim welfare societies and the origin of their financing (alms, municipal taxes, state subsidies), based on French and Arabic sources. It will show the ambivalent nature of these associations led by notables who are also representatives of the Sultan, whose financing was local but closely monitored by the national state. This example finally highlights the specific features of the history of assistance in North Africa and the history of colonial welfare, which are still little studied. (Show less)

Lola Zappi : The Armed Wing of the Welfare State: the Institutionalization of Social Services in Interwar France
Social services emerge in France in the 1920s by presenting themselves as a way to modernize and rationalize charity. Palliative relief is considered insufficient for ending poverty. Professional social workers are to accompany families in need, transmitting norms of hygiene and budget planning and controlling their use of relief. Although ... (Show more)
Social services emerge in France in the 1920s by presenting themselves as a way to modernize and rationalize charity. Palliative relief is considered insufficient for ending poverty. Professional social workers are to accompany families in need, transmitting norms of hygiene and budget planning and controlling their use of relief. Although social services emerge as private initiatives, they rapidly become useful tools for public administrations. In the 1930s, as the welfare state is reinforced through new legislation (social insurances and family allowances), social services become deeply intertwined with public structures of welfare. Why did they become such a crucial part of the welfare state, and how did state actors regulate the division between the public and the private sector of welfare? In order to address this question, this paper explores the archives of the social services of the Parisian region, as well as the rules and legislations passed on both by local public authorities and by state agents. It shows that social workers rely on the argument that private initiatives are more innovative and flexible than public administrations. In the 1930s, whereas the public structures of welfare are lacking, they succeed in imposing their staff and institutional structures for delivering relief. Nevertheless, this institutionalization is not without conflict. In the context of the rise of the Communist and Socialist parties, social workers face steady criticism from supporters of the nationalization of social services, as well as suspicion of religious proselytism. Therefore, the mixed economy of welfare of interwar France is a double paradox: the rise of the welfare state relies on private actors rather than a Jacobin state, and the Front Populaire sees the consecration of private Christian associations as key to the Welfare system. (Show less)



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