Between Independence and Fragmentation: Devolving the Welfare State
Comparative research on the transformation of the welfare state has tended to focus on changes in the levels of generosity and content of social policies. Yet, authors have tended to overlook other manifestations of these changes, namely the modifications of labour market political institutions and intergovernmental relations through the spatial re-configuration of the welfare state. In this context, attention must be paid to changes in ‘social policy governance’, including the re-allocation of social policy competences across levels of government. This presentation focuses on the re-design and implementation of new institutional (intergovernmental) models of labour market policies (LMPs). We explore various models of LMP decentralization. More specifically, to illustrate our arguments we compare and contrast the Spanish and Italian cases—two countries that have recently devolved LMP competencies to the regions. By addressing these issues, we seek to shed light on the implications of the new architecture of LMPs.