Photo © LVES Hugues Siegenthaler

Publication of a book on active social policy in Europe

Giuliano Bonoli, professor at the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP) and member of the NCCR LIVES IP4, just published a book with Oxford University Press entitled "The Origins of Active Social Policy: Labour Market Policies and Childcare in a comparative Perspective".

The book of Prof. Giuliano Bonoli is the result of a study conducted as part of a project of the Swiss National Science Foundation and completed in 2010. It focuses on the reorientation of social policies towards promotion of the employment in seven European countries: Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Within the NCCR LIVES IP4 and IDHEAP, Prof. Bonoli researches the impact of activation of social network by the unemployed in their search for work in Switzerland. After following a cohort of job seekers in the Canton of Vaud and having collected data for a year, the team is now entering the phase of analysis. "We are getting the first results," he enthuses.

The themes developed in the book of Prof. Bonoli are not unrelated to his concerns within the NCCR LIVES : "The policies of vocational rehabilitation are one of the instruments of social policy put in place to fight against vulnerability. The study shows how these policies have been developed in Europe for the last twenty years,” he says.

Abstract

Oxford University Press webpage

Since the mid-1990s European welfare states have undergone a major transformation. Relative to the post-war years, today they put less emphasis on income protection and more on the promotion of labour market participation. This book investigates this transformation by focusing on two fields of social policy: active labour market policy and childcare. Throughout Europe, governments have invested massively in these two areas. The result, a more active welfare state, seems a rather solid achievement, likely to survive the turbulent post-crisis years. Why? Case studies of policy trajectories in seven European countries and advanced statistical analysis of spending figures suggest that the shift towards an active social policy is only in part a response to a changed economic environment. Political competition, and particularly the extent to which active social policy can be used for credit claiming purposes, help us understand the peculiar cross-national pattern of social policy reorientation. This book, by trying to understand the shift towards an active welfare state, provides also an update of political science theories of social policy making.

Giuliano Bonoli, The Origins of Active Social Policy : Labour Market and Childcare Policies in a Comparative Perspective, Oxford University Press, 2013