Insights from Street-Level Research on the Welfare State

Posted by University of Pennsylvania on April 6, 2015


States of Inequality: Insights from Street-Level Research on the Welfare State

University of Pennsylvania
College Hall, Room 205
Friday, April 24, 2015 – 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Evelyn Brodkin
Associate Professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration

DRAWING ON HER RECENT EDITED VOLUME, Work and the Welfare State, Brodkin discusses two developments affecting contemporary welfare state politics: the advance of workfare-style policies in an increasing number of countries and a distinct, but related, transnational project of governance reform that targets street-level organizations (SLOs). Evidence from international studies shows how, together, these initiatives are pushing back against the welfare state’s equalizing capacities and intensifying the precariousness of life for those at the economic margins. Brodkin shows that SLOs are at the center of indirect political contests that often go unobserved, highlighting their crucial role in mediating inequality both as shapers of policy and politics and as key points of interaction between the state and those who are disadvantaged, marginalized, or unemployed.

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