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Reconfiguring care infrastructures – austerity and innovation in European welfare services.

November 15 2017 to November 16 2017 | University of Sussex in Brighton

Deadline: June 15 2017

Updated: June 08 2017

We would like to invite papers for an international workshop exploring the reconfiguration of health and welfare in different European settings.

Papers should address the ways in which austerity policies, welfare reforms or healthcare innovations relocate or relegate the work and practice of care in particular settings, though we hope the event will allow for comparison across different experiences from across Europe.

The concept of the ‘chronic care infrastructure’ (Langstrup 2013) has been used to think about the ways in which health services are embedded and linked with other services, and rely on particular distributions of care / work across formal and informal providers. In this it has something in common with ‘care configurations’ (Lyon and Glucksman 2008) and with older work on welfare regimes (Esping Anderson 1990). Like feminist discussions of welfare policy, we propose paying attention to distributions of ‘visible and invisible work’ (Star & Strauss 1999) to gain insights into the normative shifts in the valuation of care tasks in the context of austerity and the changing ‘burden of treatment’ in chronic disease (e.g. May et al 2014). We are also interested in contributions that consider the role of care innovations – technical or otherwise – as tools of welfare transformation, whether they are seen as contributing to cost containment or not (e.g. Pols and Willems 2011; Mort, Roberts and Callen 2013).

We are delighted that Professor Jeanette Pols (University of Amsterdam) has agreed to present a keynote, and would be glad to hear other paper proposals from people at any stage in their career that address the following themes:

1. Displacing care – from health to social care and vice versa

2. The role of family and friends as care providers

3. The self-caring citizen – participation and new civic virtues

4. The multiple roles of care innovation/welfare technology

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted to c.will@sussex.ac.uk by 15th June. We will inform authors if they are accepted by 5th July and hope that will give time for presenters to prepare a short written draft for circulation before the workshop. We will be able to offer 5 fully funded places for Early Career Researchers (others will need to fund travel / accommodation and a very small registration fee ). Please indicate whether your attendance is dependent on funding when you submit your abstract. This event is possible thanks to generous support from the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness.