"Activating the Excluded"
In the 1990s, EU governments began a shift towards Activation Policies to deal with increasing numbers of people dependent on welfare benefits. The move took place within the framework of a major reform of the welfare state, from welfare to work. One aspect of welfare reform in the European Union was the participation of civil society and the market in the governance of the welfare state.
Drawing on ethnographic work carried out in 2015 in the Employment Programme of a local assembly of the Spanish Red Cross, I argue that employment policies aim at “activating” the socially excluded and the vulnerable, by making them employable. However, those policies do not help the so-called excluded; instead, they contribute to the production of difference between groups of workers and the advancing of the political economy of Capital based on competition.