RN26_08: Global changes and international comparison
Social Justice through Affirmative Action Policy in BRICS Countries: A Global Perspective
Shri Venkateshwara University, Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, India
Affirmative action means special consideration for disadvantaged groups in publicly funded opportunities. The purpose is to level the playing field as the groups preferred are often those that have discriminated against in the past. Many governments around the world have affirmative action policies in public service composition, in publicly provided education and in government contracting decisions.The public service is a vital ground for governments to demonstrate their commitment to affirmative action.
The words, affirmative action does not appear in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the foundation document for contemporary human rights discourse. The declaration does, however, contain two intellectual anchors for affirmative action. First, the declaration repeatedly endorses the principle of human equality. Second, it declares that everyone has the right to work, to an adequate standard of living, and to education. The declaration does not command that all will share equally, but it does suggest strongly that there are minimum levels of employment, education, and subsistence that all should share. If we take seriously the promises of employment, education, and sustenance made in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the discrepancies in racial well-being in the United States noted by the United Nations report demand affirmative government attention. It seems implausible that such marked differences would occur with no discrimination lurking in the background.The European Court of Justice's (ECJ) interpretive experience with a directive on gender equality in the workplace and affirmative action has evolved incrementally.The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination stipulates (in Article 2.2) that affirmative action programs may be required of countries that ratified the convention, in order to rectify systematic discrimination.
Evolving Welfare Policies in Fighting and Preventing Violence Against Women in the Euro-Mediterranean context
LUMSA University, Italy
European welfare states deal with international policies and practices when tackling current sociological issues. Addressing the topic of violence against women is patently part of this structural relation. Cultural tendencies and ideological points of view influence the perception and the degree of understanding of the phenomenon. At the same time, the interest of the community and of stakeholders in the latter is deeply a consequence of international special attention and policies gaining momentum.
Welfare policies and violence against women come together in a regional comprehension of the differences that bring about contextualizations of the international fervors and strategies aiming at fighting and preventing the problem of Violence Against Women (VAW).
This paper intends to look at the terminology and the implementation in terms of policies, which have broadly spurred the interest in VAW inside the European Union and, specifically, in the Mediterranean area of the regional organization, causing multiple welfare policies and plans of actions. An in-depth analysis of the EU policies on the fight against gender-based violence constitutes an interesting framework for the development of the project, which aims at grasping the degree of welfare policies in forging and having an impact on facing violence against women.
In detail, proceeding through the tools of a top-down approach, and accounting for different theoretical approaches on VAW, the goal is to open the debate on the factors that cause different receptions of international documents within the EU-regional system, with a particular focus on the Spanish and Italian context.
Keywords: Welfare policies; gender policies; Violence against women; European Union; Mediterranean social welfare
Understanding Inclusion Policies and Practises in Post-Socialist EU countries
1Nord University, Norway; 2West University, Romania
Former socialist countries that have recently joined the European Union face difficulties in adapting to and implementing EU policies on the inclusion of disadvantaged populations. The European Union has addressed this through redistributive regional programmes, extensive inclusion policies and action plans targeting the most vulnerable populations. Nonetheless, development is slow and the question remains how well the social policies developed by the EU, and the mechanisms established to enforce them in various countries, address the actual problems on the ground. Although the EU policies are often incorporated into national policies and legislation, research suggests that they do not seem to have the intended impact on the situation for the groups in question.
The new post-socialist EU member states from the expansion in 2004 and 2007 are poorly integrated in comparative welfare research. However, during the last years we have seen some fruitful contributions to understanding the characteristics of the welfare systems in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) new member states. These important contributions has largely focused on social policy analysis (Kuitto, 2016, Rasell et al, 2014), while comparative analysis focussing on the implementation of inclusion policies in particular have so far been scarce.
Rose (1991) argues that ‘before we can understand interaction between nations we must understand what goes on within them’. Using observations from eight different empirical studies from seven post-socialist EU countries, we discuss how focussing upon inclusion practises in different post-socialist EU countries might give some new insights into implementation challenges in EU inclusion policy.
Decollectivization Of Social Risks: Welfare State Reform Revisited
University of Humanistic Studies, Netherlands, The
As opposed to the dominant view of welfare state reform as an issue of austerity, in this paper we aim to understand welfare state reform as a broader social trend of decollectivization of social risks. We contrast this process with collectivization, which was how the Dutch sociologist Abram de Swaan understood the development of European welfare states in the 19th and 20th century in his seminal book In Care of the State. Small-scale, unpaid arrangements (often performed by women and linked to Christian churches) were gradually replaced by collective social arrangements arranged and paid by the state. Currently we witness developments in the opposite direction. Politicians and policy makers urge citizens to take (unpaid) care of family members and friends. Professionals in care and welfare are replaced by volunteers. Fixed jobs with collective protection are replaced by flexible unprotected contracts.
In this paper, we try to explain this process of decollectivization. While collectivization was for example instigated by an equal risk ethic, the recent predominance of a meritocratic ethic gave rise to decollectivization. Other factors that we argue to contribute to decollectivization are the rise of the precariat, two earner households, secularization and the promise of tailor made services.
The implication of our analysis is that a critical perspective on welfare state reform should not merely address austerity but reflect on the broader causes of decollectivization as well as on possibilities, conditions and desirability of de- or re-collectivization.