The 17 th Annual Conference of
the East Asian Social Policy Research Network &
The 27 th Annual Conference of the Foundation for
International Studies on Social Security

MITIGATING THE ECONOMIC AND
SOCIAL IMPACT OF COVID-19:
SOCIAL SECURITY AND SOCIAL WELFARE RESPONSES
IN EAST AND WEST

2-4 July 2021, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Real-time online access will be provided

Deadline for Abstracts and Panel Proposals: 5 March 2021

Since the first coronavirus cluster was reported in December 2019, few have managed to avoid the direct impacts of economic lockdowns, travel restrictions, school closures, and other public health measures on their everyday lives. Rather than a ‘great leveller’ or ‘equaliser’, however, it has become increasingly evident that incidence, hospitalisation, and mortality rates due to the prevailing Covid-19 crisis have varied considerably by individual and regional socio-economic characteristics. In comparison, less is still known about the indirect economic and social losses due to the global pandemic and to what extent they have disproportionately affected different groups of people in Eastern and Western societies.

During the prevailing Covid-19 crisis social security and social welfare policies have provided protection for individuals and families whose livelihoods have been threatened by unemployment and loss of economic activity. They also ensured systemic security by stabilizing purchasing power and helping businesses to bridge the crisis. Some countries more than others, were able to rely on existing social security and social welfare policies, while others have strengthened their existing structures with new or more generous benefits. Yet again, others have set up new social policy instruments. What do we know about social security and social welfare responses in various regions around the world? Which first lessons can be drawn about the effectiveness of various social policy strategies? And what can scientific research learn about the role of social security and social welfare in guiding societies through other major ongoing social and economic transformations: ageing, climate transitions, and digitization? Against this background, and almost exactly one year after the 2020 the East Asian Social Policy Research Network (EASP) and Foundation for International Studies on Social Security (FISS) conferences had to be cancelled, we are joining together once more to examine the role of social security and social welfare responses to mitigate against new-Covid-19-related economic and social risks.

Besides the immediate crisis impacts and national responses, we particularly welcome theoretical or empirical contributions studying the consequences of Covid-19 for the future of inclusive societies in East and West as well as those developing new approaches to re-imagine the role of private and collective income transfer and social investment programmes amidst the ‘new normal’ Covid-19 environment. We also encourage contributions with a comparative and global social policy perspective, particularly those including both East Asian and Western cases. It is a long tradition of EASP and FISS to invite papers by postgraduate students and early-career researchers as well as established scholars working in the field of social welfare, social security, and social policy analysis.

Given ongoing quarantine requirements in Hong Kong, international travel restrictions, and global health concerns, we are planning to organise the conference as a hybrid-event that combines options for delegates to join keynotes and parallel sessions together in a real-time face-to-face or online setting. Real-time online access will be provided to all delegates.

Confirmed Keynote speakers:

  • Prof. Janet Gornick, City University New York, United States
  • Prof. HyeKyung Lee, Yonsei University, South Korea
  • Prof. David Gordon, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

The conference programme will include a special panel of local experts on ‘Hong Kong Social Policy at a Crossroads’ chaired by Prof. Bea Cantillon, University of Antwerp, Belgium. Further details will be provided later.

Depending on the final selection of submitted papers and panels, the conference will comprise the following streams (as well as any other aspects of social policy in an Open Stream):

  1. Social Policy Responses to the Covid-19 Crisis
  2. Welfare States & Welfare Regimes
  3. Social Security & Social Justice
  4. Governance, Service Delivery & Community Participation
  5. Migration, Social Rights & Citizenship Stratification
  6. Population & Demographic Change
  7. Health & Human Well-being
  8. Economic & Social Inequalities
  9. Poverty & Social Inclusion
  10. Education & Vocational Training
  11. Ageing & Gerontechnology
  12. Labour Markets & Employment
  13. Housing & Urbanisation
  14. Gender Inequality & Work-Family Reconciliation
  15. Sustainability, Environmental Management & Social Security

Those wishing to present a paper should submit an abstract of between 200 and 300 words. Information enclosed with any abstract should include: stream number, title of paper; author name(s); affiliation(s); and email address of one corresponding author.

Those wishing to organise a panel should submit a panel proposal. Information enclosed with any panel proposal should include: title of panel; objective of panel (between 200 and 300 words); names and affiliations of all panel organiser(s) and participating members; along with abstracts of three or four papers (between 200 and 300 words each); an e-mail address of one corresponding panel organiser.

Submissions for the 17 th annual EASP conference should be sent to easp2021hk@gmail.com. Submissions for the FISS 2020 Conference should be sent to fiss2021hk@gmail.com. The deadline for abstracts and panel proposals is 5 March 2021.

The FISS Best Paper Prize of 300 Euros will be awarded by a selection committee from the FISS Board of Governors and the winning paper will be published in The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice. The author(s) will also receive two years free subscription to the journal.

Important dates:

  • Submission of abstracts and panel proposals: 5 March 2021
  • Notification of applicants: 31 March 2021
  • Early booking & registration will start from 1 April 2021

Further details about the conference programme and venue will be announced shortly. For any queries, please contact stefankuehner@LU.edu.hk or Julie.Janssens@uantwerpen.be.

The East Asian Social Policy Research Network (http://welfareasia.org) is a regional association for facilitating research exchange among social policy analysts and providing a forum and network of communication for the development of social policy in East Asia and beyond.

The Foundation for International Studies on Social Security (http://fisssocialsecurity.org/) is an independent, non-profit association that aims to promote international, multidisciplinary research on social security, including its relationships with other aspects of society (such as the labour market, unemployment, poverty, income redistribution, savings, housing, the family, health and well-being).

Call for Papers: the 17th EASP & the 27th FISS Annual Conference