Edited by Patricia Kennett and Noemi Lendvai-Bainton
Chapter 18: The territorial dimension of social policies and the new role of cities
The territorial dimension of social citizenship has for long been a neglected perspective in comparative social policy analysis. Conversely, in urban studies the importance of national regulatory systems has been underplayed and the nested nature of cities has been for long disregarded. More generally, scholars took for granted that citizenship systems were tied to the national level. The deep structural changes that occurred after the end of the 1970s challenged the social contract at the basis of national citizenship regimes in European countries, affecting the functioning of welfare institutions and their effectiveness. In doing so, they started in the past two decades important changes in the organization of social policies, which are re-drawing the boundaries of ‘social citizenship’ bringing about a prominent role of cities. Indeed, an intense reform activity addressed most social policy areas in two directions: on the one hand, by changing the territorial dimension at which social policies are designed, managed, funded and implemented; and, on the other hand, by increasing the number and type of actors involved in these very same activities. The joint effect of these two processes brought about a decentralization of regulatory powers and an increased role of non-governmental actors. The aim of this contribution is to explore the potential impact of these changes on the boundaries of citizenship considering the subsidiarization process underlying them and focusing on the relevance gained by cities. This implies investigating the implications of changing scalar configurations and new governance arrangements, providing a territorialized overview of citizenship regimes in some European countries considering welfare systems both in their vertical and horizontal dimensions. More specifically, in section 2 the relationship between citizenship, social policies and the production of scale is addressed; that is, how changing regulatory boundaries define new redistributive communities with different spatial configurations. In section 3, four scalar regimes are presented. They complement a nationalized view of citizenship and social policy models with a territorial dimension. Section 4 provides a synthetic overview of the opportunities and challenges of the subsidiarization process. The assumption is that they are unevenly distributed across countries and that they bring about diverging outcomes of the common trends. In the concluding section, we plea for a new research agenda that needs to disentangle the concurrent effects of policies at different territorial levels and the existing intra-national differences as key dimensions for understanding the impact of changes and the way they influence the role of cities, their resources and their capacities for social innovation.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.