Welfare to Work in Practice: Social Security and Participation in Economic and Social Life, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Welfare to Work in Practice

Social Security and Participation in Economic and Social Life, 1st Edition

Edited by Peter Saunders


282 pages

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pub: 2017-05-16
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Welfare to Work in Practice brings together some of the leading international social security experts to discuss the rationale for welfare to work policies, their limitations and problems encountered in practice. Contributors include Jane Millar, Neil Gilbert, Martin Werding, Jonathan Bradshaw and Einar Overbye, who address topics ranging from the linkages between social security and the labour market to how the welfare to work agenda is responding to the needs of special groups such as lone parents, the long-term unemployed and those with a disability. The book puts the arguments and ideas that underlie the new welfare reform agenda under the microscope and explains how it is being implemented in an international context. Several new data sets are analyzed in a collection that covers developments in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Norway, the UK and the US, as well as several comparative studies. In doing so, this volume helps to bridge the gap between research and policy and demonstrates how policy can respond to the challenges it faces.


’This book deals with one of the great themes in modern social policy that goes under a variety of names such as workfare, welfare to work or activation. We know too little about an idea that now powerfully informs welfare reform. This book represents a stock-take of existing knowledge and then adds importantly to the pool of knowledge. It is highly recommended…The twenty-two authors draw on welfare reform experience in the USA, Britain, Australia, the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Belgium, Estonia and elsewhere. The book combines country studies and broad international comparative analyses, using a variety of economic and sociological approaches and types of data.’ Professor Stein Ringen, University of Oxford, UK ’This book gives a well balanced and thought provoking insight into the most important reforms of welfare systems worldwide in recent years…If one [wishes] to learn about recent reforms of welfare systems worldwide - and future challenges for these systems - then this is the book to read.’ Niels Ploug, The Danish National Institute of Social Research, Denmark

Table of Contents

Contents: Welfare to work in practice: introduction and overview, Peter Saunders; Protection to activation: the apotheosis of work, Neil Gilbert; Work as welfare? Lone mothers, social security and employment, Jane Millar; Bridging the welfare to work divide: economic and social participation among income support recipients in Australia, Peter Saunders; The role of workfare in the Scandinavian model of social security: soft work incentives, skill upgrading or quality of life improvement for the disadvantaged? Lisbeth Pedersen and Jørgen Søndergaard; In-work benefits: curing unemployment among the low-skilled in Germany, Martin Werding; Financial incentives and mothers' employment: a comparative perspective, Jonathan Bradshaw, Naomi Finch and Emese Mayhew; Reforming the passive welfare state: Belgium's new income arrangements to make work pay in international perspective, Lieve De Lathouwer; Dilemmas in disability activation and how Scandinavians try to live with them, Einar Overbye; Personalised employment services for disability benefits recipients: are comparisons useful? Patricia Thornton and Anne Corden; Who becomes a disability benefit recipient in Sweden? Sisko Bergendorff, Marcela Cohen-Birman, Kristian Nyberg, Peter Skogman Thoursie, Annika Sundén and Ingemar Svensson; Returning the long-term sick-listed to work: the effects of educational measures and employer separations in Denmark, Jan Høgelund and Anders Holm; Disability benefits and unemployment patterns in Estonia, Orsolya Szirko.

About the Editor

Professor Peter Saunders is the Director of the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He has published widely on topics including poverty and inequality, the economics and politics of the welfare state, social policy developments in Asia, the role of the public sector and the costs of unemployment. He is currently undertaking a multi-year project on social security and participation in Australia for the Australian Department of Family and Community services.

About the Series

International Studies on Social Security (FISS)

International Studies on Social Security (FISS)
The series is initiated by the Foundation for International Studies on Social Security (FISS). One of its aims is to confront different academic approaches with each other, and with public policy perspectives. Another is to give analytic reports of cross-nationally different approaches to the design and reform of welfare state programs.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General