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New Governance and the Case of Activation Policies: Comparing Experiences in Denmark and the Netherlands

McQuaid, Ronald W.; Lindsay, Colin; McQuaid, Ronald W


Ronald W. McQuaid

Colin Lindsay

Ronald W McQuaid


This article explores the importance of new forms of governance in active labour market policies (activation) in two countries: Denmark and the Netherlands. Drawing on research with key stakeholders in these countries, we analyse how new governance, and particularly processes of contracting-out and localization, have found expression in recent reforms to activation. We conclude that localization and contracting-out may have a future role to play in the development of more locally responsive and individually focused services. But both countries have encountered problems in promoting joined-up services through local job centres, while contracting-out has not always led to the tailored, individually focused services envisaged by policy-makers. In both countries, there are also concerns that the restriction of the Public Employment Service to a ‘gatekeeping and signposting’ role will lead to inconsistencies in the quality of services, exposing the most disadvantaged to greater social risk.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2009-10
Deposit Date May 3, 2011
Print ISSN 0144-5596
Electronic ISSN 1467-9515
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 5
Pages 445-463
Keywords Unemployment; Public employment service; Employability; De-monopolization; Denmark;The Netherlands;
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