Conference call for papers and advance notice

University College Cork, March 28th 2014

Since 2008 Irish society and the Irish welfare state have undergone enormous upheaval and change.  Poverty, unemployment, inequality and related social problems have all increased.   Significant areas of the welfare state are being re-shaped with considerable implications for how social policies are designed and delivered and for their effects. The pace and nature of reform has been substantially altered with the demise of social partnership and three years of policy making under the Troika. Yet this crisis has also instigated campaigns of resistance and alternative proposals to Ireland’s existing welfare and economic model. This conference aims to take stock of these developments and we invite papers that explore any of these and related themes.  Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The politics of Irish welfare reform – retrenchment, restructuring, resilience, resistance.
  • The impact of welfare state change on particular social groups – unemployed people, migrants, young people, children, families, older people etc.
  • The effect of change on particular areas of social policy – social protection, education, health, housing, etc.
  • Shifting approaches to welfare policy: modernisation, redistribution, privatisation, activation, social investment etc.
  • Resistance, critique and alternatives to austerity.
  • Voluntary and community groups in the crisis and its aftermath.
  • Crisis and contemporary welfare states, Ireland in a European/comparative context.
  • Irish welfare state futures, challenges, prospects.

We warmly welcome papers from academics, post-graduate students, voluntary organisations, and community and policy advocacy groups.  The abstract deadline is January 31st 2014. For details on how to submit an abstract please visit:

The full conference programme will be available at by the end of February.

Attendance at the conference is free but registration is required.  To register please e mail to confirm your attendance.

Fiona Dukelow