The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of the current trend towards integrating employment policies against Amartya Sen's capability approach. By contrast with the conventional efficiency measures, it focuses on two main issues: to what extent does the integration of policies result in more performing programs when it comes to empowering the beneficiaries? What is the impact of integrated programs in terms of freedom to choose and capability for voice? These issues are investigated against a Swiss case study, i.e. the CII‐MAMAC project.
An investigation relying on qualitative interviews conducted with 25 local agents and managers belonging to the various institutions engaged in the CII‐MAMAC project and an in‐depth documentary survey of the official texts (laws, directives, etc.).
Integrating employment policies is very ambivalent in terms of both empowerment and freedom to choose. On the one hand, it can certainly lead to an increased effort in terms of empowerment, while on the other hand, it may reinforce paternalistic views of the welfare state envisaging the beneficiary as an obedient subject, rather than an active citizen. All in all, integration cannot be seen as the panacea to problems of inefficiency and unfairness in social policies.
The paper focuses on one case study. Other in‐depth investigations are needed for issuing more general conclusions.
The paper demonstrates that using the capability approach to assess public policies opens new paths for evaluation research in this field.
Galster, D., Rosenstein, E. and Bonvin, J. (2009), "Assessing integrated employment policies against the capability approach: A Swiss case study", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 29 No. 11/12, pp. 637-648. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330910999078Download as .RIS
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