Integrating Social and Employment Policies in Europe

Integrating Social and Employment Policies in Europe

Active Inclusion and Challenges for Local Welfare Governance

Edited by Martin Heidenreich and Deborah Rice

A central goal of European activation policies is to integrate social and employment policies into a coherent active inclusion approach that fosters social cohesion and enhances the employment chances of vulnerable groups. This requires a reorganisation of social and employment services especially at the local level. On the basis of empirical studies of six European welfare states, this book explores how different institutional contexts influence localised service delivery and how local actors deal with the associated coordination challenges.

Chapter 2: Integrating social and employment policies at the local level: conceptual and empirical challenges

Martin Heidenreich and Deborah Rice

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, labour policy, welfare states


Chapter 2 (authored by Martin Heidenreich and Deborah Rice) lays the analytical groundwork for the empirical chapters in the book. The chapter focuses on the organizational challenges associated with the integrated delivery of employment and social services at the local level, and discusses how the fragmentation of services between the local, regional, national and European level (vertical fragmentation), between public actors, private companies and third-sector organizations, and between policy areas such as employment, social assistance, family, health, housing (horizontal fragmentation) manifests itself and can be overcome (e.g. via central reorganization, one-stop shops or decentralized collaboration in the case of horizontal fragmentation, or by the decentralization of competencies or local discretion in the case of vertical fragmentation). Also a broad overview of multilevel, multidimensional and multi-stakeholder activation governance arrangements in the six European countries studied in this book (the UK, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Poland and France) is given. The final part of Chapter 2 turns to inner-organizational factors that either enable or hinder the provision of coordinated and individualized employment and social services at street level, namely service budgets and staff resources, client-processing procedures and categorization tools, and professional norms.

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