Has the European Social Model a distinctive activation touch?

Jean-Claude Barbier

in Unwrapping the European social model

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9781861347985
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304135 | DOI:
Has the European Social Model a distinctive activation touch?

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This chapter intends to show that the activation component in the existing ESM certainly offers no clear means of distinguishing it from other social ‘models’ in the world. At the EU level, where most of the talk about the ESM is taking place, it is perhaps a paradox that existing coordinating processes (Open Methods of Coordination — OMCs) have so far had little substantive impact. Both ‘activation policies’ and the ESM are broad concepts able to accommodate not only many different patterns, but also changing ones. This chapter calls into question active and gender policies which represent the cornerstone of the European social model (ESM). Rather than a homogeneous EU model, the values underpinning the activation measures, as well as their outcomes, vary considerably from country to country. The conclusion is that no specific brand of activation associated with a homogeneous ESM emerges.

Keywords: social model; society; sociology; policies; activation policy; gender policy; European Union; Europe

Chapter.  8409 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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