Activation or Workfare? Governance and the Neo-Liberal Convergence (International Policy Exchange Series)

Activation or Workfare? Governance and the Neo-Liberal Convergence (International Policy Exchange Series)

By: Ivar Lodemel (editor), Amilcar Moreira (editor)Hardback

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The last decade of the 20th century was marked by a shift in how welfare-states deal with those at the bottom of the income ladder. This shift involved the introduction/strengthening of work-obligations as a condition for receiving minimum income benefits - which, in some countries, was complemented by efforts to help recipients return to the labour market, namely through the investment in active labour market policies (ALMP). Based on case-studies of developments in the US and eight European nations (UK, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, France, Portugal and the Czech Republic), this book argues that this first set of reforms was followed by a second wave of reforms that, whilst deepening the path towards the focus on work, brings important innovations- be it the tools used to help recipients back to the labour markets (ex., financial incentives) and in how activation policies are delivered (ex., integration of benefit and employment services). Looking at the array of developments introduced during this period, we discern two key trends. The first concerns the strengthening of the role of the market in the governance of activation, which is visible in the strengthening of the focus on work, or the marketisation of employment services. The second, concerns a move towards the individualisation of service delivery, visible in the expansion of the use of personal action plans or in efforts to streamline service delivery. Finally, we show that the onset of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, has triggered a new wave of reforms. Whilst tentative only, our analysis points to a worrying trend of the curtailment or benefits (Portugal) and activation services (Netherlands, Czech Republic) to minimum income recipients and, in parallel, a further deepening of the focus on work-conditionality (UK and Norway).

About Author

Ivar Lodemel is Professor of Social Work at Oslo University College. Amilcar Moreira With a PhD in Social and Policy Sciences from the University of Bath (UK), Amilcar Moreira is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon.


Chapter 1 - Introduction: Waves of Activation Reform ; Amilcar Moreira and Ivar Lodemel ; Chapter 2 - Norwegian activation reform on a wave of wider welfare state change: A critical assessment ; Erika Gubrium, Ivar Lodemel, and Ivan Harslof ; Chapter 3 - Workfare with welfare revisited: Instigating dual tracks based on ethnicity ; Jon Kvist and Ivan Harslof ; Chapter 4 -Activation for all: Welfare reform in the UK, 1995 to 2009 ; Julia Griggs, Andrew Hammond, and Robert Walker ; Chapter 5 - Activation and reform in the United States: What time has told ; Theresa Anderson, Katharine Kairys, and Michael Wiseman ; Chapter 6 - From legitimacy to effectiveness: Developments in activation in The Netherlands ; Henk Spies and Nico van de Vrie ; Chapter 7 - Germany: Ambivalent activation ; Jochen Clasen and Alexander Goerne ; Chapter 8 - Implementing a myth: The evolution of conditionality in French minimum income provision ; Daniel Clegg and Bruno Palier ; Chapter 9 - From gateway to safety net: The dynamics of activation reforms in Portugal ; Amilcar Moreira, Daniel Carolo, and Rui Nicola ; Chapter 10 - From protection towards activation: Reform of social assistance in the Czech Republic ; Tomas Sirovatka ; Chapter 11 - Governing Activation in the 21st Century: A (hi)story of change ; Amilcar Moreira and Ivar Lodemel ; Chapter 12 - Trajectories of change: Activation reforms from inception to times of austerity ; Ivar Lodemel and Erika Gubrium ; Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780199773589
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 384
  • ID: 9780199773589
  • weight: 638
  • ISBN10: 0199773580

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