Marketization, Managerialism and Welfare State Professionalism
Edited by Tanja Klenk and Emmanuele Pavolini
Chapter 8: De-professionalization through managerialization in labour market policy: lessons from the Danish experience
Labour market policy reforms have been mushrooming all over Europe for more than 20 years. New activation regimes have been implemented (Serrano and Magnusson 2007; Weishaupt 2011). Processes of policy diffusion and policy transfer are to be seen (Evans 2009, Marsh and Sharman 2009). During recent years, the Danish labour market system – for a longer period of time a European role model for ‘activation’ and ‘flexicurity’ (Bekker 2012; Jørgensen and Madsen 2007) – has also been subject to strong institutional and organizational change. A triple activation of clients, frontline workers and the social system has been seen. Two of the most recent changes are a structural reform implemented in 2007 and a 2009 re-organization of the institutional set-up of the labour market system along with the introduction of a new monitoring and controlling system. The state driven Public Employment Service (PES) has been dissolved and municipalities given full responsibility of employment efforts. These changes follow a ‘policy drift’ which has taken place since the shift of government in 2001. Before – in 1994 – a social democratic led government introduced an ‘active labour marked policy’, unfolding the Danish ‘flexicurity’ nexus of high flexibility, high incomes security and high employment security. Activation arrangements should bring unemployed people back into the open labour market by the help of qualification measures and job training. And it worked. Denmark became the darling of European ‘flexicurity’ talk and was treated as a celebrity (Jørgensen and Madsen 2007).
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