Sosiaalipolitiikan päivät 2019: Konflikti
Joensuu, Itä-Suomen yliopisto 24.-25.10.2019

Social Policy Conference 2019: Conflict
Joensuu, University of Eastern Finland
on the 24th and 25th October 2019


Helma Lutz

Helma Lutz is Professor of Sociology and Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies at the Goethe University Frankfurt/Main.

Her expertise: gender and migration; migrant women and care migration; intersectionality; history of immigration to Germany; Eastern Europe; care chains – care drain; perception of migrants in media; qualitative research methods (discourse analysis, biographical analysis etc.). Lutz has a longstanding record of research in the field of gender and migration studies. She has carried out research projects in various locations in Europe. The most significant projects from the last 15 years include:

2017-2020 Decent Care Work? Transnational Home Care Arrangements, financed by DFG/DACH cooperation with Austria and Switzerland (PI)
2014-15. Feminism and Multiculturalism. A German-French Comparison, financed by Ministry of Science, Hessen (PI)
2007-2010. Landscapes of Care Drain. Care Provision and Care Chains from the Ukraine to Poland and from Poland to Germany, financed by the German Research Foundation/ EUROCORE project: Migration and Networks of Care in Europe. A Comparative Research Project, (PI)
2001-2005. Gender, Ethnicity and Identity. The ‘New Maids‘ in the Age of Globalisation, financed by the Volkswagen Foundation, (PI)

Lutz has published 18 books as author and editor, more than a hundred articles in journals (Social Politics, Social Policy and Society, European Journal of Women’s Studies, Feminist Review, Gender, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Migrantenstudies, Tijdschrift for Genderstudies, Forum Qualitative Research, etc.), and book chapters in edited books in four languages. Her latest book titled “Die Hinterbühne der Care-Arbeit. Transnationale Perspektiven auf Care-Migration im geteilten Europa” has just been published. It looks at the European features of the globalization of care work – the East to West care work migration.

Keynote: The Entanglement of Care Work with Migration-, Gender- and Labor Market Regimes

In this lecture, I will present care migration as a phenomenon in which migration, care and gender regimes are intertwined. I will discuss the term welfare regime as introduced by Gøsta Esping-Andersen from an intersectional gender- and migration perspective and suggest an amendment of the regime concept which critically scrutinizes both, the de- and the re-commodification of labor area. Here, I will use various case studies to illuminate a variety of national welfare state’s introduction of care work in private households. By using material of the ongoing three country research project ‘Decent care work? Transnational home care arrangements’ I will demonstrate how market logics intrude welfare state policies and enhance the neoliberal understanding of the state-family-market triangle. I argue that where a market gains the upper hand and care is considered as a fictitious commodity (Polanyi), this will have serious (unwanted) effects for the development of society and its reproduction.


Tero Toivanen

Tero Toivanen, PhD (SocSci), is a postdoctoral researcher at the multidisciplinary research unit BIOS (, which synthesizes scientific knowledge on global environmental and resource pressures and studies their impact on the political economy of Finnish society. Toivanen works also for the multidisciplinary WISE-project ( funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland. Trained as a social and economic historian, Toivanen’s research interests include the intertwined processes of capital, labour and ecology in concrete historical environments. Lately his research has focused on the political economy of Finnish forestry, climate change and populism, and governance of low-carbon economic transition.

Keynote: How dare we? Consensual climate politics, social conflicts and the socio-ecological crisis of capitalism

Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is a challenge humankind has not previously faced. According to IPCC (2018) a successful climate mission will require ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’. Fortunately, awareness on the climate urgency has increased recently, and news and debate on climate change appear daily on the mass and social media. In addition, such political acts as the global wave of climate strikes have encouraged the political leaders to aim for tighter climate targets. The Yellow vests movement, for its part, made it clear that merely technocratic governance will not do the mitigation trick in a world filled with social differences. Thus, the consensual political discourse now proclaims that climate policies should be both ‘ambitious’ and ‘just’.

Notwithstanding the consensual scripting of climate change policies, no country has implemented mitigation policies in line with the Paris agreement. Simultaneously, the international climate order is fundamentally questioned by such world leaders as Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro and European far-right parties. The ‘far-reaching changes’, portrayed by the IPCC, will not come easy: it can be expected that climate measures clash with the existing social conflicts and inequalities enforced by the enduring socio-ecological crisis of capitalism. This moves social sciences (or for that matter social policy) and its ‘traditional’ objects of study, such as class, ideology, and democratic participation, to the forefront of climate mission.

My talk aims beyond the consensual climate scripting and intends to make sense of the messy world of social disagreement in the era of climate change. I analyse what kind of social conflicts and ideological settings the tightening climate measures will potentially bring fore in coming years. The talk will end with the argument that only radical and all-encompassing program of social and economic policy will be adequate to tackle the historical task of rapid climate measures.