Return to Spring/Summer/Winter Schools

Forthcoming Spring/Summer/Winter Schools

The ESPAnet Spring/Summer/Winter Schools are open to (post-)doctoral researchers with projects related to social policy from any discipline and vary in length. Topics covered during summer/winter schools are, for example, the origins and development of social policy, principles and practices of benefit systems and social services, European social policy, methods of comparative research, and the identification and use of available quantitative and qualitative data sets. Participants attend lectures, excursions and participate in discussions. They also present their projects and receive comments from senior researchers and other participants.

For information on past summer/winter schools, click here. .’


WORK AND WELFARE IN THE DIGITAL ERA –                                               ESPAnet Spring school 8. -11. May 2019 in Pisa Italy

Target group: PhD students and post-doc researchers from all over Europe  Focus area: Innovation Management  Training hours: 17                                                                                                                                                               Venue:  Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa Italy.                                                                                                                                   Tuition fee: 300 Euro

Application deadline:  29. March 2019


The Spring school is co-organized by the Sant’Anna School of Advance Studies, ESPAnet (European Network for Social Policy Analysis), ESPAnet Italia, INAPP (Istituto Nazionale per l’Analisi delle Politiche Pubbliche).

The Spring school is targeted to PhD students and post-doc researchers from all over Europe. The activity will improve the exchange of knowledge between leading scholars and your doctoral students who have the opportunity to collect information and new analytical/theoretical/methodological approaches to technological innovation and the political economy European countries.

Up to 25 participants (PhD or post-doc researchers) will be selected and present their own work on the topic.

The Spring school aims at collecting knowledge and expertise on the impact of the so-called 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) – the integration of cyber-physical systems and the internet of things, big data and cloud computing, robotics, artificial-intelligence based systems and additive manufacturing – on both social and labour market policies.


Scholars from different disciplines (political science, sociology, economics) will give lectures on different sub-topics to feeding the reflection on four lines:

a) The key traits of the 4IR and its major challenges. The aim of the school project is to analyse whether we are facing or not a new Industrial Revolution, and relatedly, whether we can recognize the emergence of a cluster of new technological paradigms. Through a diachronic approach, scholars will detect the nature of the technological challenging European economies are dealing with and their ‘disruptive effect’ on contemporary political economies. Here the project will focus on the micro level in two specific sectors, following the concepts of technological paradigms and trajectories that provide an ideal framework for the study of innovative activities encompassing cognitive, technical, institutional and economic dimensions;

b) Technological innovations and their impact on the labour market and social policy. Technology affects the substantive and relational content of jobs and the individual and social experience of work. New technologies and their effects on labour markets are then originating increased challenges to the welfare state inherited from the 20th century. Shrinking workforce, growing inequalities, destabilisation of work/life balance are the most evident traits of such a weakening of old social policies originally designed for a Fordist economic system. The main challenges to the old welfare state affect three of its cornerstones: benefits, revenues, and the mix between different providers/regulators (what is called welfare mix). Scholars will look at the challenges to both social and occupational welfare;

c) The politics of technological innovation. The so-called 4IR is creating new social and economic divides that may in turn give rise to new political cleavages. As stressed by some seminal works, such cleavages have to do with the well-known dualisation of the labour force but tend to further include the squeezing and redefinition of the middle-class. The Spring school will address the issue and shed light on the emergent political dynamics (e.g. new populist movements, new political demands emerged from the losers of digitalization, etc.);

d) Industrial relations systems and the 4IR. The Spring school then aims to track the ongoing trends in industrial relations at the levels of EU social dialogue, of national peak-level social pacts and sectoral collective agreements with the aim of devising concrete strategies to cope with and/or anticipate the Fourth Industrial Revolution through sound social dialogue between policy-makers and the social partners.


The Course has the following Educational Objective: The activity will improve the exchange of knowledge between leading scholars and doctoral students who have the opportunity to collect information and new analytical/theoretical/methodological approaches to technological innovation and its political economy in European countries.

Teaching methods:

Three different types of teaching methods are foreseen:                                                                                              ·Front lectures                                                                                                                                                                               ·Presentations by students and discussion                                                                                                                               ·Plenary roundtables

Preliminary list of keynote speakers:

Marius Busemeyer, University of Konstanz                                                                                                                                    Giovanni Dosi, Sant’Anna                                                                                                                                                                   Marta Kahancova, CELSI                                                                                                                                                           Manos Matsaganis, Politecnico di Milano                                                                                                                                    Oscar Molina, Autonomous University of Barcelona                                                                                                                    Philippe Pochet, ETUI                                                                                                                                                                     Stefano Sacchi, LUISS


At the end of the Course the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies will issue a certificate of attendance with value to the extent permitted by law to the students who attended 80% of the lessons, and passed the assessment tests foreseen and are up-to-date with the payment of the enrolment fee.

Link to the Spring Schools homepage where you can apply here