In times of increasing economic difficulties and with the gradual reduction of public funding, welfare systems are subject to continuous changes, with effects on the quality of services offered to citizens. The issue of the impact of welfare policies and their evolution in times of crisis is extremely interesting and relevant. The territory of residence is a key variable to assess the impact of such changes on beneficiaries; furthermore, attention to the local dimension meets a real demand by local governments. This process involves almost all European countries, so that we look both at the Italian system and at how other countries deal with ongoing changes. The book contains contributions produced as part of the research project ``Welfare Policies and Financial resources: the Impact of Crisis on Territories’’ (POWER), funded by the University of Pisa (2016). The overall objective is to study the effects of the economic crisis on local welfare systems, with a special focus on decentralization and policies for which local governments are in charge.
The research activity has a marked interdisciplinary connotation, which represents a novelty with respect to other literature on these topics, often addressed within specific disciplines. The interdisciplinary approach allows us to have an overall picture, without neglecting the level of detail with a strong quantitative characterization and specific attention to available databases (administrative sources and survey data). The contributions collected in this book show a dual focus on both the supply and demand of social protection and suggest the opportunity of further investigating the existence of a gap between welfare interventions and priorities of citizens.