Marketization, Managerialism and Welfare State Professionalism
Edited by Tanja Klenk and Emmanuele Pavolini
Chapter 5: Marketization and managerialization of active labor market policies in a comparative perspective
Since the early 2000s, a reorientation toward activation has taken place in labor market policies of most European countries. This paradigm shift has changed the objectives of labor market policy from income protection to labor market integration. In addition, the governance of unemployment policy has become subject to reform as well. In this respect, privatization and contracting-out have been developed as the most salient modes of governance, characterizing the rearranged organizational landscape of labor market service delivery (van Berkel et al. 2011; van Berkel et al. 2012). Most Western European countries have long traditions of employment service provision by public bodies and non-profit organizations, but not by for-profit organizations. In order to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of employment services, many governments have changed the traditional hierarchically structured employment services and encouraged ideas of contestability, marketability, and partnerships with private actors. Increasingly, the central state has been withdrawing from direct provisions of employment services, instead favoring market orientated forms of intervention (Sol 2010). The objective of this chapter is to provide a critical overview of this trend, thereby focusing in particular on the effects that privatization and contracting-out has for both users of the services and the employees working in the marketized service providers.
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