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Civil society organizations and the politics of long-term care reform: coalitions and multiple inequalities

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AGenDA (Civil society organizations and the politics of long-term care reform: coalitions and multiple inequalities)

Período documentado: 2018-01-01 hasta 2019-12-31

Population ageing and gender inequality are cross-cutting political and societal challenges facing Europe. The research carried out under AGenDA contributed to address these issues by implementing a novel and interdisciplinary approach to investigate the interaction between multiple and intersecting inequalities in Long-Term Care (LTC) reforms in Italy and Spain.
Understanding LTC policy reform is a central question for researchers and policy-makers alike. The study of political class coalitions has successfully explained different trajectories of welfare state development, but encounters difficulties in explaining reform trajectories of policies (such as Long-Term Care) that relate more to life situations (ageing) than to traditional class cleavages. Against this backdrop, the overall scientific goal of this project was to understand the political and social determinants of LTC reforms, and the way the dynamic interplay between social inequalities relating to gender, age, disability and race/ethnicity influenced the capacity of LTC systems to reconcile the rights and needs of multiple social groups (family carers, care workers and care receivers). Furthermore, the project addressed core issues of social inclusion by integrating the relationship between institutional and civil society actors in the analysis of social policy reform.
Overall, AGenDA has generated considerable knowledge on the relationship between civil society organizations and social policy reform and the conditions for inclusive social policies.
AGenDA entailed an extensive data collection of documentary and interview materials which were used to analyse the influence of framing processes in the formation of issue and reform coalitions in the field of Long-Term Care in Italy and Spain. The scientific results of this project have in several ways surpassed expectations. The research did not only achieve all planned major objectives, but also further expanded on the connection between social movements and social policy which was one of the three theoretical innovation of the project. The scientific outcomes published insofar include one special issue (gold open access), four peer-reviewed articles and three documents aimed at mixed audiences.
Dissemination and public engagement have been an important element of AGenDA. Results from this project were disseminated through a variety of channels including six international conferences, the seminar series at the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS), the International Observatory on Social Cohesion and Inclusion, UNSRID, the Scuola Normale Superiore and others.
AGenDA also stands out for the organization of high profile events on issues related to this project including a very successful conference on ‘Feminist alliances: the discourses, practices and politics of solidarity among inequalities” at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence (6-7 March 2019). Additionally, it also organized two events with civil society organizations and activists focusing respectively on migration and the feminist strike.
AGenDA developed an original theoretical framework and new empirical material on dynamic of Long-Term Care reforms in Europe. Drawing on theories of intersectionality and social movement studies, it developed a novel interdisciplinary approach to the study of social policy reforms that moves beyond the single inequality and institutional focus of the state-of-the-art in welfare state studies.
AGenDA opened up new research avenues on Long-Term Care policies and their impact on inequalities related to age, gender, disability and race/ethnicity. The research identified both normative and political conditions promoting solidarity between social groups and the inclusion of multiple inequalities in the design of LTC systems. Therefore, AGenDA’s results contribute to European societies’ ability to design LTC systems that support older people ability to remain healthy and active, while also ameliorating gender and other inequalities. The findings of this project will be particularly relevant for countries that, similarly to those analysed in this project, have residual Long-Term Care policies, high levels of regional fragmentation and strong stakeholder politics.
The receipt of the Emma Goldman Award represents a major recognition of the contribution of the research carried out under AGenDA to knowledge on gender and inequalities in Europe. Against the backdrop of Covid-19 crisis and the multiple crises of care it generated, the knowledge produced by AGenDA has the potential to shed light on the vulnerabilities and contradictions of current systems of social care in Europe.