Chapter

Reforming the European Social Model and the politics of indicators: from the unemployment rate to the employment rate in the European Employment Strategy<sup>1</sup>

Robert Salais

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861347985.003.0009
Reforming the European Social Model and the politics of indicators: from the unemployment rate to the employment rate in the European Employment Strategy1

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This chapter focuses on the European Employment Strategy (EES) as an exemplar of what could be called ‘a politics of indicators’, by which is meant the specific type of political action and monitoring introduced by the OMC. It argues that the so-called harmonisation of data encouraged by Eurostat to measure national efforts is highly misleading in view of the considerable diversity of national institutions and ways of conducting a national public policy. Reducing the complexity of the European models to a small number of indicators, which is a substantial component of the task represented by the EES, enables the political construction of common problems. This chapter analyses the underpinnings of this policy of benchmarking, showing how this exercise of regulation has degenerated into a game of statistical performance, which in no way indicates whether or not the employability of citizens has actually improved.

Keywords: European Union; employment; employment policy; benchmarking; regulations; social models; sociology; national policy

Chapter.  8967 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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