Municipal Activation Policy in Sweden: Street-Level Workers and the ‘Production’ of Activation. Katarina H. Thoren The “Activation and Security” conference, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, March 20-21, 2009. ”Municipal Activation Policy”.
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Municipal Activation Policy in Sweden:Street-Level Workers and the ‘Production’ of Activation
Katarina H. Thoren
The “Activation and Security” conference,
Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, March 20-21, 2009
Street-level bureaucracy theory
Front-line actor perspective on policy implementation
Street-level bureaucrats are important agents in the social political process.
‘Produce’ policy through coping strategies/mechanisms.
High levels of discretion, which make street-level bureaucrats work difficult to control and monitor
Resources and incentives at the organisational level structure the street-level bureaucrats work
New Institutional Theory
(Meyer & Rowan, 1977; Powell & DiMaggio, 1991)
Organisational level perspective on organisational behaviour and organisational change
Organisations are dependant on the surrounding environment
Organisations adjust to institutional pressures in order to ”survive” and obtain resources and legitimacy
Different forms of myths and ceremonies are developed in order to maintain and uphold the legitimate ideas
Provide unemployed individuals with support and services
Activation as flexible and tailor-made support
Combat social exclusion and passivity
Not suitable for individuals with large social and personal difficulties
Additional activation objectives:
A need to decrease social assistance costs by implementing local activation requirements
A need to change deficient individual behaviours
The work line” is important (i.e. something for something) and no passive income support to unemployed individuals
A work-first approach since a job is better than social assistance dependency
Activation is “successful”
Social workers’ and activation workers’ responses: