Activation or Workfare? Governance and the Neo-Liberal Convergence

ISBN : 9780199773589

Ivar Lodemel; Amilcar Moreira
384 ページ
162 x 238 mm

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).


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


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.