Who cares in Europe?
This Action will define and develop an emerging research field that explores the relationships among voluntary associations, families and states in the creation of social welfare in Europe. It focuses on the question of how state welfare emerged from the social welfare provided by non-profit, non-state institutions and individuals; how it has developed and changed over time; and how, in recent years, it has entered into crisis in many countries. The Action, which is at once local and transnational, will bring together researchers and policy makers throughout Europe in a collaborative exchange. The Action emphasizes the welfare state’s deep historical roots, and will use local case studies to recover the “voices” and contributions of individuals, families and voluntary associations. This will give us a much deeper and richer story about social protection in Europe than is currently available. By analyzing the long-term development of welfare within a triadic optic that examines the interactions among families, voluntary welfare associations and states in the creation of social welfare, the Action has the potential to radically shift dominant paradigms in the field of welfare studies. The Action will contribute to welfare policy development and debate by offering a historical perspective on current problems and debates and the principles and premises that underpin them.