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Local worlds of activation: the diverse pathways of three Swedish municipalities

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Kerstin Jacobsson
Katarina Hollertz
Christina Garsten
Publicerad i Nordic Social Work Research
Volym 7
Nummer/häfte 2
Sidor 86-100
ISSN 2156-857X
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap
Institutionen för socialt arbete
Sidor 86-100
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1080/2156857X.2016.12...
Ämnesord activation, governance, labour market policy, local government
Ämneskategorier Sociologi

Sammanfattning

Much welfare research is based on the assumption that welfare regimes are homogenous entities. Nevertheless, the practice of activation may vary considerably within states. This is especially so in a country such as Sweden where municipalities and state agencies are both involved in activation. This article studies local activation policy and practice in three Swedish municipalities, representing three distinct ‘local worlds of activation’. The analysis shows that policy orientations in the municipalities studied ranged from ‘work-first’ to ‘life-first’ approaches to activation. Governance arrangements and the role of private services and actors in service delivery differed significantly too, ranging from strictly market-based forms of governance to classical public administration. The article moreover shows how the different activation approaches were reflected in the radically different usages of Coordination Unions, as multi-party collaborate organisational structures established for activation policy implementation for certain target groups. Thus, activation must be approached not as a fixed and universal policy for social inclusion, but as susceptible to local practice and hence open to influence from local politics, established local traditions, patterns of networking and modes of collaborating, as the notion of ‘local words of activation’ intends to capture.

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