WP 11 – Assessing socially innovative policies and actions: policy and action labs for macro-level welfare policies

This WP aims to assess local socially innovative policies and practices that address new and growing inequalities. In order to assess the extent to which socially innovative policies and actions help those (social groups of) European citizens that are identified as poor and socially excluded, special attention will be paid to the governance dimensions of successful socially innovative policies and actions.

More specifically we will address the governance challenges that are rooted in the complex interrelationships between the typical actors (community organisations, local states, NGOs and social movements, social economy firms, etc.), instruments and goals of local forms of social innovation and the redistributive policies of the national welfare state.

This WP will draw on three bodies of literature, namely the social innovation literature (Klein and Harrison, 2007; Moulaert, Martinelli and Swyngedouw, 2005), the emerging literature on rescaling social policy (Kazepov, 2010; Brenner, 2004; Cantillon, Popelier and Mussche, 2010) and macro- institutionalist literature on policy mix and instruments (Thelen, 2004; Beland, 2007).

We will identify and assess local socially innovative policies and actions, focussing on policies and actions that have experimented (successfully or not) with policy mixes that include socially innovative instruments (social learning, awareness raising and collective action/mobilisation) and with multi-level governance, i.e. learning, mobilising diverse actors and resources and raising awareness of local social needs across various spatial scales. The case studies will be sourced in close cooperation with the extensive stakeholder group of SOCIAL POLIS, Eurocities, EUKN and URBACT. They will be assessed using a comparative and transdisciplinary method.

The call for promising socially innovative initiatives is now online (see here)!