Dear all,


Please consider the following call for papers.



Paolo Ramazzotti





Special Issue of the Forum for Social Economics—FSE,

a Journal of the Association for Social Economics—ASE



Working Title:


Healthcare, Covid-19 and the Foundational Economy


Guest Editors:


Prof. Lavinia Bifulco

University of Milano Bicocca


Prof. Stefano Neri

University of Milano




The Forum for Social Economic (FSE) is pleased to invite submissions to a special issue on Healthcare, Covid-19 and the Foundational Economy. We particularly welcome submissions from different disciplines that complement the social-economic perspective, and encourage the utilization of different theoretical perspectives and the application of a wide variety of methodological approaches (qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method). Both conceptual and empirical contributions are welcome.



Notes for Prospective Authors


If you are interested in submitting an abstract or have any questions, please email prof. Stefano Neri at [log in to unmask]  and confirm your interest. We would be happy to receive your suggestions and/or answer your queries regarding the suitability of your topic. The first step then is to submit an abstract. Please email paper title and abstract (300 words) to the editor no later than 31 August 2020.


All papers will be subject to double-blind peer review. All papers must be submitted online through the journal website ( For author guidelines and the submission process, see:


The Special Issue will address research questions related to Healthcare, Covid-19 and the Foundational Economy


The Covid-19 crisis has challenged healthcare systems around the world by highlighting their different capacities to ensure a set of actions: providing intensive care in hospitals, treating patients in their homes, practicing massive virological tests.

More precisely, the main differences concern the following dimensions and variables:

·         the degree of protection ensured by healthcare public systems, and the connected levels of access to care;

·         the relationship patterns between public and private health care organizations, i.e., the relationships between public health authorities and public and private providers;

·         the availability of resources in terms of budget, staff, beds, medical equipment and technology;

·         the organizational and regulatory models regarding hospital and ambulatory care, as well as community care;

·         the use of smart technologies, big data, etc.

·         the adoption and implementation of preparedness plans and technologies developed by the World Health Organization.


The literature and research on health policies and health care systems has long taken into account these dimensions by linking them to specific welfare regimes and / or to changes in public action brought about by the spread of the New Public Management.

Within this framework, the purpose of this issue is to develop an analysis and reflection on healthcare and Covid-19 in the perspective of the Foundational Economy. This perspective, proposed by a collective of (mainly) European academic researchers (, is centered on collective consumption through networks and branches which are the infrastructure of everyday life. The foundational encompasses material utilities like water, gas and electricity and providential services like education, health and care. These essential goods and services are not individual consumption from income but collective consumption because they depend on social provision of the foundational reliance systems which keep us safe and civilised. Therefore, from a foundational viewpoint, the distinctive role of public policy is not to boost private consumption by delivering economic growth but to ensure the quantity and quality of foundational services.

We suggest that the pandemic revealed the importance of the foundational economy, thus, of healthcare services as well as of all those economic activities that could not be locked down, such as food production and distribution, education, water, gas and energy distribution, telecommunications, public transport, waste management. Furthermore, the health crisis highlighted the weight of marketization and financialisation processes as well as their effects on public health. In Italy, for example, particularly in some regions, these processes involved the displacement of a significant amount of resources from primary and community care infrastructures to public and private hospitals. This greatly affected the ability of the health system as a whole to contain the pandemic.


Subject Question Coverage


·         Case studies on national health care systems and their responses to the pandemic, focused on regulatory models, organizational models, relationships with users.

·         Dynamics and effects of marketization and financialisation processes on health care systems and their responses to the pandemic.

·         Comparative analysis of healthcare reforms in Europe from the Foundational Economy perspective.

·         Comparative analysis of decentralised health care systems and sub-national (local or regional) responses to the pandemic


Other papers related to the theme are welcome.


The special issue is tentatively scheduled to be published in 2021.


Important Dates


Paper title and abstract (e-mail): 31h August 2020.

First full draft (word file): 31 October 2020