Buying children, restraining wages. The emergence of family policy as a transnational challenge (1900-1960)
09 / 2011 - 08 / 2015
The project aims at analysing transnational exchanges and connections in the sphere of family policies by comparing three different time periods between 1900 and 1960. The study intends to show how the transnational arena for the study and design of family policies came into existence, which ideas and activities have emerged in this arena, what actors were involved and to what extent transnational forums were able to frame welfare reforms. So far, early family policies have been studied mainly at a national or comparative level, but the increasing interest in the transnational level in historical studies has added a new research perspective. The transnational perspective allows approaching this issue from an angle that surpasses the national boundary, but does not neglect it. This new approach brings a fresh aspect into the study of the history of family policies in Europe by analysing the role transnational reformers played in shaping this new policy area. Our study intends to show that family policy did not simply emerge within national borders, but is shaped in broader transnational environments. Starting from an analysis of transnational debates, we trace the ways in which ideas and practices related to specific family policies (e.g. family allowance schemes) spread, in particular by investigating to what extent the ideas and practices migrated from a national to an international level and vice versa, thus linking the national and transnational.