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Unwrapping the European social model$
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Amparo Serrano Pascual and Maria Jepsen

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347985

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347985.001.0001

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Reforming the European Social Model and the politics of indicators: from the unemployment rate to the employment rate in the European Employment Strategy1

Reforming the European Social Model and the politics of indicators: from the unemployment rate to the employment rate in the European Employment Strategy1

Chapter:
(p.189) Eight Reforming the European Social Model and the politics of indicators: from the unemployment rate to the employment rate in the European Employment Strategy1
Source:
Unwrapping the European social model
Author(s):

Robert Salais

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861347985.003.0009

This chapter focuses on the European Employment Strategy (EES) as an exemplar of what could be called ‘a politics of indicators’, by which is meant the specific type of political action and monitoring introduced by the OMC. It argues that the so-called harmonisation of data encouraged by Eurostat to measure national efforts is highly misleading in view of the considerable diversity of national institutions and ways of conducting a national public policy. Reducing the complexity of the European models to a small number of indicators, which is a substantial component of the task represented by the EES, enables the political construction of common problems. This chapter analyses the underpinnings of this policy of benchmarking, showing how this exercise of regulation has degenerated into a game of statistical performance, which in no way indicates whether or not the employability of citizens has actually improved.

Keywords:   European Union, employment, employment policy, benchmarking, regulations, social models, sociology, national policy

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