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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 eu states demanding situations the categorical styles of social citizenship in every one state.

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

Sample text

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.

The present development is thus the reflection of a deeper societal process more than a simple reinforcement of the ‘classical’ insider–outsider divide, the erosion of the core employment status from which social democratic actors derived their political resources (see Béraud/Eydoux as well as Betzelt/Bothfeld in this volume). If we include the shift in political power and resources in our set of basic assumptions, the observed social policy change must be considered as a paradigmatic change rather than the mere enhancement of already existing patterns and divides.

To our view, the legislator has to assure transparency and comprehensibility of legal texts which both are basic criteria for democratic legislation (cf. Gosseries, 2006). In labour market politics, transparency assumes awareness and understanding of the applicable regulations, by all, by unemployed citizens as well as by front-line workers. Transparency is created, for example, through the sufficiently concrete formulation of the law. For example, in Denmark the minimum registration period prior to the beginning of the promotion phases is fixed so that the progress of the unemployment phase is calculable, benefit recipients in contact with the responsible authorities receive standard and systematic information about their rights and obligations, and unclear administrative regulations are eliminated, that is, implementation rules are made generally available.

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