Fighting Inequality Through Capability Oriented Policy
Edited by Hans-Uwe Otto, Valerie Egdell, Jean-Michel Bonvin and Roland Atzmüller
Chapter 8: The dynamics of youth policies in Switzerland: between participation and activation
The aim of this chapter is to provide an analysis of the continuity and change in Swiss youth policies. It describes the emergence of new categories of public action and the dynamic interplay of different actors for the institutionalisation of these categories. We argue that the restructuration of youth policies is, in organisational terms, subject to a field of struggle containing both bottom-up and top-down processes. At a conceptual level, we describe this movement as a new form of governance of youth as a life-course phase within a logic of human capital formation. We show that the call for more youth participation in soft policy fields is accompanied by cost containment measures and the hardening of eligibility criteria in different social security fields that affect young people the most. A short comparative glance at other European countries shows that youth policies evolve in accordance with their welfare state regimes, each giving rise to specific problems and voids.
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