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Activation Policies under Conditions of Weak Governance: Czech and Slovak Cases Compared

Author(s): Tomáš Sirovátka

Journal: Central European Journal of Public Policy
ISSN 1802-4866

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: activation | workfare | inclusion | governance | implementation

The paper examines how the governance framework and implementation conditions influenced the profile and impact of activation policies realized in the Czech and Slovak Republics during 2003–2006. The findings are based on institutional analysis, a series of case studies of local Employment Offices in the Czech Republic and an evaluation study of activation policies carried out in the Slovak Republic.We argue that under conditions of inadequate governance framework, the activation strategy of enforced participation implemented in Slovakia and the Czech Republic did not bring the intended effect in terms of increasing employability nd reducing long-term unemployment. In the Czech Republic, the strategy is being implemented inconsistently, in dependence on local conditions, in a very limited scope, and with ambiguous outcomes. In recent years, activation has been ever more powerfully shaped by the bottom-up policy—influenced to a greater extent by the principles of inclusive participation. In Slovakia, the strategy was implemented more consistently, and registered unemployment decreased significantly.However, this was mainly due to the threat effect of the massively implemented activation measures. Labor force survey data indicate feeble subsequent placements of the ‘activated’ in the open labor market.
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