The local dimension of employment-related welfare policy in Germany, England and Sweden

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished Conference Paperpeer-review


The link between work and welfare is a key pathway of modern welfare state development in Western Europe. National governments face a constant balancing act between the welfare expectations of the labour forces and the labour market liberalisation demands of the business communities. Facilitating the transit from welfare into employment has therefore become an important tool for the British, German and Swedish governments, providing labour as and when needed while keeping welfare expenditure in check. However, the approaches to organising active labour market policies are quite different, notably with regard to the territorial dimension. Although labour markets are quite diverse in all three cases, the role of local authorities, local agencies and local labour market actors from the private and voluntary sector are generally under-developed and apparently under-appreciated, but in different ways and for different reasons. The article compares current employment-related welfare provisions and approaches to develop active labour market policies in the three countries, and concludes that while certain structural and procedural similarities exist, the basic political priorities and actual support and services provided remain very far apart.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2016
EventPolitical Economy in an Age of Great Uncertainty: The political economy of welfare - University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jul 20166 Jul 2016


ConferencePolitical Economy in an Age of Great Uncertainty
Abbreviated titleSPERI 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • welfare localization
  • local labour markets
  • UK
  • Sweden
  • Germany


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