The objective of this series of reports is to study the interplay of innovations with local welfare systems, to identify critical factors and think about appropriate ways of up-scaling innovations. All city reports follow theoretical concepts (Majone 1997; Sabatier 1998) that have one aspect in common: that ideas, orientations and values in politics and policies matter when it comes to the ways local welfare systems and political administrative systems (PAS) cope with cultural, social, and economic challenges that co-shape the urban context.
This series of WILCO Project local studies of policy orientations and values contributes to the understanding of the role of policy ideas, orientations and values in the interplay with innovations for social cohesion. Innovative approaches are usually not mainstream but can be linked to mainstream politics as part of a reform approach in the political administrative system (PAS), be co-funded by it or simply link to it as criticism, suggestions and messages that come from the innovators.
Certain concerns shape inquiry and analysis of welfare innovation in its political context:
- Plurality of discourses: for understanding the interplay of politics and innovations it is important to see them in a tension field structured by the juxtaposition and rivalry of different discourses;
- The impact of history: practices and values that guide action and politics are very much coined by historical developments and experiences;
- Differences between policy fields: While there may be often a kind of overarching narrative, shaped by national politics and dominating local coalitions, due to a number of factors, situations in different policy field may vary;
- Political administrative system and welfare system: understanding a welfare system as large and mixed, comprising of the fields family and community, business sector and third sector of associations we look at welfare developments and their role as part of a mixed and encompassing welfare system.