Sustainable European welfare societies Assessing linkages between social and environmental policy

Expert Workshop on Sustainable Welfare

by Mi Ah Schoyen

Pufendorf Institute, Lund University, Lund 7-8 May 2015


Lund University logoThis expert workshop addresses the question of what is required to make welfare societies ecologically sustainable. The purpose of the workshop is to join research on welfare and sustainability, which until now has been carried out separately and in isolation with little contact and cross-fertilization between the two currents.

While contemporary welfare literature circles around the crisis of the national welfare state and corresponding readjustments, ecological concerns – voiced as early as the 1970s– has been largely ignored. Meanwhile, the world is searching for pathways towards a sustainable welfare society, but there is yet ‘no credible, socially just, ecologically sustainable scenario of continually growing incomes for a world of nine billion people’ (Jackson 2009).

Emerging research in ecological economics, social policy, and philosophy has begun to conceptualize welfare, prosperity and happiness in alternative ways. There is thus a momentous, and largely unexplored, opportunity for merging welfare research with research on sustainability. The project Sustainable Welfare at the Pufendorf Institute, Lund University, brings together a multi-disciplinary group of researchers from five faculties to study these issues.

In this workshop acclaimed international scholars are invited to address the following questions:

•    How can human well-being, social welfare and ecological sustainability concerns be reconciled?
•    What are the most important practical steps in order to move towards sustainable welfare societies?
•    How does the research agenda need to develop to respond to the challenges of sustainable welfare?

Max Koch, Bjorn Hvinden and Mi Ah Schoyen will all speak at the workshop.

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