Germany – reservations and reforms

Thomas Pfister

in The Activation of Citizenship in Europe

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780719083310
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781781704653 | DOI:
Germany – reservations and reforms

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This is the first of three country case studies, which reconstruct the national debate about activation and transformations of citizenship. The first part outlines the most relevant welfare reforms and identifies their gender dimension. The second part interprets those changes in terms of shifting citizenship practices. The final section traces the different contestations behind those new practices - from the transnational level as well as from within. In Germany the activation paradigm has – although hotly contested – increasingly gained ground and crucially informed massive welfare reforms. At the same time, the course of this conceptual debate has been influenced by a certain mismatch between established national policy-making practices and the ‘soft’ character of the EES as well as by a relatively weak frame of gender equality in the setup up of German welfare institutions. Interestingly the German debate about gender, employment, welfare, and family policies is most controversial within the conservative camp, which encompasses traditionalists and key reformers.

Keywords: Germany; Welfare reform; Gender equality policy; Gender mainstreaming; Citizenship practices; Inequality

Chapter.  8145 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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