Social Care reconceptualized


Team: Eva-Maria Euchner and Agnes Blome (FU Berlin)



Much of the current comparative literature on social care is concerned with “classical” care policies such as elderly care and early childhood care. Though indisputably a significant research area, it offers a narrow account that fails to examine important aspects of the field. Not least the COVID19-pandemic and its social and healthcare consequences have re-directed the attention towards other groups of beneficiaries and forms of social care, called here “contested care policies.” This includes, for instance, palliative care for terminally ill people, care for homeless people, drug addicts, migrants, or victims of domestic violence. Moreover, the pandemic has shifted our attention back to the relationship between paid and unpaid care provided by family, close relatives, friends, and neighbors. In many countries, the state withdrew from being a provider of social care and initiated a process of economization, which brought new profit- and non-profit-oriented actors on the agenda and promoted informal care arrangements by community actors. Seen in relation to contested care policies, these shifts draw the attention to different challenges, actor constellations, groups of beneficiaries and inequalities, new forms of governance and causes of policy change. Explored from an internationally comparative perspective, this change of focus will substantially complement existing research on “classical” care policies.


We aim to bring together scholars from different social disciplines to discuss this topic at workshop taking place from the 24-26th of February 2021. Please find here the Call for Papers and send us your abstract at the latest until October 15th, 2020.





  • Blome, A & Euchner, E-M (eds.) (2023): Special Issue: Reconceptualizing social care: The new contestation of social care and its gendered implication. European Journal of Gender & Politics, 6(29).


We are more than happy to see 7 excellent papers be our in our SPECIAL ISSUE on "Reconceptualizing social care"!! Thanks to all for your enduring and hard work on drafting and revising the papers, most part of it during the 1st and 2nd wave of the Corona pandemie, challenging us all in continuing working. Many thanks goes also our co-editor, Jessica Rittberger, supproting us very much in bringin out this piece!


Please find here a full overview of all papers (and contact me if you need any full version):


  • ·        Benoit, V & Euchner, E-M (2023): Contested social care - is there a ‘right’ way? How public investments diminish attitudinal differences towards social care in 34 European countries. European Journal of Gender & Politics, 6(2): 183–204.