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 3: Integrated and individualized services: paradoxes in the implementation of labour market policies in Sweden

Katarina Hollertz

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


In Chapter 3 on Sweden, Katarina Hollertz highlights paradoxes in the local implementation of labour market policies in Sweden. Hollertz argues that in spite of a formal commitment to active labour market policies and the provision of coordinated and individualized services for the long-term unemployed, neither state agencies nor the municipalities can live up to this expectation in practice, owing to a hindering regulatory and normative environment (e.g. strong control mechanisms, strict client categorizations, management by objectives and the Swedish ‘Work Line’ concept). In order to circumvent these limitations, local actors are trying to create new arenas of collaboration where they can provide more individualized services to selected groups of long-term unemployed. According to Hollertz, this can be understood as symptomatic of a declining universalism in Swedish welfare policies.

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