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Welfare State Transformation Since 1970: Comparative International Perspectives

Robert Fairbanks, II, Assistant Professor
Fabian Kessl, Professor for Theory and Practice at the School of Social Work and Social Policy, University Duisburg-Essen (Germany)

Date: April 24th & 25th, 2009
Location: The University of Chicago Center in Paris

Several scholars and practitioners argue that welfare arrangements have been "under siege" in the era of globalization. To the extent that policy agendas of privatization, retrenchment, and devolution have taken hold, experts contend that welfare states have been increasingly marked as targets of attack. These developments have important implications for social policy and social service provision across the globe.

The starting premise of this symposium, however, is that the globalization narrative on welfare state transformation is potentially overwrought. In order to truly understand the extent and consequences of globalization on social policy and direct practice, it is essential to engage in comparative analysis. This two-day symposium engages leading welfare scholars from Australia, Canada, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom in an interdisciplinary forum on late 20th century welfare state transformation. We are committed to a more rigorous understanding of the fundamental question: "what is happening to welfare states?" Our collective explorations will underscore specific historical shifts over the last 30 to 40 years in order to generate a more nuanced understanding of the consequences for social policy and practice across a range of national contexts.

The School of Social Service Administration is honored to work in collaboration with the University of Duisburg-Essen’s School of Social Work and Social Policy as a partial sponsor of this symposium.

View the agenda for this symposium.

View speakers' biographies.

Please register online for this event. The registration cost is $55 for Day 1, $25 for Day 2, or a discounted price of $70 for registration for both days.

Robert Fairbanks

Robert Fairbanks