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Activation policies as reflexive social policies

Activation policies as reflexive social policies

(p.197) Nine Activation policies as reflexive social policies
Active social policies in the EU
Rik van BerkelMaurice Roche
Policy Press

This chapter evaluates the research results from an active social policy perspective. Since the development of social policies increasingly takes place in a context of EU policy making, this chapter explains this broader political context. It then applies the theme of reflexivity and expounds on it in the context of debates on the future of active social policies. Based on the results of INPART, it also determines several core issues of activation — heterogeneity and policy differentiation, objectives of activation, matching resources of work and people's needs, the relation between participation and income and the recognition of non-labour-market inclusion strategies. It argues that two approaches to these issues can be distinguished — orthodox consensus of activation and reflexive activation. It reasons in favour of treating activation as a process that involves activation not only of policy clients but also of the institutions involved in designing, implementing and delivering social policies.

Keywords:   activation policies, reflexive social policies, active social policy, EU policy making, income, non-labour market inclusion strategies, orthodox consensus of activation, reflexive activation

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