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From Maastricht to Brexit by Richard Bellamy and Dario Castiglione

Activation and its Challenges: Investigating the Underexplored Dimensions of ALMPs Policies

Comparative Politics
Policy Analysis
Political Economy
Social Policy
Welfare State
Section Number
Section Chair
Flavia Fossati
Université de Lausanne
Section Co-Chair
Fabienne Liechti
Université de Lausanne

Against the backdrop of the social investment perspective, we have been witnessing the breath-taking diffusion of activating measures, and in particular of Active Labour Market Policies (ALMPs) in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries during the last thirty years. These measures developed the reputation of being the ideal instrument to achieve a successful welfare state modernization that allows addressing the typically post-industrial challenges of rising structural and long-term unemployment in a context of budget austerity.

While the governments who adopted such measures seem to be convinced that these policies provide an efficacious solution to labour demand and supply mismatch and effectively reduce welfare state reliance of the less employable workers, the reality appears to be much more complex and multi-faceted. In fact, despite a large body of research focusing on ALMPs, we do not fully understand the consequences these policies have for social inequality and especially for the most recent developments on the labour market.

In this Section we would like to analyse four open questions that emerge from the current ALMP research and address their implications from different theoretical and methodological angles.
First, we explore the consequences of ALMPs for labour market outcomes and in particular for social inequality reduction.
Second, we shed light on the different actors involved in ALMP provision and on their role in making these policies effective.
Third, we discuss how ALMPs are best measured to cap the different aspects of these policies.
Forth, against the backdrop of the current labour market developments (i.e., the gig-economy, automatization, etc.), we ask how ALMPs can be adapted to meet future challenges.

We want to enable the discussion of what we know about the effectiveness and shortcomings of ALMPs three decades after these started to diffuse. Moreover, we will advance the debate about what is required for these measures to successfully adapt to the new reality of changing labour markets.

Panel List

Code Title Details
P006Activation of and Outcomes for Vulnerable Jobseekers View Panel Details
P112Deregulation and Individualisation of Active Labour Market Policies: What Consequences for Political Support View Panel Details
P209Implementation and Governance of ALMPs View Panel Details
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