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Limits of Freedom? Experiences with the Participation Act

  • The Participation Act, introduced in the Netherlands in 2015, puts into practice the idea that every individual has to make a contribution in a participatory society. The Act includes aspects of income support, compulsory activities in return for benefits, and labour market reintegration. Drawing on 45 interviews, we provide insights into interactions between the individual financial and social situation, an individual’s position in society, and reintegration activities. The narratives show the fundamental need for individual freedom and societal meaning, recognition, and appreciation, as well as the complex circumstances in which social assistance recipients make decisions. Conflicts between those needs and the Act lead to the question of how personal and societal objectives can be reconciled.

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Document Type:Working Paper
Author:Mira Bierbaum, Franziska Gassmann
Parent Title (English):UNU Policy Brief
Issue:2, 2016
Publication year:2016
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Sozialpolitik und Soziale Sicherung
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):3 Sozialwissenschaften / 36 Soziale Probleme, Sozialdienste / 360 Soziale Probleme und Sozialdienste; Verbände
Entry in this database:2016/11/17