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Trudie Knijn

Family and gender policies in the Netherlands have been and still are of an ambivalent nature. This chapter reflects on gender- and family-related policies in the context of the Dutch political system that is known for its coalition governments and a hybrid Dutch welfare state. From a gender perspective, a recent turn to neoliberalism has opened windows of opportunity for human rights-based identity politics, but it has also closed doors to further development of redistributive and equal rights-based welfare policies. The chapter focuses on the country’s liberal gender diversity policy approach representing the population’s social cultural orientation. That orientation is crucial in understanding the country’s leading position regarding diverse family forms and reproductive and LGBTI rights. The chapter further argues that social policies regarding gender equality have up to now been only partly successful in the country with high rates of women working part-time – though mainly by preference – and underdeveloped care policies. Finally it argues that this worsening is caused by austerity politics with regard to public services that are discursively framed as ‘participation society’. The ‘participation society’ discursive framework combines a gender-blind neoliberal ‘help yourself’ and a communitarian ‘help each other’ turn away from the already fragile efforts to reconcile work and care in the Netherlands.

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Trudie Knijn and Mara A. Yerkes

A basic function of welfare states is guaranteeing social protection to all citizens. European citizenship aims to create a level playing field for citizens of all Member States. In the process, some categories of citizens tend to be overlooked, or even deprived of previous rights. In this chapter, we focus on young adults as a vulnerable category of citizens. They appear to suffer the most from high unemployment rates, and are encouraged in the Europe 2020 strategy to be mobile to explore opportunities outside their country. However, the rights of young, mobile Europeans are not per se guaranteed if they migrate. A critical analysis of the Youth on the Move program, and recent National Reform Programmes of Member States identifies key discrepancies between EU goals for young adults’ mobility and their social, political, legal and economic position.

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Edited by Trudie Knijn and Manuela Naldini

Family law, gender equality, care arrangements and the consequences of demographic change have long been on the agenda of the European Union. However, these are coloured by national and cultural factors more than any other disputes, and form a barrier to the equalising of status for European citizens. Using an interdisciplinary approach, and bringing together law scholars, political scientists and sociologists, this book looks at the implications of the categorisation of identity in the European Union, and what they mean for the realisation of citizens’ rights throughout the EU.
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Trudie Knijn and Jane Lewis

This chapter explores current developments in childcare in two countries that have quasi-markets in childcare. Early years care and education are mainly private in England and the Netherlands. In both countries, the childcare market has expanded and receives substantial public funding since 2000, enough to put them in the middle of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) range. Interestingly, they have different systems of regulation. Both markets are fragmented and fragile and both systems are showing signs of failure. Balancing private (employers’ and families’) costs against public expenditure in this new market while guaranteeing value for money as well as access to a quality service for those who need it most has been a major policy challenge. This chapter argues that childcare needs state intervention in respect of financing and regulation and cannot be left to the private market alone. The arguments relate to defining childcare as a ‘public good’, the regulation of a state-subsidized private market, the quality of care and of care work; and to the argument of parents’ ‘free choice’, a main policy argument for privatizing a public good. It will be shown that parental choice is limited due to difficulties in assessing quality, poor information, lack of transparency, switching costs related to policy decisions on tax allowances and tax credits, and because children need continuity of care. Market provision tends to be fragile and therefore unsustainable and sometimes inaccessible, especially in poor areas. Finally, the childcare market does not guarantee stable and continuous high-quality care and has exclusionary effects, which are linked to policy decisions on eligibility. In this context, issues of affordability, entitlement and service quality come to the fore.

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Edited by Trudie Knijn and Dorota Lepianka

Open access

Edited by Trudie Knijn and Dorota Lepianka

Open access

Dorota Lepianka and Trudie Knijn

A central question posed in this book revolves around the issue of how the various economic, social and political challenges may lead (or might have already led) to a reformulation of the ideals of justice as we knew it – its normative foundations, premises, scope and boundaries. Some of the pressing questions we ask include: What is just and what is unjust? Where does (in)justice start? Who is entitled to (what kind of) justice? On what grounds? Who should secure justice and how? And – last but not least – what barriers to the realisation of justice are there and what are their sources? This book is an outcome of a collaborative Horizon 2020 project Towards a European Theory of Justice and Fairness (ETHOS). The main goal of ETHOS was thus to develop an empirically informed European theory of justice by: 1) refining and deepening the knowledge on the European foundations of justice – both historically based and contemporary envisaged; 2) enhancing the awareness of the mechanisms that impede the realization of the justice ideals that live in contemporary Europe; 3) advancing the understanding of the process of drawing and re-drawing of the boundaries, or fault lines, of justice; and 4) providing guidance to politicians, policy makers, advocacies and other stakeholders on how to design and implement policies to reserve inequalities and prevent injustice. This introductory chapter outlines the core concepts of the theoretical framework as well as how the following chapters contribute to the main aim of the project.

Open access

Trudie Knijn and Jing Hiah

This chapter explores justice and care from the perspective of Nancy Fraser’s claim for participatory parity, focusing in particular on justice as recognition and redistribution, and Amartya Sen’s capability approach. It is based on two reports that constitute ethnographic and sociological analyses of principles and discourses of justice, and their realisation in national care systems and practices, from the perspective of both care recipients and care givers. The first part of the chapter briefly outlines the idea of justice and care by pointing at the complicated relationship between (inter)dependency, participatory parity and capabilities, followed by a section on the methodology of the chapter. The second part of this chapter analyses the discourses on care at the European level, their assumptions and agendas. This analysis reveals three main boundary lines of care: passivity vs activity, dependency vs independency and residential care vs community care. The third part dives into the lived experiences of care, and by exploring care relations between care recipients and care givers operating under diverse care regimes, it shows how care workers and care recipients cope with the three boundary lines of care. In the final part of the chapter, we conclude that for justice in care to be achieved, a tailor-made and stepwise care system should be developed in constant deliberation with stakeholders.

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Trudie Knijn and Başak Akkan

This chapter aims to unravel mechanisms of redistributive, recognitive and representative justice for vulnerable populations in Europe. Mechanisms consist of entities (with their properties) and the activities that these entities engage in bringing about change. The type of change brought about depends upon the properties and activities of the entities and the relations between them. The concept of vulnerability is defined in this paper as both a universal human condition and a situational, context dependent outcome of institutional, discursive and social practices. The chapter concludes that due to constitutional pluralism in Europe there is an interplay between local, national, EU and human rights-informed understandings of justice principles. In this complex governmental hierarchy, the EU has an ambivalent position regarding redistributive versus recognitive justice. On the one hand, the European Union and its institutions are profound defenders of minority rights, gender equality and the rights of LGBT and disabled persons. On the other hand the EU has promoted a free market of persons, capital, services and goods with strict economic budgetary restrictions, and has stimulated austerity measures by putting Member States under rigid regulations affecting the participatory parity and capabilities of exactly these groups: minorities, women, frail elderly and disabled persons. Justice principles expressed in visions, codified and institutionalised in legal tradition and/or bureaucratic, professional, cultural and social practice determine not only the shape, scope and site of justice experienced by individuals, groups and societies, but also the choice of remedies, that is the claims for justice to tackle the injustice. Democratic and interactional negotiation of these principles is an ongoing process presuming some dialogical openness.

Open access

Trudie Knijn and Dorota Lepianka

At the time we conducted our research, wrote our chapters and composed this book, the Corona virus and the pandemic it caused was far behind the horizon. Today, ‘old normality’ has disappeared, which allows and even urges for a concluding chapter that reflects on the meaning of justice in Europe in an era, when political, economic, social and cultural relations are undergoing a radical shake-up. What does this immense drama of 50,000 to 100,000 deaths in Europe tell us about justice on the continent? Do the principles of justice that we unraveled in our ETHOS study help us understand how Europe reacts to the needs of nation states and its populations, or are new principles applied? Are the already vulnerable populations sufficiently protected or have they become even more vulnerable? Have new categories of vulnerable populations come to the fore? And are old boundary lines that define the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of justice sustained, or resolved? Are new lines being drawn? In this concluding chapter we cautiously reflect on justice in Europe in the times of the Corona crisis, along the lines of representation, redistribution and recognition. We show that radical transformative politics that challenges structural as well as cultural relations is possible, but its long-term effects are dubious. In the end, in line with result of the ETHOS project, we propose combining the best possible affirmative strategies that are open for ‘second best’ remedies in everyday life with a more thorough analysis of structural injustices that could lead to transformative restructuring of the institutional context.