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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2005): Social Security - Overseas

ACTIVE LABOUR MARKET PROGRAMMES IN NORWAY: ARE THEY HELPFUL FOR SOCIAL ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS?

T. Lorentzen and E. Dahl

Journal of European Social Policy, vol.15, 2005, p.27-45

Paper explores whether active labour market programmes in Norway are effective in moving the most disadvantaged social security claimants off of welfare and into decent jobs. Study focuses on nine programmes that integrate various components such as short-term transitional employment, job subsidies, work placements and training programmes. Results show that most of the packages had a positive effect on subsequent employment and earnings both in the short and longer term (i.e. up to five years later).

DEVELOPING CAPABILITIES AND RIGHTS IN WELFARE-TO-WORK POLICIES

H. Dean and others

European Societies, vol.7, 2005, p.3-26

Argues that the co-ordinated European Employment Strategy of the EU is best understood as a strategy for the "re-commodification" of labour. It focuses on rendering people employable rather than providing benefits to enable them to live without paid work. This approach crowds out a concept of capabilities in favour of a concept of human capital and restricts the concept of human rights to a liberal-individualist approach. An alternative approach would be for state welfare institutions to promote human capabilities to care and deliberate as well as to engage in paid employment and to expand human rights as a medium for the expression of a politics of needs interpretation. This approach involves giving people a right to care alongside a right (but not an obligation) to engage in paid work, and a right to express choices about paid work.

EFFECTIVENESS OF FEDERAL INCENTIVES IN SHAPING CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT OUTCOMES

J.H. Cassetty and R. Hutson

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.27, 2005, p.271-289

Authors examine the effectiveness of two incentive strategies employed under federal direction that may have served to move the process of child support enforcement from the authority of the States to that of the US federal government. The first strategy involved offering financial incentives to AFDC recipients to cooperate with the identification and location of the fathers of their children. The second strategy involved financially rewarding States if their approaches to securing child support payments from non-resident parents were found to be cost-effective.

EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS IN EUROPE: A FRAGMENT OR A VEHICLE OF SOCIAL PROTECTION?

P.Martin

International Social Security Review, vol.58, Jan.-Mar. 2005, p.23-44

Employee benefits are traditionally tied to work for a particular company, and are offered voluntarily by the employer. The form of social protection they provide can fairly be described as fragmentary, as the schemes vary hugely from one employer to another. However, certain moves towards harmonisation are occurring due to European integration and to government plans to promote access to supplementary social protection to relieve pressure on state-funded statutory schemes. Paper identifies various legal approaches being used in Europe to attain this objective, and the difficulties encountered.

THE GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TRADE IN SERVICES (GATS): WHAT'S IN IT FOR SOCIAL SECURITY?

N. Yeates

International Social Security Review, vol.58, Jan.-Mar. 2005, p.3-22

Article explores the possible implications of the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) for the supply of, and access to, social security services. These questions are explored through a review of legal, political and policy issues relating to the status of social security within the GATS and the consequences of applying the agreement's provisions to social security.

GROWING DISABILITY RATES - THE GENDER ISSUE: THE DUTCH CASE IN AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

M. Einerhand and H. van der Stelt

International Social Security Review, vol.58, Jan.-Mar. 2005, p.65-84

The rise in the numbers of working age adults claiming disability benefits in the Netherlands has been caused by the growing inflow of women into the schemes. The same problem seems to have arisen in other countries which have seen large rises in their disability rates. Article goes on to discuss the various "push" factors identified in the Dutch research literature which increase the chances of women becoming disabled.

KREMLIN-BACKED DEPUTIES' SILENT PROTEST AT REFORMS

J. Page

The Times, Feb. 10th 2005, p.40

There is widespread unrest in Russia over welfare reforms which are replacing benefits in kind such as free transport for pensioners with meagre cash payments.

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