Nordic Centre of Excellence:
Reassessing the Nordic
Bjørn Hvinden +4722541217
Viggo Nordvik +4722541269
Mi Ah Schøyen +4722541286
Workshop series 2012: Future directions in international comparative social policy
In the context of an increasingly internationalised, complex and uncertain world this series of workshops brings together the work of researchers in the field of comparative social policy analysis in order to create an arena in which to explore contemporary debates and issues relating to international comparative research.
The workshop series seeks to embrace both methodological and theoretical concerns across a range of substantive policy areas and, in turn, to consider the implications and strategies for teaching the subject in higher education.
Organisers: Prof. Jochen Clasen, University of Edinburgh, Dr Patricia Kennett, University of Bristol, and Prof. Martin Seeleib-Kaiser, University of Oxford.
Workshop I: Comparative Methods (12-14 January 2012), University of Oxford:
The workshop provides an overview of various comparative research methods and approaches, including comparative historical institutionalism, descriptive statistics, cluster analysis, qualitative comparative analysis, structural equation modeling, principal component analysis and multiple correspondence analysis. Issues to be covered are choice of units of analysis, standardization and equivalence, linking macro and micro data, as well as the time dimensions. Substantively, the workshop will draw on examples from comparative social policy analysis. A limited number of participants will have the opportunity to discuss/present the methodological issues/challenges they are encountering with their comparative research projects.
The workshop can accommodate up to 20 participants (graduate students, researchers or faculty members interested or engaged in comparative analysis) from institutions of higher education in the United Kingdom. The participation in the workshop is free of charge, and reasonable travel and accommodation costs will be covered. In order to apply, please, send a brief personal statement outlining the reasons for your interest in the workshop to Emanuele Ferragina at the Oxford Institute of Social Policy, University of Oxford (email@example.com) before 1 December 2011 at noon; successful participants will be notified by 15 December at the latest.
The workshop is funded by the ESRC as part of the project 'Integrating Macro and Micro Perspectives in Cross-National Comparison: Dynamic Policy Structures and Individual Outcomes' (RES-239-25-0029).
Workshop 2: Theories, frameworks and concepts (5 July 2012), University of Bristol:
This one-day workshop is concerned with exploring the range of theoretical approaches, frameworks and concepts used to explore and analyse social policy in a comparative, cross-national context across a range of substantive social policy areas. The workshop will consider the contribution and continuing relevance, or otherwise, of established theories and frameworks. It will also explore the theoretical and analytical challenges facing comparative social policy in the context of globalisation, a reconstituted state and new social risks, and strategies for addressing these challenges.
The workshop is free of charge. As well as invited speakers we would like to include papers from those currently working in this area. If you would like to have your paper considered for inclusion in the workshop please send a 400 word abstract to Dr Patricia Kennett (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday, 30 March 2012.
To enroll for the workshop please contact Dr Patricia Kennett (email@example.com).
Workshop 3: Teaching Comparative Social Policy (29 November 2012), University of Edinburgh:
How can comparative social policy be taught? How should it be taught?
Comparative, and international, social policy has gained a lot of ground in recent decades. International research networks and annual conferences have been firmly established, bringing together social policy analysts who routinely work comparatively and cross-nationally. Similarly, doctoral workshops on comparative social policy are fairly common these days. By contrast, there seems to have relatively little progress in terms of teaching comparative social policy at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
The number of dedicated handbooks and texts on comparative analysis is considerably smaller than in other disciplines, such as political science or public policy. Equally, the material covered seems more arbitrarily assembled rather than systematically put together. As a result, while generally popular with UG and PG students, university courses on comparative social policy often borrow considerably from other disciplines - and seem to vary considerably in terms of substance, themes, methods covered etc. Perhaps this variation should be celebrated rather than regarded as a problem. And yet, finding an appropriate and appealing mix of methodological and thematic aspects of comparative social policy is often problematic both at UG and PG level.
This workshop therefore brings together colleagues engaged, or interested, in teaching comparative social policy with the aim of sharing ideas and (best) practice. Its objective is to reflect on ways of (improving) such teaching, to contemplate which (if any) aspects should routinely be covered in the curriculum and to exchange ideas as to what may become a more systematic body of knowledge to draw on for the study of social policy at higher education level.
The one-day workshop is free of charge. It will be based on invited papers and presentations on different aspects of teaching comparative social policy, followed by general discussions. To enrol for the workshop please contact Jochen Clasen (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 31 August 2012.