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The concept of activation

The concept of activation

Chapter:
(p.45) Three The concept of activation
Source:
Active social policies in the EU
Author(s):
Rik van BerkelIver Hornemann Møller
Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861342805.003.0003

This chapter examines the development of active social policies, and elaborates upon the concept of activation. It explores the shift from passive to active social policies in the EU in general, and at the EU policy making level in particular, as a paradigm shift in which the main objective of social policies is being transformed from protection to participation. It argues that activation is not a uniform concept and distinguishes four ideal activation approaches in order to elaborate the variety of views on, and practices of, activation. It examines how the development of active social policies can be interpreted in the context of attempts of welfare states to adapt to a changing social reality. It concludes by explaining why activation emerged, and explores activation expenditures and institutional developments taking place against the background of the process of making welfare states and social policies more activating.

Keywords:   activation, active social policies, EU, policy making, welfare states, social reality, institutional developments

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