Local welfare and social innovation in times of emergency
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The pandemic has resulted in increased social needs and risks that have immediately challenged the ability of social policies to ensure adequate protection. The article focuses on local welfare responses to this crisis with the purpose of understanding whether and how local institutions, actors and communities reorganised. It also discusses the factors likely to favour or weaken the capacity for local social action and innovation in both current and future context. The analysis of the institutional and social actors’ responses originated in the city of Milan suggests that the pandemic has exerted strong pressure on local welfare actors and policies for the adoption of socially innovative modes of action and governance. This highlights at the same time some of the key features of recent welfare developments in Milan and, more broadly, the problems and potential of local welfare from a social innovation perspective