Activation and Labour Market Reforms in Europe: Challenges by S. Betzelt, S. Bothfeld

By S. Betzelt, S. Bothfeld

This ebook analyzes in what approach activation guidelines effect on given styles of social citizenship that predominate in nationwide contexts. It argues that the liberal paradigm of activation brought into labour industry guidelines in all Western ecu states demanding situations the categorical styles of social citizenship in every one nation.

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Extra info for Activation and Labour Market Reforms in Europe: Challenges to Social Citizenship

Example text

Being formalized in terms of institutional regulation, the duties of the unemployed – that is, to accept any kind of work, to write large numbers of applications, to spend effort and time on sometimes useless training measures in order to ‘prove readiness’ to work – have become mandatory requirements and behavioural norms for the unemployed. Accordingly, alternative social behaviour as well as long search periods or long-term requalification periods that may lead to a better match and a more sustainable labour market integration appear increasingly illegitimate.

Third, tensions also result from the incompatibility of the traditional welfare state’s principle of nationwide uniform and standardized governance of welfare beneficiaries on the one hand, and the implementation of decentralized and individualized provision of activation and labour promotion services on the other. This tension refers to the various ways social citizenship is produced in practice on the local level of 14 Introduction: Challenges to Social Citizenship implementation. The studies on the Netherlands (Rik van Berkel) and Norway (Nanna Kildal/Even Nilssen) reveal that forms of governance according to the managerial model of ‘New Public Management’ applied in activation policies (for example, performance-related allocation mechanisms of employment promotion schemes, decentralized decision-making on the local level with large scopes of discretion for the frontline staff, contractualism) have a considerable impact on several dimensions of social citizenship such as the transparency of rules, the reliability of entitlements or the concrete accessibility of services.

The objective of the single studies is to identify the common trends and traces within different dimensions of our welfare systems, and to show how and by what mechanisms former implicit understandings of social citizenship are altering. The chapters deliver both rich empirical quantitative and qualitative data as well as a detailed account of the relevant labour market reforms under the activation paradigm in each country, including exceptionally ‘thick’ descriptions of the institutional fine mechanisms that impact on social citizenship.

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