Social Policy Analysis: Lifespan Perspective against Suicide by Institutionalist Reductionism
Nearly off to the printer: A small piece, contribution to a book. I had been invited to look at
The Lifespan Perspective in Comparative Social Policy Research: A Critique of Gøsta Esping-Andersen’s Model of Three Welfare States and its Implications for European Comparisons in Social Pedagogy. It is a contribution to the book Social Pedagogy for the Entire Lifespan, edited by Jacob Kornbeck and Niels Rosendal Jensen (published as volume XV in the series Studies in Comparative Social Pedagogies and International Social Work and Social Policy, Europaeischer Hochulverlag in Bremen.
My point in question, as stated in the abstract:
The major interest behind policymaking and policy research is the political system: its critique, maintenance and possibly improvement. People and real life are seen as matter of targeting variables of the system and as such they are – in tendency seen as disruptive factor. There is, however, little interest in real daily life and its contextual meaning as the actual factor that – in its lifespan – determines also the life span of social policy systems.
With the suggested orientation there is surely an important challenge posed in debates of approaches that are in one or a way caught in institutionalism, and – as for instance Esping-Andersen’s work – more oriented towards defending social democratic traditions in policy making than showing academic openness based on political-academic curiosity.