CFP: Workshop ‘Financing Welfare Arrangements in Times of Transition. Europe from the 17th to the early 20th century’

European University Institute, Florence, Italy, 6-7 May 2019

Keynote speakers: Jaco Zuijderduijn (Lund University) and Regina Grafe (EUI)

Application deadline: 22 February 2019

Historical and contemporary research on diverse regional and national trajectories of welfare arrangements – including welfare states – has increasingly acknowledged the importance of non-state actors in providing welfare. This emerging pluralist vision of care-provision puts a classical periodization of welfare development into question. Nascent welfare states of the second half of the 19th century have traditionally been portrayed as highly time-specific responses to unprecedented conditions of industrialization and its social costs, thus being put in general discontinuity to preceding arrangements of the early modern era. Turning away from fully state-sponsored welfare allows us to dissolve rigid categories of “modern” and “pre-modern” welfare and to investigate the continuities between charity, co-financed, collective or commercial insurances or private arrangements across these centuries.

The focus on financing structures will serve as a common comparative horizon for the workshop, addressing exemplary questions, such as: Did 19th century “innovations” indeed constitute a clear break with earlier patterns? How did modes of finance impact governance structures of welfare arrangements? To what extent did the interplay between those who paid and those who decided impact the definition of social risks and entitlement to social welfare? This workshop will try to zoom in on a transition period between welfare provision in estate-based societies on the one hand and emerging industrial societies on the other. By focusing on financing structures of welfare arrangements between the 17th and the early 20th century the workshop seeks to highlight potential patterns and trajectories of financing, governance structures, socio-economic contexts and regional divides. Finally, by bringing early modernists and modernists at the same table, the workshop will try to modify rigid periodization in the history of welfare and to excavate the longue durée of welfare policy legacies.

The workshop especially encourages submissions by young researchers that cover the following subjects and topics within the period from the 17th to the early 20th century:

Co-Financing Structures of Welfare Arrangements
Continuity and/or Discontinuity looked at in Case Studies
Mixed Economy of Welfare & the Distinction between Public and Private
Financing, [Democratic] Governance and Access
Economic and Altruistic Motives in the Management of Charity
Methodological Issues & Source Criticism in the Study of Welfare Provision

The official language of the workshop is English. Abstracts (300-500 words) should be sent to by February 22nd, 2019. Please attach a brief CV. Notification of acceptance will be sent by March 4th. Participants are expected to submit papers (max. 10.000 words) by April 23rd, papers will be circulated in the week before the workshop.

This workshop is financially supported by the Department of History and Civilization of the European University Institute. Funding for accommodation and hospitality will be available, participants will be expected to pay for their own travel.


Ludwig Pelzl, European University Institute (

Jonathan Fink-Jensen, European University Institute (

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: