By S. Betzelt, S. Bothfeld
This e-book analyzes in what manner activation rules influence on given styles of social citizenship that predominate in nationwide contexts. It argues that the liberal paradigm of activation brought into labour industry regulations in all Western ecu states demanding situations the categorical styles of social citizenship in each one nation.
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Additional info for Activation and Labour Market Reforms in Europe: Challenges to Social Citizenship
The (continental) welfare states’ constitutive tasks, to compensate for risks and to provide social security perspectives – to put it brieﬂy, to support citizens’ autonomy (though selectively) – are challenged by the ongoing activation strategy. The states’ intervention into the unemployment protection systems and employment regulation is particularly important in social insurance states as the well-accepted solidaristic Silke Bothfeld and Sigrid Betzelt 17 insurance-based provision is gradually shifted towards a more taxbased and state-regulated regime, pursuing more individualistic and ‘behaviourist’ objectives, such as a quick reintegration into paid work, setting ‘incentives’ for the unemployed, motivating them to search for work, ameliorating their qualiﬁcations and so on.
Nevertheless these social security schemes have been beneﬁcial to citizens in several ways. By providing a relatively generous level of social security they have stabilized the citizens’ perspective of income and in so doing largely de-commodiﬁed citizens from social risks encountered over the life course. By deﬁning the (male) core worker status, they have secured the once-attained standard of living for the majority of the workforce well above the level of economic subsistence. And, they have fostered substantial legal and individual entitlements, and therefore established a solid basis for the general acceptance of a solidaristic political system.
However, we admit that – although to date the most needy are primarily affected by social policy retrenchment, the ongoing changes affect the basic principles of social security provision in general. Poverty research has forcefully demonstrated that competing interpretations of deﬁnitions of minimum standards (relative or absolute) exist and that the protection of individual living standards usually reﬂects implicit or explicit rules of justice and reciprocity. The social right to subsistence is hardly disputed in Western welfare states, but the effective standard of living guaranteed by welfare state intervention is – since the rules regarding the protection of once-attained life standards have not remained untouched.
Activation and Labour Market Reforms in Europe: Challenges to Social Citizenship by S. Betzelt, S. Bothfeld