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Welfare to Work in Contemporary European Welfare StatesLegal, Sociological and Philosophical Perspectives on Justice and Domination$
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Anja Eleveld, Thomas Kampen, and Josien Arts

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447340010

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447340010.001.0001

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Welfare to work, social justice and domination: an introduction to an interdisciplinary normative perspective on welfare policies

Welfare to work, social justice and domination: an introduction to an interdisciplinary normative perspective on welfare policies

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Welfare to work, social justice and domination: an introduction to an interdisciplinary normative perspective on welfare policies
Source:
Welfare to Work in Contemporary European Welfare States
Author(s):

Anja Eleveld

Thomas Kampen

Josien Arts

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447340010.003.0001

In the last decades, rights to social assistance benefits have become more conditional. Governments in Europe, as in other welfare states, have sought to ‘activate’ their unemployed citizens by requiring them to participate in mandatory work programmes. This chapter examines how liberal and communitarian thinkers have justified or rejected welfare-to-work (WTW) policies within social assistance systems and how these policies have been legitimised by key notions of inclusion, responsibilisation, employability and empowerment, which correspond with liberal and communitarian justifications of WTW. Drawing on critical socio-legal literature, the authors question these justifications and clarify their decision to explore WTW from a threefold normative perspective that takes into account: 1) power relations and human social rights (the legal perspective); 2) lived experiences within WTW relationships, including endemic power asymmetries and perceptions of justice (the sociological perspective); and 3) the republican theory of non-domination (the philosophical perspective). The last part of this chapter introduces the chapters of this book.

Keywords:   Rawls, Communitarianism, Republican theory of non-domination, Inclusion, Responsibilisation, Employability, Empowerment, Welfare-to-work, Activation, Workfare

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