Family and gender policies in Norway

Leira, Arnlaug
The NorSpaR project aims to analyse the main public policy initiatives by which Norway and Spain cope with the new social and economic challenges derived from the so-called New Social Risks (NSR). Although both countries present significant differences in their institutional settings (such as Spanish EU membership), or its belonging to diverse welfare regimes types (Norway is generally included in the Nordic regime, while Spain is part of the Mediterranean one), both countries share a common interest in addressing the aforementioned challenges while maintaining social cohesion. In the last decade, governments in both countries have tried to respond to those challenges by reforming their labour markets, adapting their unemployment schemes, as well as their gender, family and long-term care policies. The analysis covered in this project includes three areas of public policy addressing NSR. First, dependency is one of the most daunting challenges for post-industrial societies experiencing population ageing and with an increasing number of frail people in need of care. This situation is forcing governments to rethink their long-term care policies. Second, family and gender public programs need to respond to the growing difficulties of families in reconciling professional and family life. Third, in the transition to a post-industrial order, and in a context of mass unemployment, social protection systems have a renewed prominence. Along with the so-called passive policies offering financial support to the unemployed, active labour market policies are geared to put people back into work. In our analysis we try to find answers to the following questions: What are the challenges that each of these policies have been trying to address in recent years? How have these policies evolved? What kinds of reforms have been implemented, and which ones have been neglected? Have the policy goals and targets of welfare programs been modified in any significant way? Have the policy tools (services, transfers, funding or models of provision) changed? To what extent have these policies been successful in coping with social and economic problems? To what extent a social demand in favour of these changes exist? What are the main political and social actors intervening as stakeholders in these policies? Finally, what are the major similarities and differences existing between the two countries? To what extent are there policy proposals that might easily travel between them? Could they foster mutually enriching exchanges of information?
Área(s) temática(s):
Tipo de publicación:
Estudios/WorkingPapers GIGAPP
Palabras clave:
Welfare State, Public Sector Reform, Public Policies, Labour market, Long Term Care, Family Policies, Europe
GIGAPP- IUIOG. Estudios Working Papers. Num WP-2015-04. ISSN: 2174-9515
Madrid, España
This paper is part of a Special GIGAPP Working Paper series aimed at disseminating the results of the NorSpaR Project (Coping with New Social Risk in Norway and Spain: Long-term policies, gender and family policies, and labour market and unemployment protection). This project has been financed by the EEA Grants through the Norwegian Embassy in Spain, and conducted by a group of Norwegian and Spanish researchers, including: Erling Barth, Inés Calzada, Svein Olav Daatland, Angie Gago, Arnlaug Leira, Pau Mari-Klose, Francisco Javier Moreno Fuentes, and Eloisa del Pino.
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