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Social Citizenship and Workfare in the United States and Western Europe: The Paradox of Inclusion

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Joel F. HandlerUniversity of California, Los Angeles

ISBN13: 9780521541534
ISBN: 0521541530
Published: May 2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £39.99



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This book compares workfare policies in the United States and 'active labor policies' in Western Europe that are aimed primarily at the long-term unemployed, unemployed youth, lone parents, immigrants and other vulnerable groups often referred to collectively as the 'socially excluded'. The Europeans maintain that workfare is the best method of bringing the socially excluded back into mainstream society. Although there are differences in terms of ideology and practice, Joel F. Handler argues that there are also significant similarities, especially field-level practices that serve to exclude those who are the least employable or lack other qualifications that agencies favor. The author also examines strategies for reform, including protective labor legislation, the Open Method of Coordination, the reform of social and employment services, and concludes with an argument for a basic income guarantee, which would not only alleviate poverty but also provide clients with an exit option.

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Subjects:
Comparative Law
Contents:
Acknowledgements
1. Introduction
2. The American Welfare Reform: 'Ending welfare as we know it': The 'undeserving poor'
'Ending welfare as we know it'
The 'work first' strategy
The low-wage labor market
The work experience of welfare recipients
The attitudes of welfare recipients
The decline in the welfare rolls and poverty
The future
Recommendations to make welfare really work
Social citizenship in the US
Some lessons from the American experience that might be applicable to Western Europe
3. The European welfare states: social citizenship in the golden age
The challenge of unemployment
The impact on labor
Vulnerable groups: the socially excluded
Poverty
Right, center and left - questioning the welfare state
The 'third way': from status to contract
4. Workfare in western Europe: the United Kingdom
Ireland
Sweden
Norway
Denmark
The Netherlands
France
Germany
Risks for the socially excluded
5. Social Europe: alternatives? Conclusions? Solutions?
Part A. Social Europe: convergence vs. path-dependent
Negative vs. positive integration
Part B. Reform at the national level
Part C. Those who remain.