Workshop: New Approaches to the Political Economy of Social Policy

The international workshop “New Approaches to the Political Economy of Social Policy” organized by Irene Menéndez Gonzalez (University of Zurich), Santiago López-Cariboni (Catholic University of Uruguay) and Sarah Berens (UoC) took place on May 23rd-24th at the Robert Ellscheid Saal of the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation in Cologne, Germany. It presented the take-off meeting to generate a research group devoted to studying the political economy of social policy (PESP) in a broader sense.

In recent years, social policymaking in developing countries has undergone fundamental changes and diverted scholarly interest from welfare state research in well-established democracies to the nascent field of developing economies. Understanding who benefits from social policy, who is hurt by it and when political actors are most likely to provide it is crucial to understand the different patterns of social policy, its causes and consequences, in developing economies. The workshop gathered a group of international scholars devoted to the question of obstacles and challenges of social policymaking in developing countries to address a topic of urgent interest: the expansion of social protection programs to the poor and vulnerable.

The workshop was financed by the International Activities in the Competence Areas of the University of Cologne Grant. We are grateful to the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation for hosting the workshop at their venue.

 Additional information can be found on the website of the newly established research group Political Economy of Social Policy (PESP) on

PESP Cologne 2016