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The Capability Concept and the Evolution of European Social Policy

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  • Simon Deakin
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    Abstract

    Amartya Sen’s capability approach has the potential to counter neoliberal critiques of social welfare systems by overcoming the false opposition between security and flexibility. In particular, it can be used to promote the idea of social rights as the foundation of active participation by individuals in the labour market. This idea is starting to be reflected in the case law of the European Court of Justice concerning free movement of persons but its use in the European employment strategy is so far more limited, thanks to the continuing influence of neoliberal ‘activation policies’.

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    File URL: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/pdf/WP303.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ESRC Centre for Business Research in its series ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers with number wp303.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp303

    Note: PRO-2
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    Web page: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/

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    Keywords: capabilities; welfare state; social rights; European Union law;

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    1. Simon Deakin & Hannah Reed, 2000. "The Contested Meaning of Labour Market Flexibility: Economic Theory and the Discourse of European Integration," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp162, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
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