Forthcoming Conference

The Annual ESPAnet Conferences focus on changing paradigms in European social policy and in European social policy analysis. The conferences provide a forum for theoretical and methodological questions, reflections on inter- and multi-disciplinarity in social policy research and discussions of new trends.The conferences are open to all who are active in social policy research and welcomes contributions from all relevant disciplines.

For more information on past conferences, click here.

The 15th Annual ESPAnet Conference

September 14-16, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal

New Horizons of European Social Policy: Risks, Opportunities and Challenges

Hosted by: Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas  (ISCSP)

Universidade de Lisboa

The Conference homepage:

All papers should be uploaded to the conference website. Authors of accepted papers have been provided with login details (login & pass) when they submitted their abstracts.

Papers will be available online for conference participants from 1 September 2017.

 Registration is open. Papers are due 2nd week of August and will be available on the website from September 2st.

The 29 streams at this years conference are:

1 – Welfare States in Transition: Bringing light into the ‘black boxes’ of reform processes

2 – European family policy in times of societal change and permanent austerity: drivers, patterns and future Challenges

3 – International developments in the provision of long term care: the emergence of care chains and care drain

4 – Welfare Reform and Austerity: international perspectives on increasing demand and diminishing Resources

5 – European social policy

6 – At the edge of the welfare state: marginal populations as policy Challenge

7 – Enhancing Capabilities? Rethinking European Social Policies from a New Perspective

8 – Social Policy – Making Under Pressure: Interests, Power and Discourse

9 – How healthcare systems and welfare regimes respond to migrants’ health needs

10 – Pension policies – challenges, reforms, outcomes

11 – Self-employment, vulnerability and precarity: Meeting the challenge of reforming social protection systems in Europe and Beyond

12 – Welfare States in Illiberal Democracies

13 – Cash and/or Care?

14 – Health, employment status, and disability: A comparative and institutional perspective

15 – Welfare and Unemployment Dynamics: Mechanisms, Determinants and the Role of Social Policy

16 – The State of Local Welfare: The implementation, organization and politics of local welfare

17 – Health and social exclusion

18 – Fiscal Welfare in Europe

19 – Relating Social Policy and Social Work

20 – Rethinking the Religion and Social Policy Nexus

21 – Comparative Methodology: Causal Inference in Social Policy Analysis

22 – The Middle Class and Its Impact on Poverty and Inequality

23 – Beyond neoliberalism: Concepts and ideas in current welfare state policies

24 – The Achilles’ heel of health care futures

25 – Economic crisis, poverty and policy reactions

26 – Minimum Income Standards and Reference Budgets: national experiences

27 – Linking ‘Doing Policy’ and ‘Policy Delivery’: Frontline delivery of welfare-to-work policies in Europe

28 – Building Welfare State Capacity in the Developing World

29 – Open Stream

A description of each stream can be found at: ESPAnet 2017 – Streams



About the abstracts:

Abstracts should be linked to one of the conference streams and be about 500 words long.
Only one abstract per researcher.
The following information is to be included in the abstract:
1. Main issue analyzed in the paper (about 100 words)
2. Type of methodology and sources of data/information used for the analysis (about 200 words) (in case the paper is mainly theoretical, please specify so)
3. Main findings expected from the analysis (about 200 words)
  • Abstracts may only be submitted online and please do not send abstracts to stream convenors
  • Avoid submission within 48 hours of the deadline for best system performance
  • The online submission system will guide you through the process of submission


Submission of abstracts closed: ESPAnet 2017 – Submission of abstracts


January 3rd = Call for abstracts

March 15th = Deadline for submission of abstracts

First week of April = Notifications to authors

End of July = Full paper to be uploaded




Call for stream proposals has closed:


Suggestions for stream themes:


1 – Research, Knowledge and Policy Innovation

2 – European Social Policy

3 – Globalisation and Social Policy

4 – Environmental Concerns and Social Policy

5 – Comparative Methodology

6 – Social Innovation and Self-Organisation in Social Policy

7 – Funding Welfare

8 – Family Policy

9 – Gender and Gender Equality

10 – Activation and Welfare Conditionality in Comparative Perspective

11 – Migration, Refugee Crisis and Social Policy

12 – Generations and Intergeneration Relations

13 – Pensions

14 – Health Care

15 – Social Care

16 – Poverty and Social Exclusion

17 – Education and Social Policy

18 – Housing and Welfare State

19 – Welfare state in transition (in Europe and abroad)

20 – Open Stream

Responsibilities of Stream convenors:

– Stream convenors are responsible for one or more sessions organised within a particular stream. The total number of sessions per stream will depend on the number of abstracts accepted.

– Stream convenors participate in the selection of abstracts, ranking all abstracts submitted for their respective stream. Stream convenors may not submit abstracts to their own stream. The review of abstracts will be organised after the closure of the call for abstracts, 15th March. Only one abstract submission per researcher is allowed.

– Final decisions on the number of sessions per stream and the acceptance of abstracts will be made by the local organising committee after full information concerning streams is available.

– In the run-up to the Conference, stream convenors together with local organisers, supervise the deadlines for paper submission and review the situation concerning contributed papers in case deadlines are not met.

– In the Conference, Stream convenors chair their respective session(s). Stream convenors may not present papers, not even as a co-author in their own stream. To guarantee coherence across sessions, they are also asked to a) give either an introductory presentation on the theme of their stream and how the papers chosen for presentation fit the research in this area, or b) synthesise the stream’s output after paper presentations.

Stream Themes

– As organisers, we invite and give priority to suggestions for streams that fit the overall theme of the conference.

– Over the years, ESPAnet Conferences have had many different streams, some with established continuity. A list of suggested themes for the 2017 Conference is listed below.

Proposals for stream titles may differ from the stream themes listed below, but suggestions should bear in mind that topics should appeal to a large number of researchers, allow submissions from different disciplinary backgrounds and countries and that all streams and sessions have to be organised as open streams and sessions (no closed research/interest networks).

Expression of interest:

Individual expressions of interest should fit on one page. They should include:

1. A stream title with an indication which stream theme it is directed at (see above) or whether the suggestion arises outside of the list.

2. A short description of the stream’s theme, including a description of the topics and/or types of papers that would be expected (max 300 words). We encourage descriptions of proposed themes that make explicit links to the topic of the conference and to the overall objectives of ESPAnet (see

3. Full contact details of the stream convenor/s (with a maximum of three convenors per stream): Name/s, affiliation, postal address, phone number, e-mail.

Please send your expression of interest by 25th November to the following e-mail

Acceptance of proposals

The local organising committee will send out information about accepted proposals by second week December.

We look forward to seeing you in the vibrant city of Lisbon in 2017!

Romana Xerez

On behalf of the Conference Organizing Committee

Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas – Universidade de Lisboa.