The purpose of this paper is to engage with the theme of activation policies and organisational innovation in the capability perspective, from the viewpoint of active labour market policies in the UK.
The focus of the article is the City Strategy initiative in Great Britain, which encourages institutions to work together to develop solutions to concentrations of worklessness. The article presents findings from a case study of the introduction of the City Strategy in one English sub‐region: Birmingham, Coventry and the Black Country. The empirical investigation is based on analysis of documentary evidence including strategy papers and “grey literature” such as minutes of meetings and internal briefings. In addition, the case study draws on in‐depth qualitative interviews conducted with 18 local actors involved in the City Strategy.
The empirical investigation provides selected evidence of successful public action undertaken through the City Strategy. It discusses issues concerning the benefits of partnership working and inter‐agency cooperation, but also limits that are reached.
The paper identifies elements of the capabilities approach – the idea of situated public action, the importance of local actors, and key concepts of empowerment and voice – as providing a helpful framework for analysis. While the City Strategy represents an interesting example of situated public action to tackle worklessness, it can be argued that what is missing in this instance is what the capabilities approach identifies as key elements of empowerment and voice for local actors.
Green, A. and Orton, M. (2009), "The integration of activation policy at sub‐national level: A case study of the City Strategy initiative in an English sub‐region", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 29 No. 11/12, pp. 612-623. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330910999050Download as .RIS
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