Since the first coronavirus cluster was reported in December 2019, few have managed to avoid the direct impacts of economic lockdowns, travel restrictions, school closures, and other public health measures on their everyday lives. Rather than a ‘great leveller’ or ‘equaliser’, however, it has become increasingly evident that incidence, hospitalisation, and mortality rates due to Covid-19 have varied considerably by individual and regional socio-economic characteristics. In comparison, less is still known about the indirect economic and social losses due to the global pandemic and to what extent they have disproportionately affected different groups of people in Eastern and Western societies.
During the prevailing COVID-19 crisis social security has provided protection of individuals and families whose livelihoods have been threatened by unemployment and loss of economic activity. It also ensured systemic security by stabilizing purchasing power and helping businesses to bridge the crisis. Some countries, more than others, were able to rely on existing social security systems. Other countries have strengthened their social security with new or more generous benefits, while others have set up instruments outside social security. What do we know about social security responses in various countries around the world? Which first lessons can be drawn about the effectiveness of various strategies? And what does scientific research learn about the role of social security in guiding societies through the major ongoing social and economic transformations: ageing, climate transitions and digitization?
Against this background, and almost exactly one year after the 2020 the East Asian Social Policy Research Network (EASP) and Foundation for International Studies on Social Security (FISS) conferences had to be cancelled, we are joining together once more to examine the role of ‘social security’ and ‘social welfare’ responses to mitigate against new Covid-19-related economic and social risks. Given the ongoing travel restrictions and global health concerns, we are planning to organise the conference as a hybrid-event combining options for delegates to join keynotes and parallel sessions in a face-to-face or real-time online setting.
Besides the immediate crisis impacts and national responses, we particularly welcome theoretical or empirical contributions studying the consequences of Covid-19 for inclusive societies in East and West as well as those developing new approaches to re-imagine the role of private and collective income transfer and social investment programmes amidst the ‘New Normal’ post-Covid-19 environment. We also encourage contributions with a comparative and global perspective, particularly those including both East Asian and Western cases. It is a long tradition of EASP and FISS to invite papers by postgraduate students and early-career researchers as well as established scholars working in the field of social welfare, social security, and social policy analysis.
Prof. Janet Gornick, City University New York, United States
Prof. HyeKyung Lee, Yonsei University, South Korea
Prof. David Gordon, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
The conference programme will include a special panel of local experts on ‘Hong Kong Social Policy at a Crossroads’ chaired by Prof. Bea Cantillon, University of Antwerp, Belgium. Further details will be provided later.
Depending on the final selection of submitted papers and panels, the conference will comprise the following streams (as well as any other aspects of social policy in an Open Stream):
Those wishing to present a paper should submit an abstract of between 200 and 300 words. Information enclosed with any abstract should include: stream number, title of paper; author name(s); affiliation(s); and email address of one corresponding author.
Those wishing to organise a panel should submit a panel proposal. Information enclosed with any panel proposal should include: title of panel; objective of panel (between 200 and 300 words); names and affiliations of all panel organiser(s) and participating members; along with abstracts of three or four papers (between 200 and 300 words each); an e-mail address of one corresponding panel organiser.
In order to assist the organisers to arrange the best possible conference, all those submitting either a paper abstract or panel proposal are asked to indicate whether their intention is to attend the conference in person or remotely. People will be allowed to change their preference later, but an early indication of the balance between the two forms of attendance will assist the organisers to make appropriate arrangements and set the conference fee.
Submissions for the 17th annual EASP conference should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions for the FISS 2020 Conference should be sent to email@example.com. The deadline for abstracts and panel proposals is 5 March 2021.
The FISS Best Paper Prize of 300 Euros will be awarded by a selection committee from the FISS Board of Governors and the winning paper will be published in The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice. The author(s) will also receive two years free subscription to the journal.
Submission of abstracts and panel proposals: 5 March 2021
Notification of applicants: 31 March 2021
Early booking & registration will start from 1 April 2021
The East Asian Social Policy Research Network (http://welfareasia.org) is a regional association for facilitating research exchange among social policy analysts and providing a forum and network of communication for the development of social policy in East Asia and beyond.
The Foundation for International Studies on Social Security (http://fiss-socialsecurity.org) is an independent, non-profit association that aims to promote international, multidisciplinary research on social security, including its relationships with other aspects of society (such as the labour market, unemployment, poverty, income redistribution, savings, housing, the family, health and well-being).