Active Inclusion and Challenges for Local Welfare Governance
Edited by Martin Heidenreich and Deborah Rice
Chapter 3: Integrated and individualized services: paradoxes in the implementation of labour market policies in Sweden
AbstractIn 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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