The purpose of this paper is to analyse Czech’s activation reforms enacted since 2006 which culminated in 2010-2012 as radical workfare-like reforms. It also aims to explain which factors have influenced their development.
The paper is the case study of activation reforms in one country interpreted within the theoretical framework of the “activation models” and discussion of the factors influencing activation reforms. The design and implementation of the reforms of activation policies are in focus. Institutional analysis is combined with secondary statistical data and survey data.
The author distinguish three phases of the activation reforms: the initial phase of activation (work first), the radical phase (workfare) and the failure of radical workfare as the final phase. The key argument is that the main factors leading to the radical workfare version of activation were the political factors combined with institutional factors, particularly, the specific model of policy making (the so-called “compost model”). Ironically, this model which has enabled fast and radical workfare-like reforms was also the main reason why the reforms failed.
The paper is innovative since it explains the specific features of the activation reforms in the Czech Republic, distinguishing workfare from other models of activation, and identifying the factors which have played a role in shaping these features. The in-depth case study of one country provides the evidence on the role of the specific factors and helps the author to understand the motives, the design and the implementation of activation reforms in their mutual relationships. The specific role of the institutional legacy in the new circumstances is emphasized.
This study was written with the support of the Czech Grant Agency (Project No. P404/11/0086, Modernization of Czech Social Policy).
Sirovatka, T. (2016), "When workfare fails: post-crisis activation reform in the Czech Republic", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 36 No. 1/2, pp. 86-101. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-01-2015-0001Download as .RIS
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