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Institutions and Individuals in the Distribution of Welfare in Europe

Final Report Summary - WELEU (Institutions and Individuals in the Distribution of Welfare in Europe)

New social risks (e.g. migration, changes in family formation, and security issues), economic fluctuations, and demographic ageing brought new challenges to societies through their effects on social equity, living standards, economic stability, and employment structure. Under this circumstance, the welfare state and the distribution of welfare in a society have become significant discussion topics in academia as well as mass media. This project aims to develop a new approach in welfare state studies using new conceptualization and the state of the art statistical techniques.

A summary of the Project Objectives

The project has the overall objective of understanding how welfare is distributed across institutions and individuals in Europe, particularly in Turkey. The following three goals are important to achieve this research objective. Firstly, this study aims to develop a new framework in welfare state studies to comprehend the distribution of welfare. Secondly, it aims to analyse social, economic, and demographic risks to the welfare regimes particularly with reference social inequalities by comparing different welfare regimes. Thirdly, it aims to re-examine welfare regime classifications and examine the question of path dependency of social policies, using particularly comparative data and analyzing conceptual and theoretical literature.

A Description of the Project Work

The researcher and his team extended their knowledge and research expertise on welfare state, social policy, labour markets, demography, and related topics during the first and second periods of the project. With the help of researchers’ team, numerous books, articles, policy reports, and welfare reform proposals were studied. Various data sets such as EUROSTAT, SHARE, and OECD were collected and organized to use in the empirical analysis. In addition to these datasets, Turkish Statistics Institute (TURKSTAT) data sets and other data resources from some state institutions were collected.

Getting more knowledge on social policy and welfare state literature, and data sets helped the researcher to improve new concepts which necessitates to form a new approach in welfare state studies. This scientific progress helped him to get his research appeared in various conferences as well as published in various journals and some prestigious edited books. Besides, the research team on the proposed project was formed not only by academics, but also by graduate and undergraduate students. As a result, some of the graduate students have written their theses on social policy, welfare state, and related areas.

A description of the Main Results

The main outcomes of the project show that the following three issues are crucial to analyse welfare distribution in Europe and the rest of the world. Firstly, the research findings show that the distribution of welfare cannot be understood only through public expenditures. One must also look at the roles of other welfare actors namely, the family, the market, and local actors such as associations, advocacy groups and foundations in the well-being of individuals in detail. Secondly, examination of how different characteristics of individuals—namely gender, age, ethnicity, and class—have influenced the distribution of welfare. There are different individuals with regard to age, gender, ethnicity, and class; and they have various needs from different welfare players. Thirdly, in the welfare state literature a broader and sociological perspective is needed. In other words, even though a broader approach is needed to understand similar socio-economic trends such as ageing, economic crises, refugee crisis, demographic aging, and etc., the proposed approach also highlights the unique responses of welfare regimes to the similar socio-economic trends. Therefore, study results show that the responses of welfare states to the new challenges are largely products of earlier institutionalized features, and changes are constrained by existing political and economic institutional arrangements. In sum, welfare regimes are path dependent.

Research Career Development

The Marie Curie Career Integration Grant provides major support for the integration of the applicant to his home country. The Career Integration Grant is very beneficial for the researcher. It helped the researcher to achieve his three goals for his career: i) securing an academic position in the host country, ii) increasing research collaborations not only in the host country but also in Europe, iii) increasing the number of publications.

Re-integration of the fellow:

The researcher is deeply dedicated to enhancing the research and scientific capacity of Turkey, and consequently Europe. In this regard, the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant is highly beneficial for him to deliver his knowledge to Turkey and Europe. Research productivity and accomplishments, excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching, ability, presenting highly prestigious conferences, and supervising graduate students’ theses are achieved by the researcher to get his permanent professorship position. The grant provided a significant support for researcher’s projects; accelerate his academic career, and his career integration process in Turkey. At the last year of the research project, Dr. Mehmet Fatih Aysan earned his associate professorship title from the Interuniversity Council of Turkey on March 17th 2017 and then got his associate professorship tenure position at Istanbul Sehir University. It also helped to broaden his research collaborations given in detail below with different scholar particularly in the host country. The project also helped Dr Aysan to increase his academic publications and presentations. Hence, the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant provided a vital support for the integration of the researcher to his home country and Europe.

Apart from supporting his career goals, the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant has a great impact in the community that involves researchers and students who would like to pursue academic careers in Sociology and particularly in social policy field.


The researcher created a website related to the project. The project web site ( ) is for general public, particularly students and researchers. This website has been updated weekly or less with descriptive tables, photos, news, and reports to notify the general public about Dr. Aysan’s research topics such as social policies, social policy institutions, employment rates, poverty rates, GDP rates etc. Dr. Aysan announces the results of his research and other issues in social welfare to the general public using this web site.