The ‘social investment state’, ‘activation’ and ‘prevention’ have been central programmatic concepts of the last two decades. In view of the marked inequalities in our societies and the consequences of climate change, which are now visible to all, the attention of social policy research must now be drawn to a different issue: What does a socially and ecologically sustainable social policy look like? A first definition will serve as a basis for the conference: A socially sustainable welfare state can be understood as a state which actively prevents the emergence of inequality and poverty. And an ecologically sustainable welfare state is based on a set of integrated climate, energy and social policies that does not allow new social inequalities to emerge from the fundamental transformation of energy systems.
Social policy research has not yet dealt intensively with the question of sustainability and the interdependencies between energy policy, climate policy and social policy. Thus, the conference is a prelude to an expanded understanding of the tasks of this research area.
In the first part of the conference, the idea of a sustainable social policy will primarily be related to recent developments in German social policy. The second day will focus on international comparative research perspectives and theoretical questions. Therefore, lectures and discussions will be held in German on the first day and in English on the second day.