Table of Contents

Juridification and Social Citizenship in the Welfare State

Juridification and Social Citizenship in the Welfare State

Edited by Henriette Sinding Aasen, Siri Gloppen, Anne-Mette Magnussen and Even Nilssen

The concept of juridification refers to a diverse set of processes involving shifts towards more detailed legal regulation, regulations of new areas, and conflicts and problems increasingly being framed in legal and rights-oriented terms. This timely book questions the impact international and national regulations have upon vulnerable groups (the unemployed, patients, prisoners, immigrants, and others) in terms of inclusion, exclusion and social citizenship. Focusing on European welfare states, as well as lessons from Latin America, it considers the implementation of the right to health and the role of international courts. This book brings empirical analysis and multidisciplinary, comparative perspectives to the previously fragmented and largely theoretical debate on juridification in the welfare state.

Chapter 5: The activation line in social security and social assistance law: a human rights perspective

Tine Eidsvaag

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, law and society, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, social policy and sociology, welfare states


Caitlin Reilly graduated from Birmingham University in June 2010 with a BSc in geology. Unable to find paid employment within her field of study, she claimed UK Jobseekers’ allowance from August 2010. In November, she was offered and accepted a paid work experience placement at a museum, where she continued voluntary work after the paid placement had expired. In October 2011, she was advised to attend a six-week training scheme for ‘retail sales assistants.’ According to her statement, she was told by her Public Employment Service advisor that she risked losing her allowance if she did not participate. Ms Reilly also stated that the ‘training’ was of no value, and that it soon became apparent that she would be working instead of training ([2012] EWHC 2292 (Admin) §§_91–105). Caitlin Reilly lodged a lawsuit, claiming inter alia that her workfare scheme violated the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), Article 4 on forced labor. Willingness to undertake gainful employment when able to do so has always been a condition for receiving social welfare benefits. However, work-line policies have been enhanced during recent decades. In the 1990s, concern for the sustainability of the welfare state grew in many European countries. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) developed a set of policy guidelines, the 1994 Job Strategy, urging states to reform their employment services and to stimulate growth with incentives to make work pay (OECD 2006, Annex I).

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