CSP research is concerned primarily with social inequality and (re)distribution in the welfare state, with main focus on the functioning and the effectiveness of social policy. Areas of special interest include i) social policy responses to the (changing) socioeconomic and demographic context, and ii) the impact of social policy on the socioeconomic circumstances of its various target groups.
The CSP pursues three important lines of research. First the Centre strives to gain insight into the underlying causes and mechanisms of poverty and income inequality. Second it studies social policy developments and how they impact on the architecture of (different types of) welfare states. Third CSB research aims at understanding and explaining the impact of social policy on poverty and income inequality. These three interests connect the various research activities that take place in the divergent fields.
A. The generosity and adequacy of social protection programmes : Building on its tradition in international comparative research on (the generosity of) minimum income protection in Europe, the Centre studies of i) the evolution of these systems (in terms of generosity and adequacy) within the different types of welfare states, ii) the impact of processes of devolution and European integration, and iii) the relationship with emerging ecological policy lines.
B. The outcome implications of evolutions in minimum income protection : Current research is on the adequacy of active labour market policy, intergenerational income inequalities, the redistributive impact of family policy and the socioeconomic circumstances of migrants. Additionally, attention is given to the emergence of so-called 'new social risks' and to the implications of the ongoing economic crisis.
C. Poverty and income inequality versus other indicators of social exclusion : The Centre studies the interactions between income inequality and poverty, (un)employment and other indicators of social exclusion on the one hand and the adequacy of social policy on the other. To this end, it builds on previously acquired insights into the problematic aspects of income inequality in wealthy welfare states and the socioeconomic determinants of income, health and education.
D. Social policy in a multi-tiered context : The CSP monitors how social policy evolves in a multi-tiered decision context and study the implications of changing distribution of competences insofar as inequalities within and between welfare states are concerned.