The project will elaborate on contractualism both as a discourse (comprising principles and ideas) and as a socio-legal technology. It includes the four following research topics:
1) A conceptual analysis of various types of contracts will elaborate on t he relationship between social contract philosophy and the welfare contract in social policy.
2) An examination of the emergence and development of contract-thinking in European social policy and how 'contractualism' relates to other dominating discourse s in European social policy such as The Discourse on Activation, The Discourse on Targeting, The Discourse on Incentives and the Discourse on welfare state sustainability.
3) An exploration of the interactions between the supranational level of the EU and OECD and the national level in the development of contractualism in European social policy.
4) A cross-national comparison will be carried out in order to study national similarities/dissimilarities in contractualism across different welfare regimes (No rway, Germany and the UK) on the levels of discourse and policy reform.
Empirically we are focusing on social contracts in the policy areas of employment, social inclusion and pension policies. Several sources of data will be used to inform the researc h questions. Available secondary literature covering both the relevant aspects of the international organisations as well as the national cases will be surveyed. Central publications from the international organisations and countries will be analysed and interviews with key informants on the national and supernational levels will be conducted. Various contracts in use will be collected and analysed.