chapter  11
18 Pages

Claims and Frames in the Making of Care Policies


This chapter is about the interpretation of care needs in Europe1. It looks at this from two perspectives: fi rst, in the sorts of claims for state support to emerge “from below”, that is, from movements and organizations of those with unpaid and paid caring responsibilities and those with needs for support; and second, in care policies “from above”—from supranational organizations and national governments. It proposes that that these two perspectives represent two overlapping but competing frames for interpreting care needs: social justice (from below) and social investment (from above). The social justice frame encompasses discourses associated with equality, social rights, recognition of care needs and redistribution of care responsibilities. On the other side, the social investment frame is concerned with the risks facing a globally competitive economy: child poverty, worklessness, increases in social expenditure due to an aging population, increases in lone parents and declining fertility. Its care policies are thus tied to the need to develop human capital and labour market activation. The chapter argues that while the social investment frame has provided spaces to raise issues associated with the social justice claims, it has, at the same time, led to policies that have undermined those claims.