Social policy is inextricably linked with issues of age(ing) and the life course of individuals. In general, it intends to provide social welfare and protection ‘from the cradle to the grave’. Time matters with regards to the situation of different (age) groups, life phases, trajectories and transitions between these phases, to name only a few aspects. In contemporary societies, new challenges arise, like providing for old age in the context of demographic change or new patterns of intergenerational relations. What is more, social policy and welfare provision vary across time and space, calling for longitudinal research designs as well as cross-national or local comparisons. A wide literature deals with shifts in policies, institutional change and ‘life cycles’ of ideas. At the same time, social and economic changes in contemporary societies bring forth new social risks and thus new challenges for social policy making and implementation.
In cooperation with FNA the ESA Research Network Sociology of Social Policy and Social Welfare (RN26) invited network members and interested researchers to its mid-term conference in Berlin on October 7-8, 2022 to address and discuss these topics. The conference was hosted by the German Federal Pension Insurance.