9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN27 Regional Network on Southern European Societies

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Welfare State in Southern Europe: Comparative Approaches Building II, Auditório C1.03

The competitiveness of welfare systems analyzed through equity:a comparison between Italy and France

According to Esping-Andersen (1990), the french welfare system and the italian one belong to the same family of nations but they indicate two different characters: the first is more hybrid et less conservative than the second one.
M. Ferrera (1993), observing the particular and nepotistic character of italian welfare system, contributed to distinct clearly the french system from the italian one. But welfare systems more frequently represent dynamic processes that depend on continuous transformations and adjustments, and are exposed to challenges of competitiveness and to growing diversification of social needs. In this framework, the processes of implementation of european politics forms a legal and procedural frame which promotes hypothesis of convergence among several national welfares. Moving from the processual and dynamic nature of welfares and putting in the epistemological frame of public action sociology, the objective is exploring kinds of mutual adjustments among french and italian systems. If the most differential character and the most promotional function of welfares are the facets that mainly promote their dynamism and their competitiveness, how Scharpf remarks, we suggest to analyze these characters in relation to specific institutional conditions and to different processes of collective legitimization of equity principles. In particular, through a comparative research, we want to verify if competitiveness and dynamism can be favoured by an attentive differentiation among several programs, that is the chance to increase the number of subjects which suggest a welfare program, to multiply situations and occasions of suggestion/correction of the program, and to think about coherency between the finalities/configurations of programs and the capabilities/ambitions of interested subjects.
Concepting welfares not like political outputs but such as outcomes, that are interdependent from legitimization and organization of different democratic systems, and analyzing in a comparative perspective seems to be useful - as N. Bobbio defined - to think about a democratic practice.