Care and welfare in a resilient society

Informal and formal social structures, such as families, communities and societal organisations,  are the vehicles of societal solidarity. They offer citizens security, integration and care, and together they provide an important safety net for the vulnerable and dependent. These social structures and the way they are arranged in society are influenced by macro-developments such as individualization, globalization, welfare state retrenchment, virtualization and aging. Our society to date is challenged particularly as the reform of collective arrangements evokes a shift towards more private responsibility for care and welfare in times where demographic developments (ageing, migration) lead to more citizens in need.

This calls for innovative forms of solidarity at all levels. Studying societal resilience in the domain of care and welfare thus raises new questions regarding 1) forms and functioning of social capital in informal groups, 2) organizational aspects of civic participation, 3) collaborative relationships between government, private and public partners, 4) welfare policies that ‘prepare’ individuals and societies to cope with social risks, and 5) outcomes of new types of arrangements in terms of cohesion and inequality in society. This research theme will focus on the conceptual, theoretical and empirical elaboration of these questions from an individual, organizational and societal perspective. Together with societal stakeholders, researchers will formulate innovative and interdisciplinary research projects and increase insight in society’s resilience in the domain of care and welfare.

Contact: Marjolein Broese van Groenou, Professor informal care.