The Activation of Citizenship in Europe
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This book is the first to illuminate the links between a transnational discourse on what constitutes 'modern' social policy and our concepts and practices of citizenship. Throughout Europe, we are witnessing a large-scale reshuffling of welfare economies critically informed by the guiding principles of 'activation' and an 'activating welfare state'. Moreover, the European Union has become a major driving force behind this discourse. What are the consequences of this fundamental reorientation for citizenship? How does it relate to patterns of exclusion and inequality inherent in each historical citizenship formation? What exactly is the EU's role in this context? The book examines how such a powerful conceptual debate intervenes in the conditions of political membership in terms of rights and duties, participation, and access to societal resources. The detailed qualitative study focuses on the European Employment Strategy - and in particular its gender equality dimension - as a central process where the activation agenda is constructed and equipped with meanings. It traces how this European debate has unfolded, how it has been received and translated into shifting practices of citizenship in three EU member states - Germany, the UK, and Hungary. The book provides instructive insights in how the activation discourse reshapes the conceptual foundations of citizenship. Despite their indirect and intellectual nature, these changes significantly intervene in the contested development and the exclusionary elements of citizenship. The activation of citizenship in Europe will be principally of interest to researchers, practitioners, advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students in the fields of European integration, social policy, and citizenship.
PFISTER ThomasThomas Pfister is a Fellow in the Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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