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Individualised service provision in an era of activation and new governance

Vando Borghi (Dipartimento di Sociologia, Facoltà di Scienze Politiche, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy)
Rik van Berkel (Department of Interdisciplinary Social Science (ASW), Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 11 September 2007

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to discuss the individualisation trend in the provision of social services, focusing on activation services specifically.

Design/methodology/approach

The individualisation trend in the provision of activation services is analysed against the background of public sector as well as social sector as well as social policy reforms: the introduction of new modes of governance and the rise of the active welfare state respectively.

Findings

Concrete manifestations of individualised service provision are often based on various interpretations of individualisation and reflect different meanings of citizens’ participation, and refer to different modes – or rather, mixes of different modes – of governance. The general argument of the article is illustrated and elaborated by analysing three national case studies of individualised service provision in the context of activation: the UK, The Netherlands and Finland.

Originality/value

The trend that is analysed in the article – individualised service provision – is very clearly present in welfare state reforms, but has thus far not received much attention in academic literature.

Keywords

Citation

Borghi, V. and van Berkel, R. (2007), "Individualised service provision in an era of activation and new governance", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 27 No. 9/10, pp. 413-424. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330710822101

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited