Models of Social Policy and New Forms of Solidarity in Russia and Europe

This research project was funded partly by the CGES, but mainly by the St. Petersburg State University Research Fund in 2009-2011.

Coordinator: Dr. Svetlana Yaroshenko (St. Petersburg State University)

Participants: Elena Belokurova (CGES), Svetlana Yaroshenko, Anastasija Kvadritsius (St. Petersburg State University), Maria Scattonne (Berlin), Anna Belova, Julia Nikiforova (MA SES student), Sandra Hoengstrom (Finland – Sweden).

The aim of the project is to analyse the interplay between models of social policy, forms of social exclusion and types of solidarities, as reflected in the collective actions of leaders and representatives of non-governmental organizations in Russia and Europe. The aim of the research covers the following objectives: 1) to reveal models of social policy and their influence on forms of exclusion (structures of possibilities) and forms of solidarity (both old and new); 2) to define the terms of mobilization of collective efforts (actions); 3) to analyse the influence of collective efforts (actions) on the transformation of social policy in various countries.

The methods used in the research are multiple case studies of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the social sphere and directed towards the support and social integration of youth and teenagers, with particular reference to ’special’ and so-called ’at-risk groups (orphans, the disabled, children from unstable families etc.), and oriented towards helping them develop their abilities. At present, European NGOs working in Europe and Russia are being investigated. In this way, it will later be possible to compare their strategies in the EU and Russia and to compare solidarities developed in both cases.

In 2011, the research was continued, both in the theoretical and empirical aspects. The empirical studies were carried out in the further SOS-Kinderdorf branches in different countries: Finland, Sweden and Bulgaria. These examples will allow the researchers to make comparison with the previously studied cases of the SOS-Kinderdorf branches in Russia and Germany as well as with the other NGOs working with the children in Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Moldova etc.

The research activities result in a number of publications and presentations.