Activation policies in most Western countries have discovered the private tool of contract and in a short period of time the contract has penetrated the whole domain. Among the forerunner countries contracts in different forms, collective as well as individual, have become the central steering instrument. The purpose of this article is to shed some light on what this change can and does entail for the individual job seeker on benefit. Job seekers are no longer expected to passive undergo treatment but expected to contribute actively to one's own return into the labour market. The main rationale behind this shift is the idea that working with contracts increases the level of involvement and, therefore improves results over time: results in terms of better motivated clients, more focused policymakers, providers and frontline workers delivering client‐orientated services.
Using qualitative research the article maps the different types of contracts using empirical material from eight countries.
The findings are presented in the form of the practical potentials and pittfalls of contracts for the individual.
A major added value is the multidisciplinary approach used by the authors; the phenomenon of contracts is analysed from a social science and a legal point of view.
Sol, E. and Westerveld, M. (2007), "The individual job seeker in the sphere of contractualism", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 27 No. 7/8, pp. 301-310. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330710773872Download as .RIS
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