Local Governance and Welfare Production – a research course

Locals Politics makes the political system viable. It brings politics to the people. And it is especially the local level, where welfare is provided, and indeed produced. Starting from concepts of welfare, political systems and local governance, the aim of the seminar is to look at the (legal and structural) frameworks, actors and constraints of local welfare production from a systematic and comparative perspective.

Local welfare production and governance arrangements include public and private actors, such as administrations and NGOs. Local administrations usually have two roles in welfare production. First, they provide and distribute welfare (e.g., social security assistance) on behalf of the national or regional welfare system, and second, they produce welfare at their own responsibility (like childcare, and others) according to the principles of subsidiarity. Associations and NGOs often complement welfare provision on the local level, especially in areas where public administrations are weak or non-performant. So, a third sector arises and gains importance. Sometimes associations and NGOs act on behalf of administrations and are agents of welfare provision. Sometimes they offer their own services.

During the summer semester, Students from Petrozavodsk State University and Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen have conducted research projects to explore different aspects of local governance and welfare production. During a joint Fall School from 04-08. October 2021, they discussed and compared their results and present their core findings. In addition, there was a continued discussion on challenges and chances of local governance in providing welfare and better living conditions for their people.

The topics discussed included:

  • Local and interregional environmental initiatives
  • Politics and policies during the Covid-19-pandemic
  • Associations and organizations during the pandemic
  • Social and health issues during the pandemic

Several external partners from Universities, Civil Society and public administration contributet inputs to the discussion. Among others these were:

The Course and the Fall School were hosted by Prof. Elena Chernenkova, Petrozavodsk State University, Natalya Lavrushina, Karelian public diplomacy development foundation, and Dr. Rolf Frankenberger, University of Tuebingen.

The whole project was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD

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