Welfare, Workfare, or What? featuring Evelyn Z. Brodkin


National Press Club
529 14th Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia

Event Details

Work requirements and work promotion have become central features of US welfare reform. Workfare-style policies, however, often do not function as policy makers imagine they will and instead may intensify the precariousness of life for the disadvantaged and unemployed. Evelyn Z. Brodkin will highlight findings from her new coedited book, Work and the Welfare State, which examines workfare-style policies as they advance from state level to street level in six countries.Brodkin is an associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration and director of its Poverty and Inequality Program. She has written widely on social politics, policy and management, and street-level organizations. Her work has been recognized by the American Political Science Association (Herbert Kaufman Award), the American Society for Public Administration (Burchfield Award), and the Open Society Institute, where she was named a fellow.

Purchase Brodkin's recent book, Work and the Welfare State. A limited number of copies of the book will be available for purchase at the lecture.

Read a UChicagoNews article featuring Professor Brodkin's research on work and welfare policies across the globe.


$20/person for general admission
$10/person for recent graduates (College alumni of the past ten years and graduate alumni of the past five years)
Two complimentary registrations for members of the Alumni Leadership, Chicago, Harper, and Phoenix Societies

Includes program and refreshments


Register Online

Deadline: 10/7/2014


6:00 PM-7:00 PM: Registration and reception

7:00 PM-8:30 PM: Presentation and discussion

Speaker Profiles

Evelyn Z. Brodkin (Speaker)

Evelyn Z. Brodkin is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Service Administration and Faculty Affiliate at the National Poverty Center, a national and interdisciplinary academic research center that seeks to advance understanding of what it means to be poor in America. Her major areas of research cross-cut three fields of study: social policy, street-level organizations, and welfare state politics.

Professor Brodkin's research investigates the politics of the American welfare state and, specifically, how public policies and institutions are reshaping the politics of poverty and inequality. In recent years she has expanded her research internationally, studying social policy and governance reforms in the US and Europe. Her new, co-edited book, Work and the Welfare State: Street-Level Organizations and Workfare Politics (Georgetown University Press, 2013), examines the advance of workfare-style policies from state-level to street-level in six countries: the US, UK, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia.

Brodkin is one of the leading scholars of street-level organizations, the agencies at the front-lines of public policy delivery. Her research in this field contributes to both critical policy and public management research, examining how new governance and managerial strategies are reshaping the street-level organizations "at the operational core of the welfare state." Her review of the field, "Reflections on Street-Level Bureaucracy: Past, Present, and Future" (Public Administration Review, 2012), received the Burchfield Award from the American Society for Public Administration. She also edited a symposium, "Putting Street-Level Organizations First: New Directions for Research," in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory in 2011.

Professor Brodkin received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.P.A. with honors from Northeastern University, and a B.S. with honors in Journalism from Boston University. Her work has been recognized by the American Political Science Association (Herbert Kaufman Award), the American Public Administration Association (Burchfield Award), and the Open Society Institute, where she was named a Fellow.

Internationally, Brodkin has held visiting professorships in Australia, Denmark, France, and Mexico. She serves on the advisory committee of the U.K. Inter-University Collaboration on Welfare Conditionality and on the steering committee of the RESQ international research network, which brings together researchers from Europe, U.S., and Australia to develop and refine the comparative and theoretical study of policy and service reforms in selected OECD-countries and the U.S. She has been invited to speak on her research in Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK.

In the US, Brodkin has been a visiting scholar at Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research. At SSA, she directs the graduate Program on Poverty and Inequality. Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Chicago, Professor Brodkin was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and Interdisciplinary Program in Health and Assistant Professor of political science at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Among her professional activities, Brodkin has served on the Policy Council of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, the board of directors of the Chicago Jobs Council, and the editorial boards of Social Service Review, the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and the Journal of Public Policy.


Kelly Doody