Welfare regimes vary regarding the relevance of the institutional domains for the production of welfare. They are contingent on the context, i.e. historical developments, the type and structure of the economy, the economic development, and the social structure. The welfare regime typology allows formulating expectations regarding the importance of the institutional domains for the production of welfare and wellbeing. These assumptions may be empirically confronting to household strategies regarding everyday life. The “cultural aspects” are included implicitly within the structural opportunities that welfare regimes provide (Pfau-Effinger 2005), as also in terms of outcomes like women’s labour market participation or women’s justification for their childcare organization. Georgia and Romania are especially interesting because of their past – two postsocialist countries – and because they took different routes after the end of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. Romania is a member of the European Union since 2007, whereas Georgia’s situation is still very much influenced by its neighbor Russia, even though the country is oriented towards the west. The proposed Conference aims at discussing the situation in the two countries regarding how welfare regimes work, how they are experienced by the population and how the population deals with them (household strategies). Of particular interest are households in precarious socio-economic conditions adjacent or slightly above the relative poverty line. They have limited resources, yet are not poor. We argue that these households are particularly context-sensitive as they experience and perceive the welfare regimes’ opportunity structures that are embedded in social structures and economic development (Amacker/Budowski/Schief 2013): the households’ opportunities to outsource or buy in e.g. childcare, health, education, etc, are limited and they are generally not targeted by specific welfare policies supporting them to maintain their socioeconomic status.
What is special about the project?
This conference will allow for a first in-depth discussion and comparison of the situation of Georgia and Romania with results gathered from the SNF project A Comparative Perspective on Strategies of House-holds in Precarious Living Conditions in Four Countries and A Comparative Perspective on Precarious Prosperity and Household Strategies in Romania and Switzerland in Times of Economic Strain financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). Over the past years, several articles on precariousness and welfare regimes of Costa Rica, Chile, Spain, Switzerland and Romania have been published. The proposed workshop is designed to gain insight in how far the specific situations as post socialist countries influence the welfare regimes and the situation and quality of life of households living in precariousness in those countries. Thereafter it is planned to formulate an SNF research proposal to compare the situation in the two countries.
The workshop was successfully contucted at the University of Fribourg, December 1-3 and assembled scholars from Georgia, Rumania, as well as, Swiss and international experts on the topic. The following themes were discussed: precarious prosperity, the development of Eastern European welfare systems, household work strategies, social class and inequalities as well as Europeanisation.
A special issue in a relevant journal was envisaged for 2017.
Persons involved in the project
Tamara Brunner, Projektkoordinatorin, Universität Freiburg
Last update to this project presentation 12.05.2020