employment constituted the main campaign issue was unable to
avert defeat, handing over power to a resurgent centre-right coalition, the
‘Alliance for Sweden’.
The new government was soon marred by controversy, and the initial
honeymoon usually afforded by voters to incumbent governments vanished. The government’s main problem has been its welfare reform programme, not least its changes in the unemployment insurance scheme.
Adopting a workfare approach to welfare and claiming to defend the
welfare state, the government maintains that its reforms merely aim at
reform, the Clinton administration embraced
the cause of the balanced budget and then in 1996 the president signed the Personal
Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act that dramatically restricted and restructured welfare provision. The Act was based around time limits on assistance whereby
benefits were withdrawn after two years and a lifetime limit of five years was imposed
on benefits funded by the federal government. Many states introduced workfare
provisions so that those receiving assistance had either to work or to undertake prescribed training programmes
Self-policing as ethical development in North Manchester
‘Don’t call the police on me…’
— 2010. “Crafting the neoliberal state: workfare, prisonfare, and social insecurity”.
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Zigon, Jarrett. 2007. “Moral breakdown and the ethical demand a theoretical framework for an anthropology of moralities”. Anthropological Theory 7 (2): 131–150.
: The Politics of Inquiry,
Enactment, and Implementation, 1832–1839 (London, 1978), p. 15.
29 W. Apfel and P. Dunkley, ‘English rural society and the New Poor
Law: Bedfordshire, 1834–47’, Social History, 10 (1985), 37–68; B. Harris, ‘Charity and poor relief in England and Wales, circa 1750–1914’, in
B. Harris and P. Bridgen (eds.), Charity and Mutual Aid in Europe and
North America since 1800 (London, 2007), pp. 20–3.
30 Hammond and Hammond, The Village Labourer.
31 A. Digby, British Welfare Policy: Workhouse to Workfare (London, 1989),
p. 31; D. Englander, Poverty
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Italiana di Sociologia, 3: 499–526.
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manifesto per l’economia fondamentale. Rome: Donzelli.
Barbier, J.-C. (2003). La logica del workfare in Europa e negli Stati Uniti: i limiti
delle analisi globali. Assistenza Sociale, 3–4: 209–35.
Bettio, F., Simonazzi, A., and Villa, P. (2006). Change in care regimes and female
migration: the ‘care drain’ in the Mediterranean. Journal of European
The early 1990s were a time for capacity-building by the INOU during
which they developed innovative policies as an alternative to the punitive
measures that were propagated in the 1980s. Ongoing contact with individual government departments laid the basis for increased trust between
The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed
government officials and the INOU. This was important against the background of ‘Workfare’ in the US under the Reagan/Bush administrations up to
1992, and in light of the British experience under Thatcher. The INOU
of dealing with the worst effects of capitalism on the social sphere,
but was designed as an institutionally redistributive strategy for
decommodification and equality. In line with this argument, productivism
is not workfare, in the sense of social rights being conditional upon
productive participation, but rather it is a stress on the productive
potential of individuals. 26 There is a significant difference between the
effect of increasing the numbers of the poor in need of public assistance,
thereby also perpetuating problems such as ‘illegitimate births’ and crime.
Mead’s argument was subtler – and arguably more influential in terms of
the direction welfare reform was to take, from Reagan through to Clinton
– in presenting a psychosocial theory of dependency to argue for the
introduction of mandatory workfare programmes. In some respects prefiguring the libertarian paternalism of neuroliberalism, Mead’s approach was
essentially to infantilise the underclass in
there has always been
some expectation that benefit claimants will work, hence the principle of social insurance. The distinction has become popular to disguise the fact that what is now called active welfare is little more than
a synonym for workfare policies that often coerce and punish the
victim. Economic efficacy is now supposedly gained by reforming the
worker rather than reforming the market.
The idea that the Old Left ignored the importance of duties is another
caricature (Deacon, 2000: 15). In fact, the NSD merely updates the
principle of ‘less eligibility
substantial continuities between the nineteenth-century
minimalist state and the post-Victorian ‘penal–welfare’ state. He underlines the extent to which eugenics inspired the modern system of social
security, so that the latter is the institutional embodiment of the genetic
endowments we are assumed to possess. According to this interpretation,
social policy prods the genetically unfit into labour colonies, workfare and
social assistance schemes (King, 1999) and designs labour exchanges and
social insurance systems for the genetically fit.
Taken individually, none of the