Active Inclusion in a Multi-Level and Multi-Actor Context
Edited by Rune Halvorsen and Bjørn Hvinden
Chapter 1: Introduction: how to achieve Active Inclusion in a multi-layered Political context?
This book asks how governments in Europe go about combating poverty and social exclusion. Poverty and social exclusion are complex problems, and a number of actors are involved in efforts to handle them. The complexity creates a range of challenges of political capacity and organization. The financial crisis that began in 2008 is an important context for the analyses presented in the book. The crisis meant that the number of people living in poverty increased dramatically in many countries and the need for financial and other assistance grew quickly. At the same time, governments’ efforts to meet the crisis forced them to make substantial changes to existing social provisions, sometimes in a restrictive direction. The need to cut their budgets reduced governments’ overall capacity to prevent and alleviate poverty. However, the book is not primarily about the effects of the crisis or the impact of austerity. Most of the book deals with enduring issues that most countries had faced before the early days of the crisis and that are unlikely to go away when Europe has moved beyond it.