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“Activation Policy all over?” New SW&S Special Issue on Labor Market Policy at Street Level

Esping-Andersens well known (tripartite) typology of welfare regimes has been dominant for decades in international welfare state and social policy research. Although researchers have been skeptical on the typology in detail Esping-Andersens model is widely used as a theoretical framework, especially for international comparative work.

Since activation, privatization, and precariousness have become structural characteristics of the changing welfare states in the last decades, discussions of retrenchment (Levy and others), amalgamation (Dobrowolsky and others), and post-welfarism (Peck and others) question the welfare state model as immovable (Pierson) and as path dependent in general. It seems to be obvious that beside the different paths a quite similar welfare program have been put on the political agenda of former welfare states (e.g. self-responsibility, self-interest, and market competition).

In social work and education policy activation has become the new strategy in this context. Quite a bit of research had been done on those new programs of activation, not at least in labor market policy as the structure-forming field of social policy and social work. But the street level practices of labor market policy and activation policy in general is still underexposed.

Therefore Social Work & Society is very grateful to present our readers the new S&WS Special Issue, edited by Daniela Böhringer (Germany), on labor market policy at street level. International scholars from the US, UK, and Germany present highly inspiring papers on different issues regarding the field of labor policy.

Enjoy the new issue of Social Work & Society.

The SW&S Co-Ordinating Office