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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2012): Community regeneration and development - overseas

Evaluating state-sponsored civic engagement and participation of vulnerable groups: the paradoxical policies of the Social Support Act in the Netherlands

V. Lub and M. Uyterlinde

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 41, 2012, p. 373-390

The Dutch Social Support Act (WMO) implemented in 2007 aims to promote the active engagement of vulnerable groups in society, for example through re-housing of people with learning difficulties in residential areas. It also encourages active citizenship, the participation of able-bodied citizens and their associations in the development of local social policy. Based on two studies carried out since the introduction of the Act, this article argues that the WMO is perhaps too dogmatic in its approach to increasing the participation of both able-bodied and vulnerable citizens and may produce unintended outcomes. Although the intention of the Act is to revitalise civil society, research shows that the main beneficiaries are professional care and welfare organisations. Moreover, instigating the inclusion of people with severe mental disabilities in the community through mandatory measures can in fact increase their isolation.

When people take charge

H. Thomsen

Urban Design, issue 122, Spring 2012, p. 16-18

Recent years have seen the revival of a form of squatting involving occupation of empty factories and warehouses to use for artistic or commercial activities. The abandoned buildings are occupied by agreement with or even at the request of owners. This article presents a case study of one such occupation in Copenhagen, Prags Boulevard 43, a temporary takeover of a former lacquer factory.

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