Activation or Workfare? Governance and Neo-Liberal Convergence

Hardcover | October 29, 2014

EditorIvar Lodemel, Amilcar Moreira

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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, wascomplemented 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 focuson 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. Thesecond, 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 recipientsand, in parallel, a further deepening of the focus on work-conditionality (UK and Norway).

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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, wascomplemented by efforts to help recipients return ...

Ivar Lodemel is Professor of Social Work at Oslo University College. 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.

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Kobo ebook|Dec 11 2013

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:October 29, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199773580

ISBN - 13:9780199773589

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Table of Contents

1. Am!lcar Moreira and Ivar Lodemel: Introduction: Waves of Activation Reform2. Erika Gubrium, Ivar Lodemel, and Ivan Harslof: Norwegian activation reform on a wave of wider welfare state change: A critical assessment3. Jon Kvist and Ivan Harslof: Workfare with welfare revisited: Instigating dual tracks based on ethnicity4. Julia Griggs, Andrew Hammond, and Robert Walker: Activation for all: Welfare reform in the UK, 1995 to 20095. Theresa Anderson, Katharine Kairys, and Michael Wiseman: Activation and reform in the United States: What time has told6. Henk Spies and Nico van de Vrie: From legitimacy to effectiveness: Developments in activation in The Netherlands7. Jochen Clasen and Alexander Goerne: Germany: Ambivalent activation8. Daniel Clegg and Bruno Palier: Implementing a myth: The evolution of conditionality in French minimum income provision9. Am!lcar Moreira, Daniel Carolo, and Rui Nicola: From gateway to safety net: The dynamics of activation reforms in Portugal10. Tomas Sirovatka: From protection towards activation: Reform of social assistance in the Czech Republic11. Am!lcar Moreira and Ivar Lodemel: Governing Activation in the 21st Century: A (hi)story of change12. Ivar Lodemel and Erika Gubrium: Trajectories of change: Activation reforms from inception to times of austerityIndex