Social investment as a policy paradigm

Anton Hemerijck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This contribution delineates the sui generis paradigmatic portent of the social investment perspective. After theoretically defining the notion of a policy paradigm in welfare state analysis, the substantive core of the social investment paradigm is presented in two consecutive steps. First, the substantive core of the social investment policy paradigm is exemplified in terms of three core policy functions, relating to: raising and maintaining human capital ‘stock’ throughout the life course; easing the ‘flow’ of contemporary labour market transitions; and upkeeping strong minimum-income universal safety nets as social protection and economic stabilization ‘buffers’. To drive home the conjecture of social investment as a policy paradigm in its own right, this will, in the final section, be compared with two preceding hegemonic ideal-typical policy paradigms: the demand-oriented Keynesian-Beveridgean welfare compromise of the post-war era; and its anti-thesis, the neoliberal supply-side critique of the welfare state of the 1980s, along a number of institutionally relevant dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-827
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Demographic aging
  • family-life course
  • institutional complementarity
  • knowledge economy
  • social investment
  • welfare state


Dive into the research topics of 'Social investment as a policy paradigm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this