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Social Policy and CitizenshipThe Changing Landscape$
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Adalbert Evers and Anne-Marie Guillemard

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199754045

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754045.001.0001

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The Policy of Activation in the Czech Republic and Citizenship Rights

The Policy of Activation in the Czech Republic and Citizenship Rights

(p.259) 11 The Policy of Activation in the Czech Republic and Citizenship Rights
Social Policy and Citizenship

Tomáš Sirovátka

Oxford University Press

The recent reforms in the content and regulation of the employment and activation policies express in the most condensed form the paradigm shift towards the “active welfare state.” The chapter examines the impact of the activation policies implemented in the Czech Republic on (social) citizenship. Beside the link between citizenship and the content/substance of the activation policies, the chapter is concerned with the question how the wider policy context and governance framework have influenced the design and implementation of the policies. The chapter discusses the perceptions of the social rights, the corresponding policy discourse, and the legitimacy of the policies. The chapter then explains what and how the activation strategy is being shaped at the national and local levels in the following aspects: regulations concerning entitlement conditions and incentives to work, and active labor market policies and individual counseling for the unemployed on the basis of individual contracts. Finally, the impacts of the activation policies on citizenship are clarified. The chapter argues that the principles of curtailment and conditionality of social rights are the most consistently applied, especially towards the most disadvantaged in the labor market (dualism in policies), while the legitimacy of the concept of social rights is weak. Although some innovations in activation are emerging that improve access to the labor market measures and support of capabilities, however, these are rather marginal. Another problem is that civil/personal rights are not being safeguarded sufficiently in the process of policymaking due to the communist legacy; full citizenship is unlikely to emerge.

Keywords:   activation policies, citizenship rights, legitimacy, policy discourse, governance

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