Welfare, Workfare, and Citizenship in the Developed World

Source: Joel F. Handler, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 5, 2009
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From the abstract:
This review discusses the changes in welfare policies and the role of law in those changes in the United States and the developed world. In 1996, the U.S. Congress and President Clinton committed to ending welfare as we know it and changed welfare to workfare. Under the work first strategy, recipients are pressured to take the first entry-level job they are offered. Caseworkers, overworked and undertrained, are under pressure to produce favorable statistical results. They concentrate on those who are the most employable or take the least amount of time to become employable. Left out are those who have significant barriers to employment. There has been a rapid decline in welfare caseloads. Most who left the rolls have been sanctioned, have been denied entry to welfare, have taken low-paid work, and remain in poverty. This welfare-to-work strategy has spread to other parts of the developed world. Faced with sluggish economies and growing unemployment, welfare states have been changed from passive to active. Welfare has become targeted and conditional, in what is now termed active labor market policy. Management of welfare programs has devolved to local governments and private organizations, termed marketization.

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