Journal Article

A silent revolution? New management ideas and the reinvention of European public employment services

J. Timo Weishaupt

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 8, issue 3, pages 461-486
Published in print July 2010 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwq004
A silent revolution? New management ideas and the reinvention of European public employment services

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Labour-market policy regimes are in flux, not only because of the introduction of activation policies but also because of changes in the governance of public employment services (PESs). This paper argues that PESs have been fundamentally transformed due to the ‘discovery’ of New Public Management ideas. In the European context, these ideas first emerged in the UK and Sweden, were subsequently diffused through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union and then internalized by critical epistemic communities, including the network of the heads of PESs and the World Association of PESs. Through the acceptance, diffusion and internalization of these new management ideas, common governance practices, including performance, quality and case management, have been widely adopted in Europe. Policy-makers have failed, however, to agree on a ‘best-practice’ model with respect to the local organization of labour-market policy delivery. Consequently, no hegemonic idea was established, and significant national differences continue to persist.

Keywords: Europe; governance; institutional change; labor market institutions; modernization; welfare state; I38 government policy; provision and effects of welfare programs; J68 public policy

Journal Article.  9750 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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