How wealth matters for social policy. Introducing the Journal of European Social Policy special issue on social policy and wealth

Ive Marx and Brian Nolan

Much of the rapidly growing scholarship on wealth understandably focuses on the top because that is where the bulk of wealth is held. This is true even in countries with comparatively equal income distributions and extensively redistributive welfare states. Yet even if assets are concentrated among the wealthy, they also matter a great deal for people who are less well off. Some people who are identified as poor or financially needy purely on the basis of income have meaningful assets, but many do not. Whether they have any such assets, or stand to inherit them in the future, can make a critical difference.

The 2021 special issue of the Journal of European Social Policy looks at how wealth matters for social policy scholarship. All the articles included in the special issue shed an innovative light on wealth in relation to a range of topics relevant for social policy researchers.

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From Kafka to Kafka: EU Citizenship and National Welfare Bureaucracies

by Dion Kramer and Anita Heindlmaier

Conceived in Maastricht almost thirty years ago, EU citizenship was initially thought of as a mere symbolic addition to existing rights. In the following decades, interventions by the European Court of Justice led many to believe that EU citizenship could emerge as a truly fundamental status capable of conferring concrete social rights to EU citizens crossing borders within the European Union. This promise of a social citizenship beyond the nation-state is currently less tenable. The aftermath of the Great Recession and Brexit have shown the limits of EU citizenship as a status delivering to those most in need of its protection.

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