Adapting Labour Market Policy to a Transformed Employment Structure

Jochen Clasen and Daniel Clegg

in The Politics of the New Welfare State

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199645244
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745119 | DOI:
Adapting Labour Market Policy to a Transformed Employment Structure

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Having mainly focused on the issue of activation in cash benefit systems alone, many recent analyses of labour market policy reform have failed to adequately grasp the fundamental transformation of core foundational principles and structures of the industrial-era welfare state that are evidenced by developments in this policy field in recent decades. This chapter documents this multi-faceted process of institutional realignment in the face of changing risk structures—which it calls ‘triple integration’—in the labour market policy reforms of a number of European countries since the 1990s. It argues that while a combination of institutional constraints, vested interests and the risk aversion of political actors have slowed processes of fundamental labour market policy realignment in some cases, these changes are also being driven forward by political opportunism and institutional spillovers. The chapter concludes that policy development in the field of labour market policy is less bound by historical legacies than has often been assumed.

Keywords: labour market change; unemployment benefit; social assistance; active labour market policy; activation; institutional change

Chapter.  9768 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy

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