1. To identify the complexity of forms of social exclusion in contemporary, globalised Europe, with attention to spatial, generational, educational, gender and ethnic differences.
2. To use contemporary social theory and biographical methodologies to develop new perspectives in European social policy and bridge the gaps between theory, policy, practice and experience.
3. To treat welfare citizens as active, moral and emotional agents with their own individual and social strategies within the constraints and opportunities of modern risk societies.
4. To explore and compare interrelationships between national welfare regimes, third sector associational forms, and informal networks, as contexts for social strategies and as they are 'lived through' in individual biographies.
5. To use and build on the resources of a strong network of experienced qualitative researchers in the development of new instruments in comparative analysis of social policy; the frequency of meetings and staged progress will maximise flexibility and experimentation, and the collaborative refining of expertise.
6. To make a study of flagship projects in each country, focusing on client and professional perspectives and relationships, in order to highlight examples of best practice in contrasting national and social settings. 7. To consult with and influence policy makers in the development of more socially facilitative yet differentiated policy mechanisms.
The study is in two phases, 1996-8 and 1998-9. The first phase will compare six social groups (ex-traditional workers, unemployed graduates, unqualified youths; lone parents; early retirees; ethnic minorities) in eight countries, which represent a great variety of welfare regimes. The second phase examines flagship agencies as examples of best practice.
The partners meet approximately three times a year, in a process of intensive, specialist collaboration. Preliminary reports will be produced at regular intervals before the two final reports. Policy makers will be consulted through three policy meetings involving government, NGO, political party representatives in each country, as well as at the EU level.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
405 30 Goeteborg
118 51 176 71 Kallithea - Athens