During the 1990s and the early 2000s, reforms were sweeping across the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, aiming to bring about a transformation from passive to active employment and social policies. In more recent years, reforms have focused on the governance and implementation of labour market policies.
Hence, many countries have witnessed major restructuring processes of the institutional arenas for the administration of income protection schemes and the delivery of employment services. This book identifies how labour market policies are governed, and what new forms of governance have been introduced in various countries. The book address the questions: Why do changes in governance structures apparently dominate the employment and social policy area at present? Are the reforms only "technical" and "a-political" (to pursue effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, and the like) as claimed by the decision makers? What are the implications for service delivery agencies, front-line workers, and the unemployed, as well as for the practical policy and service production processes taking place in these public - and increasingly private - agencies? From a cross-national perspective, this book - as one of the first in the field - analyzes the relation between the many recent governance and operational reforms and substantial changes of labour market policy. The book consists of four parts, examining: the tendency in several countries to dissolve the public employment services (PES) and replace them with new types of implementation units, paying special attention to the process of decentralization of responsibilities to sub-national entities * the more and more widespread tendency of marketization of employment services * the impacts of institutional reforms on the front-line implementation of employment services * alternative governance mechanism and strategies, among these, outplacement and new roles for the PES as seen in Finland.
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