Davide Vampa, Lecturer at Aston University (Birmingham), held a seminar at the EPRC based on his research and recently published book: “The Regional Politics of Welfare in Italy, Spain and Great Britain”.
Dr Vampa’s work seeks to explain why, in decentralised countries, some regions have been more successful than others in developing ‘sub-state models of welfare’. In order to address this, he has focused on the impact of two independent political factors: territorial mobilisation (regionalist parties) and left-wing mobilisation (the role of centre-left parties). A mix-method approach was adopted by the author to assess the variation in sub-state welfare regime development, focusing in particular on healthcare and social assistance policies across the three case studies: Italy, Spain and Great Britain.
Overall, some of the key findings outlined by Dr Vampa were that: territorial mobilisation has favoured welfare-building at sub-state level and regionalist parties have promoted the construction of region-specific social models. Various patterns and differences were also highlighted qualitatively by the author with respect to several regions (e.g. South Tyrol, Lombardy and Tuscany for Italy, Basque country and Catalonia for Spain and, lastly, Scotland and Wales for the UK).
The debate with the audience was lively and focused on the implications of austerity and the recent financial crisis, the definition of various sub-state regions and regionalist parties, the performance of different sub-national welfare models, the idea of a Europe of Regions, and the future of (post-crisis) regional welfare.