The Evolution of Growth and Welfare Regimes in the Knowledge Economy

An event in our Oxford Institute of Social Policy Hilary Term seminar series, Austerity and Beyond

When confronted with slow growth and high levels unemployment, governments have developed different kinds of policies and reforms in order to boost jobs and growth creation. One can call the packages of policies and reforms “growth strategies”. The presentation will analyse the diversity of growth strategies, their content and their impact on growth regimes in advanced capitalist economies. In order to do so, it will start by presenting the main challenges faced by political economies, such as financialization and the emergence of the knowledge based economy. It will then analyse the various types of reforms implemented by governments in order to adjust their national political economies to these new context. It will also underline that labour market, education and welfare reforms play a key role in the implementation of these growth strategies. It will underline that one can identify five main growth strategies to be associated with five types of particular welfare reforms: export of high-quality manufacturing (to be associated with dualization of welfare); export of dynamic services (to be associated with social investment); FDI-financed export-led growth (to be associated with fiscal and social attractiveness), domestic consumption driven by financialization (to be associated with commodification of welfare) and domestic consumption driven by wages and welfare (to be associated with social protectionism). Under European pressure, this last strategy turned out towards a “competitiveness through impoverishment”.

All are welcome to attend; we do not take advance bookings, so we recommend you arrive early to avoid disappointment.