Exploring the multi-level governance of welfare and social innovation

Stijn Oosterlynck, Yuri Kazepov, Andreas Novy, Pieter Cools, Florian Wukovitsch, Tatiana Saruis, Eduardo Barberis, Bernhard Leubolt

Publikation: Working/Discussion PaperWorking Paper/Preprint


This paper is concerned with the spatial and institutional conditions under which localized forms of social innovation can complement and strengthen existing institutionalized welfare programs and schemes. It aims to identify relevant concepts to analytically frame socially innovative policies within the changing institutional context of welfare state policies. In order to do so, we explore several complementary bodies of literature: the literature on welfare state models and welfare mix and the literature on multi-level governance and state rescaling. The paper starts with a brief account of the emergence, evolution and classification of the European welfare states and then goes on to problematize two aspects of contemporary thinking about the welfare state in its various forms, namely methodological nationalism and state-centrism. It does so by analysing the Europeanisation of social policy, the localization of the welfare state and the changing welfare mix. The main part of the paper addresses these two shortcomings. Methodological nationalism is addressed through the literature on state spatial restructuring and multi-level governance, while state-centrism is challenged by discussing the literature on welfare mix and by unpacking the concept of governance in its multiple dimensions. At the end of this part we list the main insights and concepts derived from the literature on state rescaling and multi-level governance that help to shed light on the relationship between local social innovation and the welfare state. In the conclusion to this paper, we connect all this to social innovation and explore how variations in territorial organisation, mode of governance and welfare regimes could correspond to variations in the openness to and capacity of social innovation.
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Okt. 2013


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