Department of Sociology and Criminology

Reconfiguring Care Infrastructures: Austerity and Innovation in European Welfare Services

15-16 November, 2017, University of Sussex, Brighton


Wednesday 15 November & Thursday 16 November 2017


University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH

About the workshop

This international workshop will explore the reconfiguration of health and welfare in different European settings.

Presentations will address the ways in which austerity policies, welfare reforms or healthcare innovations relocate or relegate the work and practice of care in particular settings, though we hope the event will allow for comparison across different experiences from across Europe.

The concept of the ‘chronic care infrastructure’ (Langstrup 2013) has been used to think about the ways in which health services are embedded and linked with other services, and rely on particular distributions of care/work across formal and informal providers. In this it has something in common with ‘care configurations’ (Lyon and Glucksman 2008) and with older work on welfare regimes (Esping Anderson 1990). Like feminist discussions of welfare policy, we propose paying attention to distributions of ‘visible and invisible work’ (Star & Strauss 1999) to gain insights into the normative shifts in the valuation of care tasks in the context of austerity and the changing ‘burden of treatment’ in chronic disease (e.g. May et al 2014). We are also interested in contributions that consider the role of care innovations – technical or otherwise – as tools of welfare transformation, whether they are seen as contributing to cost containment or not (e.g. Pols and Willems 2011; Mort, Roberts and Callen 2013).

We are delighted that Professor Jeanette Pols (University of Amsterdam) and Brit Ross Winthereik (University of Copenhagen) have both agreed to present a keynote at the workshop.

This workshop is initiated by the Department of Sociology, University of Sussex, with support from the University of Copenhagen and University of Urbino.

Contact and booking your place

This workshop is being organised by Dr Catherine Will

For general enquiries, please write to:

Please note

The fee for this 2-day event is £35.


We will be able to offer 5 fully funded places for Early Career Researchers (others will need to fund travel/accommodation and a very small registration fee).

Please indicate whether your attendance is dependent on funding when submitting your abstract. 

This event is possible thanks to generous support from the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness and Sussex European Institute.

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Accommodation in Brighton is available