The team’s project consists in comprehending this phenomenon, known as local welfare, and to get the measure of it through using international comparisons. Examples from neighbouring countries such as Spain and the United Kingdom will be studied in detail, but it will also be necessary to consider the famous Scandinavian model which is also undergoing transformation. More closely-targeted work will also be carried out on another aspect of the phenomenon, namely local authorities’ implication regarding the members of the public in their charge, the legal relationships between them, and the coordination frameworks put in place to confer greater coherence and efficiency upon systems that are decentralised or overlapping. Interdisciplinary collaboration with geographers and political scientists will be targeted.

On the one hand it is being “overwhelmed”, in a way, by the appearance of transnational enterprises, which have themselves become a space of regulation which is largely private and autonomous (CSR). However, this movement grants new legitimacy to international organisations (such as the ILO) and collective international actors (trades unions, NGOs) to participate in this regulation and impose decent working conditions in those places companies are setting up in and where there is little legal protection. For all that, can we talk of “social citizenship” within international firms? The COMPTRASEC team plans to further develop reflection on this topic and analyse the processes of construction of a globalisation law.

On the other hand, in terms of solidarity and social protection, it seems that today we are seeing a return of the idea of welfare assistance and local, or at least decentralised, treatment of certain social problems, which raises the question of the equality of individuals, of universality and of the uniformity of the social rights of citizens in a given State. The advent of the post-industrial society and the emergence of new social risks seem to be undermining the traditional Welfare State structure: policies on the fight against exclusion, the implementation of minimum social benefits, and measures for caring for members of society like dependent elderly people are seeing shifts or even transfers of powers to the local level, raising the question of the territorialisation of social policies and social rights. This is due, at least in part, to financial arrangements and budget policies that push States to act in such a way.