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Social investments in the knowledge economy: the politics of inclusive, stratified, and targeted reforms across the globe


Garritzmann, Julian L; Häusermann, Silja; Palier, Bruno (2023). Social investments in the knowledge economy: the politics of inclusive, stratified, and targeted reforms across the globe. Social Policy and Administration, 57(1):87-101.

Abstract

As countries transition from industrial to post-industrial knowledge economies, education and skills are crucial. Consequently, policy-makers around the globe have increasingly focused on social investment, that is, policies aiming to create, mobilize, or preserve skills. Yet, countries around the globe have developed social investments to different degrees and in highly different forms. Our goal is twofold: First, we introduce a new typology of social investment policies, distinguishing nine types along two dimensions: three distributive profiles (inclusive, stratified, targeted) and three functions (skill creation, preservation, mobilization). This differentiation allows fine-grained analyses of the causes and consequences of different kinds of social investments, thus offering a perspective to study the relationship between efficiency and inclusiveness in a way that goes beyond the mere discussion how social investment policies grosso modo affect inequalities (‘equalizing’ versus ‘Matthew Effects’). Second, we theorize on the politics of social investment. We argue that the interaction of policy legacies and socioeconomic factors is the main explanation for which functions of social investment policies are introduced, whereas their distributive profiles are crucially shaped by political coalitions. We illustrate with empirical material from democracies around the globe.

Abstract

As countries transition from industrial to post-industrial knowledge economies, education and skills are crucial. Consequently, policy-makers around the globe have increasingly focused on social investment, that is, policies aiming to create, mobilize, or preserve skills. Yet, countries around the globe have developed social investments to different degrees and in highly different forms. Our goal is twofold: First, we introduce a new typology of social investment policies, distinguishing nine types along two dimensions: three distributive profiles (inclusive, stratified, targeted) and three functions (skill creation, preservation, mobilization). This differentiation allows fine-grained analyses of the causes and consequences of different kinds of social investments, thus offering a perspective to study the relationship between efficiency and inclusiveness in a way that goes beyond the mere discussion how social investment policies grosso modo affect inequalities (‘equalizing’ versus ‘Matthew Effects’). Second, we theorize on the politics of social investment. We argue that the interaction of policy legacies and socioeconomic factors is the main explanation for which functions of social investment policies are introduced, whereas their distributive profiles are crucially shaped by political coalitions. We illustrate with empirical material from democracies around the globe.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Development
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Social Sciences & Humanities > Public Administration
Uncontrolled Keywords:Politics of social and public policies, welfare politics, welfare states
Language:English
Date:1 January 2023
Deposited On:08 Feb 2023 13:15
Last Modified:28 Apr 2024 01:49
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN:0144-5596
Additional Information:This article is part of the special issue ‘Education as Social Policy: New Tensions in Maturing Knowledge Economies’, Social Policy & Administration 57.2.
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12874
Official URL:https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/spol.12874
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)