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Workfare – The Reinvention of the Social


  • Herrmann, Peter


The presentation aims on refocusing the mainstream debate, starting from looking at work as the central reference rather than seeing the constituting problem of workfare as one of social policy/social security. Of course, at the end the objective is a clearer understanding of how measures aiming on work and employment integration can meaningfully be utilised for responsible policy making. For this, an introductory step will look at what we are actually dealing with when we talk about workfare. Then a second step will very briefly present the EUropean political debate, returning thereafter to the question what we are actually dealing with when we talk about workfare. Then, in a third step, a paradox is presented: the gain of employment, going hand in hand with a loss of work. The conclusion will discuss in the fourth step workfare in the light of power and life.

Suggested Citation

  • Herrmann, Peter, 2008. "Workfare – The Reinvention of the Social," MPRA Paper 9947, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:9947

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Herrmann, Peter & van der Maesen, Laurent J.G., 2008. "Social Quality and Precarity: Approaching New Patterns of Societal (Dis)Integration," MPRA Paper 10245, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item


    workfare; social policy; Comparative social research;

    JEL classification:

    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • B30 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - General
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • F00 - International Economics - - General - - - General
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics

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