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Activation or Workfare? Governance and the Neo-Liberal Convergence$
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Ivar Lodemel and Amilcar Moreira

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199773589

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199773589.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2021

Norwegian Activation Reform on a Wave of Wider Welfare State Change

Norwegian Activation Reform on a Wave of Wider Welfare State Change

A Critical Assessment

(p.19) 2 Norwegian Activation Reform on a Wave of Wider Welfare State Change
Activation or Workfare? Governance and the Neo-Liberal Convergence

Erika Gubrium

Ivan Harsløf

Ivar Lødemel

Oxford University Press

Traditionally, activation in Norway shared more features with US-style workfare than with European developments toward a human capital approach. This chapter discusses how the governance of the activation of minimum income recipients is fundamentally altered with the NAV (Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration) reform, which opened the way for strengthening the collaboration between local authorities and the public employment services in the creation of integration opportunities for social assistance recipients. This operational reform created the necessary conditions for the introduction of the Qualification Program,which was aimed at improving services to long-term, hard-to-employ social assistance recipients and that offers a new approach to activation, based on higher benefits and a more personalized approach to the delivery of services. Finally, the chapter points to a turn in the political discourse toward the strengthening of the focus on work, on both the left and the right of the political spectrum.

Keywords:   Norway, social assistance, activation, Qualification Program, NAV agency, NAV office

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