Issue July, 2008
Ruth Lister, Loughborough (UK)
A few years ago researchers described the UK as ‘contender for the title of worst place in Europe to be a child’ and by extension young person (Micklewright and Stewart, 2000: 23). Last year, in the UNICEF assessment of the well-being of children and adolescents, the UK was ranked worst overall and, with the US, was in the bottom third of the rankings for 5 of the 6 dimensions reviewed (UNICEF, 2007). This led to much public soul-searching particularly in relation to children and young people’s material circumstances and psychological well-being/mental health. More recently, the UK Children’s Commissioners (2008) published a highly critical report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in which they highlighted the public demonisation of children and young people.
It is unlikely that anyone in the UK would seriously claim that our children and young people are growing up under equitable conditions. The extent of poverty among children and young people (despite partial success in reducing child poverty) and the depth of inequality mean that
children born in different circumstances in the UK today have very different chances of enjoying good health, a good level of personal development and education, and a safe environment in which to live – outcomes which can have knock-on effects through later life…In particular, low income, low socioeconomic status, disability and membership of particular ethnic groups are associated with much higher risks (Fabian Commission, 2006: xiii-xiv).
This note first addresses briefly the three domains of justice through education, participation and integration. It then provides a brief overview of policy towards young people in the UK.
Justice through education
The British education system privileges the wealthy both through private, fee-paying schools and informally through parent’s ability to invest financial and cultural capital in ensuring their children get the most out of the state system. The state system does not do enough to help children from deprived backgrounds to overcome the obstacles they face. Indeed, as the Fabian Commission demonstrated, the class gap in educational outcomes widens ‘throughout the years of compulsory schooling, with long-term consequences for later life chances…Young people who leave school with low qualifications have a higher risk of unemployment, worse health outcomes, and a higher risk of poverty in later life’ (Fabian Commission, 2006: 85).
The Commission also documented how ‘social divisions exist in the pathways followed by young people after the end of compulsory education, with clear class differences in entry to further and higher education, in degree completion, and in the types of institutions and courses to which young people from different social backgrounds apply’ (Fabian Commission, 2006: 105).
The gap between the proportion of young people in England from higher and lower socio-economic class backgrounds who are participating in higher education is currently 23.4 % points (HM Government 2008) .
Justice through participation
Of particular concern is a persistent minority who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) and who have effectively slipped through the net – over 1 in 10 and a higher proportion of those with low educational attainment. The school-to-work transition has been described as ‘now more protracted, risky and fractured, especially for those from low-income backgrounds’ while the trend is ‘towards increased polarisation among young people in relation to qualifications, occupations and earnings’ (Kemp, 2005: 153). The labour market has become tougher for young people both in terms of the availability of jobs and wage levels.
Nevertheless youth unemployment has improved over the past decade and in particular there has been a sizeable reduction in the numbers unemployed for over a year. The proportion of all young people who are unemployed is slightly higher than the EU average, with young men slightly more likely than young women to be unemployed but young women less likely to be economically active (CEC, 2007). There remains a significant gender pay gap and an independent survey indicates young women are more than four times likely than young men to be on a low income (Fahmy, 2006; YWCA, 2007). Disabled young people are particularly disadvantaged.
A government policy review of children and young people emphasised the importance for young people’s life chances of participation in high quality ‘positive activities’ during their free time (HM Treasury/Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2007). It also observed that young people from disadvantaged groups are less likely to participate in such activities, with costs, lack of affordable transport and inappropriate facilities acting as deterrents.
Participation in policy development
One area in which there has been real progress is in involving young people in policy development through structures such as a youth parliament, local youth councils and user-involvement in youth centres and projects. But, again, marginalised groups of young people are under-represented in such structures (HM Treasury/Department for Education and Skills, 2007: 48). Moreover, while one study pointed to a ‘mushrooming of participation activity’ in recent years, it also warned ‘there is still much work to be done in ensuring this participation is meaningful to young people, that it is effective in bringing about change and that it is sustained’ (Kirby et al., 2003: 3). And the Children’s Commissioners conclude that ‘a considerable amount of progress is yet to be made to fully achieve…participation rights’ (UK Children’s Commissioners, 2008: 13).
Justice through integration
Questions of integration in the UK relate primarily to the black and minority ethnic offspring of earlier migrants as well as also now migrant families from the enlarged EU, young asylum-seekers/refugees and Travellers & Gypsies. These are groups who are at particularly high risk of poverty and exclusion (although there are big differences between minority ethnic groups and official poverty statistics do not identify asylum seekers or Travellers).
In education, the attainment gap has narrowed for most minority pupils but it has widened for young travellers/Gypsies and more generally minority ethnic young people remain disadvantaged in ‘the youth education, labour and training markets’ (Craig, 2005: 73). The Children’s Commissioners have expressed particular concern about the failure to meet human rights obligations towards children and young people seeking asylum.
This note paints a pretty gloomy picture of the unequal start in life children and young people face in the UK. The government is committed to addressing this and in particular to the eradication of child poverty by 2020 (and halving it by 2010). Under Gordon Brown it has created a new government department for Children, Schools and Families and has produced a Children’s Plan, one aim of which is enable all children and young people to fulfil their potential and also enjoy childhood and adolescence (DSCF, 2007). There are specific targets to reduce educational attainment gaps and a new strategy to improve youth support services.
However, the issue of young people’s poverty, which independent research suggests is higher than among adults, tends to be over-looked (Fahmy, 2006; France, forthcoming). It is likely that much of the recent increase in poverty among childless people of working age is among young adults. Moreover, government policy and rhetoric vacillates between, on the one hand, prioritising children and promoting a more positive approach to young people and, on the other, authoritarian regulatory measures, which demonise and criminalise children and young people from deprived areas as perpetrators of anti-social behaviour. The UK is therefore still a long way from the government’s aim to make it ‘the best place in the world for our children and young people to grow up’ (DCSF, 2007: 1).
CEC (2007) Commission Staff Working Document on Youth Employment in the EU, [COM(2007) 498 final], Brussels, Commission of the European Communities.
Craig, G. (2005) ‘Poverty among black and minority ethnic children’ in G. Preston (ed) At Greatest Risk, London: Child Poverty Action Group.
DCSF (2007) The Children’s Plan, London: Department for Children, Schools and Families.
Fabian Commission (2006) Narrowing the Gap. London: Fabian Society.
Fahmy, E. (2006) ‘Youth, poverty and social exclusion’ in C. Pantazis, D. Gordon and R. Levitas (eds) Poverty and Social Exclusion in Britain, Bristol: The Policy Press.
France, A. (forthcoming) ‘From being to becoming: the importance of tackling youth poverty in transitions to adulthood’, Social Policy & Society.
HM Government (2008) PSA Delivery Agreement 11: Narrow the gap in educational achievement between children from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers,, London: HM Treasury.
HM Treasury/Department for Education and Skills (2007) Policy Review of Children and Young People, London: HM Treasury.
Kemp, P. A. (2005) ‘Young people and unemployment: from welfare to workfare?’ in M. Barry (ed.) Youth Policy and Social Inclusion, London & New York: Routledge.
Kirby, P., Lanyon, C., Cronin, K. and Sinclair, R. (2003) Building a Culture of Participation, London: Department for Education and Skills.
Micklewright, J. and Stewart, K. (2000) The Welfare of Europe’s Children Bristol: The Policy Press.
UK Children’s Commissioners (2008) UK Children’s Commissioners Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, London: 11 Million.
UNICEF (2007) An Overview of Child Well-being in Rich Countries, Florence: Innocenti Research Centre.
YWCA (2007) No Frills: young women and poverty, Oxford: YWCA.
Ruth Lister works as Professor of Social Policy at Loughborough University. She is member of the Fabian Comission on Life Chances and Child Poverty, a former Director of the Child Poverty Action Group and served on the Commission on Social Justice, the Opsahl Commission into the Future of Northern Ireland and the Commission on Poverty, Participation and Power. She is a founding Academician of the Academy for Learned Societies for the Social Sciences and a Trustee of the Community Development Foundation. She is currently Donald Dewar Visiting Professor of Social Justice at the University of Glasgow. She has published widely around poverty, welfare reform and women’s citizenship.
Picture: www.pixelio.de (photographer: Ana’i)
July 30th, 2008
Peter Herrmann, Cork (Ireland)
The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.
On the 12th of June 2008 Ireland made in a referendum clear that the Treaty of Lisbon would not be ratified in the planned way. The reasons behind the rejection are diverse and it would be impudent to see one set as dominant and assess the decision as coherent, following a consistent development. The Irish improvement and not least the glamorous Celtic tiger provide at most a success story if judged by looking at the surface; and also these developments are not simply a matter of European development – a whole set of different influences and in cases incidental crossings of a globalising and secularising world play a role (see for instance Herrmann, Peter: Tíogar Ceilteach (Ireland) – An Enlargement Country of the 1970s as Showcase?; in: Entelequia. Revista Interdisciplinar, 6, Spring 2008. Pages 1-42; available from Internet: http://www.eumed.net/entelequia/en.art.php?a=06a01).
It would be equally misleading to see the decision as part of a national development – though nationalist arguments from different backgrounds also played a role, the no-vote can surely be seen as well as reflection of general developments – at most and seen in an EU-optimistic light, the attitude towards the current EU-developmental pathway is near to a fragile equilibrium. More realistically, it is probably true to say that (a) the historical option Europe is across all member states seen as contestable and more importantly (b) the option Europe and its assessment is strongly coined by ambivalence, reflecting the character of the EU being a compromise and even more so reflecting the fact that this compromise is characterised by severe conceptual and structural weaknesses. – This was very much reflected as well in the fact that people actually felt insecure – not just because of the lack of information, but because of the contradicting character itself, feeling that any decision taken would be the wrong one. And in actually fact this is probably exactly the crux: The decision that had to be taken was not the decision that would have been – and still is – important to deal with, namely the current challenges of future development of the world.
Already first reactions – nationally and internationally – back in practice very much the critical stances: political leaders are not clear in their vision of an identity that is able to bring harmoniously together
- their own understanding – a pathway of integration that leaves unquestioned the capitalist structures as neo-liberal march for gaining world power and promises to reach automatically wealth, liberty, freedom and solidarity (an ideological torso of the parole of the French revolution) and
- the understanding and needs of people – a pathway that sees capitalism pragmatically as unclear option, frequently failing to deliver the promises made, still being able to claim being the best of all worlds.
Of course, on a general level this is not surprising – considering the different interests and the dominances and Gramscian hegemonic power relationships. And of course, on a general level it is equally clear that the emerging instability and fragility brings various proposals to the fore: renegotiations, the reactivation of the old multi-speed/two-tier option and even the option of ignoring the result of the referendum by calling for a new vote.
The following text will not go into an analysis of the complex entirety; and it will not attempt to veil the contradictions of European polities, politics and policies of real existing capitalism; nor will it engage in discussing details of the referendum debate and the treaty as such.
The fundamental and perhaps provocative thesis is that the problem is not that the US-power and the process of globalising economic neo-liberalism threatens Europe (i.e. the EU); on the contrary, this process, as especially put into effect by the US as political force and the multinationals as economic power, is something that can be seen as consequent conduct of the structural pattern, the frequently so-called European Model. Second, with regard to the social policy agenda, standing at the centre of the presentdeliberations, but equally with respect to any renegotiations of any EUropean treaty, weneed a new vision in form of a social contract rather than discussing specific issues and their arrangement. – The latter may, of course, be an issue in daily debates. However,such debate should not make us forget that the there are two fundamental questions onwhich the answer has to be made explicit.
The one question is actually at least on the surface answered – though more recent debates show as well that this response is not necessarily the final answer: Is capitalism really the way forward and are any alternatives only imaginable within the framework of such reality: a pattern of commodity production in an economic framework which leaves private property and the in a twofold sense free labourer as the principal relationship, as well determining the political relationships.
The other question is – accepting the capitalist mode of production as currently incontestable – if and how we can work within this framework on a ‘new social contract’.
Despite this negative outset it is argued in favour of developing a new European perspective. This has to be based on developing a new identity that is based on neglected European traditions: social responsibility in the framework of citizenship. It is only by attempting the globalisation of citizenship that EUropeanisation can be a justifiable strategy. And of course, this has to look not least at how difference and diversity can actually be developed further and how it can be maintained rather than calling for diversity as matter of acceptance.
Introducing the Framework
The Commission is currently working on a new Social Policy Agenda, with this continuing an initiative which goes back on the Discussion on the White Paper Growth, Competitiveness, Employment: The Challenges and Ways Forward into the 21st Century [COM(93) 700, December 1993] and the herewith linked Green Paper on European Social Policy – Options for the Union COM(93) 551, November 1993] and White Paper European Social Policy – A Way Forward for the Union [COM(94) 333, July 1994]. It is important to acknowledge that with this an important tradition is carried on which is in its own terms a fact that has to be welcomed: with these steps a strict and reductionist EU-orientation on economistic policies seemed to be overcome, other areas being explicitly acknowledged as concern for the further emerging European structures.
- The competencies of the European institutions in the social area had been extended, not least by the inclusion of the employment chapter into the Treaty of Amsterdam;
- With the triangle as put forward in the social policy agenda from 2000 a distinguished role of social policy has been acknowledged – leaving methodological problems aside an important appreciation;
- The debate on social and health services of general interest and as well the debate on the inclusion of the Charter of Fundamental Rights into the planned Constitution and now into the Treaty of Lisbon show – despite the fundamental problems and shortcomings that are linked to the debates – the awareness of European institutions that there is a need for a strong social message from European institutions.
However, looking at the documents which had been issued in preparation of the new social policy agenda – to a substantial amount prepared by the Bureau of European Policy Advisors – two main points are getting clear:
- The stocktaking exercise showed that there are major issues that remain unaddressed by European policies.
- On the one hand we find issues bearing a general character, representing secular developments – as for instance migration from so-called Third Countries or demographic development.
- On the other hand we find issues that are specifically linked to the process of European integration, its prioritisation of the single market strategy and the enlargement.
- Of crucial importance is that the debate on social and health services of general interest does not show any real progress. Despite being tabled and despite lip services highlighting the important role such services have to play, in reality we find a push towards marketisation and in terms of quality a tendency of factual segmentation on the one hand and downgrading working conditions.
- Migration within the EU is developing to be increasingly a problem. Although we find on the one hand increasing mobility, we have to acknowledge that in reality much of the supposed free movement is actually lacking a sustainable perspective: living and working conditions of people concerned are not sufficiently safeguarded; we see a ghettoisation of people concerned; pressure develops as well in the countries of destination.
- Although economic growth is in general terms taking place, we have to see that it is frequently going hand in hand with increasing social problems: the gap between rich and poor is growing, criminality, drug abuse and violence against women and children are only a few issues at stake.
- Though democracy is supposed to enhance we have to acknowledge that at the same time the potentials of communities, the ‘social capital’ is threatened by an increasingly competitiveness lead society – subsequently lived democracy and civic engagement are on the one hand decreasing, on the other hand geared towards defence mechanisms and charitable engagement, replacing public (=statutory) commitment.
- Both lists are by no means exhaustive but they may point on some of the concerns at stake. A crucial issue linked to all of them is that there is less and less a concept visibly and pronouncedly standing behind the EU social policy approach. It had been replaced by the overcome concept of an automatism of (neo-)liberal economic politics: relying on an automatism that sees security, inclusion, cohesion and empowerment as emerging from economic growth and subsequent employment growth. Sound social policy had been replaced by a notion of privatisation – accepting social exclusion of those who cannot afford private services and building on a changed vision of humankind: the individualised, egoistic and isolated person rather than developing socially oriented, solidaristic personalities.
Moreover, it has to be recognised that there is actually no real understanding of the actual meaning of the supposed general aims as security, inclusion, cohesion and empowerment. And equally it is a very vicious thread that the impact of policy measures in the social field is especially questionable where policies are favouring the mainstream policies of the Lisbon strategy (see for instance the recent assessment by Herrmann, Peter/Heshmati, Almas/Tausch, Arno/ Bajalan, Chemen S.J.: Efficiency and Effectiveness of Social Spending; Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); May 2008).
Of course, we can see some progress: previous patterns of jobless growth could be to some extent developed towards a growth which creates as well employment. However, looking at the quality of jobs, the stability of the economies and the structural patterns of economic development (including demographic patterns and migration issues) we can see as well that we arrived now – with qualifications – at employment growth without social integration and without even aiming on social cohesion and empowerment. The social dimension, instead of being strengthened over the years had been weakened, suffocating the delicate germs of a social Europe.
In the beginning reference had been made to the debates in the early/middle of the 1990s. Although much had been – and had to be – criticised at that time, it seems currently that a step back to that orientation would be in actual fact a step forward.
In any case, more important than returning to the previous agenda is the need to take up the difficult and complex task of elaborating a sound vision of a social Europe – starting from a vision of society, for which the economic development is instrumental and as well a space with its own social meaning: it is not primarily a question if people produce; more important (though frequently forgotten) is how and what they produce. In this perspective, the following tries – briefly – to give a synopsis of debates, putting on the one hand the trend as it is put forward by the official position, discussing on the other hand some issues that arise as ‘critical’ in terms of developing sound policies. – The following highlights only some crucial points, concerning core issues from which then more detailed questions would arise.
As said, the current debate aims on the renewal of the social policy agenda. Since the beginning of the millennium social policy gained a new momentum, as the institutionalised system presented a concrete social policy agenda, laying down concrete steps for the near future. As much as this was a progress, two structural shortcomings have to be highlighted. First, we find the continuation of sidelining social policy – there had been several terms and ‘concepts’ used over time, e.g. flanking social policy, the costs of not having social policy, social policy as productive factor and the like. However, the critique of these concepts is actually going much beyond questioning the positioning of social policy. In question is the interpretation of social policy as specific area that is distinct from other policies. In other words, rather than being concerned with the creation and maintenance of social spaces, the given concept is concerned with taking the production out of the social sphere (in the perspective of a sound analysis this is a much more important point than the ‘exclusion’ of social policy from the main stage, allowing only an occasional secondary role). In addition to the many other problems with such an approach, a commonly neglected aspect is knit into this understanding, namely the tension between the foregoing argument (the ‘dominance of the economic’) on the one hand and the public-private divide. Looking at the capitalist mode of production, we refer in principal to a system of private production and private appropriation. However, the reference to private production has to be qualified. It is private in the sense of being left to private digression if and how much is produced of what and at which time – the validation is only an ex-post process via acknowledgement of the costs of production on the market. However, at the same time we have to be aware that this does not mean that the process of capitalist production is also an individual process. This may be true for the entrepreneur; it is, however, not true for the worker – capitalist production means the combination of labour as a matter of division of labour but also as moment of the combination of workers within the process of production, beginning with the first manufactures and going on to the large enterprises and encompassing today even virtual production chains: entities of social cooperation of individuals who do not know each other and who are not in immediate relations of cooperation. So, when it comes to policy analysis it is important to work with a 2×2-matrix along the dimensions of public and private on the one side and social and individual on the other side. This opens a new perspective not least on the general assessment of social policy – and of course of social policy making in contemporary debates. The following matrix, then, arises.
Looking with this standard for assessment at recent policy documents as the debate on the social policy agenda (http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/social_policy_agenda/social_pol_ag_en.html; 15/06/08 – 14:26), the consultation on the social reality(http://ec.europa.eu/citizens_agenda/social_reality_stocktaking/index_en.htm;
15/06/08 – 14:27), the effectiveness and efficiency of social spending (see Council Conclusions on ensuring the future efficiency and effectiveness of social expenditure and way forward on the analysis of the quality of public finances. 2866th ECONOMIC and FINANCIAL AFFAIRS Council meeting. Brussels, 14 May 2008; http://www.eu2008.si/en/News_and_Documents/Council_Conclusions/May/0514_ECOFIN1
.pdf; 15/06/08 – 14:28) and the localisation of different policies, namely ‘social policy’, ‘economic policy’ and ‘single market policy’, the following general patterns are easily getting clear.
General Interest and Social Rights
The general interest is very much based on an individualist understanding of social rights, being concerned with securing certain standards for the individual and allowing her or him self-realisation as individual.
This is the concept of subsequentialisation as we find it in the analysis by Tom H. Marshall (Marshall, T.H.: Citizenship and Social Class; in: Marshall, T.H. and Bottomore, Tom; London et altera: Pluto Press 1992). Although Marshall’s analysis is, of course, oriented towards developing a historical analysis, he applies a common understanding of ‘rights’ that can be seen as extended understanding of the positivist interpretation of natural law. It is H.L.A. Hart who attempted to restate a natural law position from a semi-sociological point of view.
(Freeman, M.D.A.: Lloyd’s Introduction to Jurisprudence; London: Sweet&Maxwell Ltd., 20017: 129; with reference to Hart: The Concept of Law: 193-200 and Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy, 1983: 111-116)
Behind the reasoning of interpreting Marshall’s work as extended understanding of the positivist interpretation of natural law is his view on the sequence of civil, political and finally social rights. The latter are only seen as means to secure the prior rights which are themselves grounded in natural and moral norm-setting. This is the suggested reading of H.L.A. Hart’s statement that for the adequate description not only of law but of many other social institutions, a place must be reserved, besides definitions and ordinary statements of fact, for a third category of statements: those the truth of which is contingent on human beings and the world they live in retaining the salient characteristics which they have.
(Hart, H.L.A.: The Concept of Law; Oxford University Press, 1961/1997: 199 f.)
This, then, allows as well following Hans Kelsen, who states under these presuppositions the statement ‘law is moral by nature’ does not mean that law has a certain content, but that it is norm – namely a social norm that men ought to behave in a certain way. … And this means: The question about the relationship between law and morals is not a question about the content of the law, but one about its form.
(Kelsen, Hans: Pure Theory of Law; Translated from the Second [revised and enlarged] German Edition by Max Knight; Berkley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967/Clark, NJ: The Lawbook Exchange; 2005: 65)
Though this is of course not obvious in the current debates, we are dealing here with an important moment. The development of the argument clearly shows a fatal mechanism of the entire orientation on general interest, which has three rather simple consequences:
- Making reference to general interest suggests a standard of rights, derived from a natural law perspective – including the idealist and minimalist implication of the definition;
- it is then – following the Roman law tradition – individualised and incorporated into a positivist framework ; subsequent rights are means to the end which is defined in the moral norm; the norm itself is ‘positivised’;
- from here the fatal consequence arises that social rights and equally the general interest is formalised and individualised.
It is only seemingly a paradox that the general interest can subsequently be found as matter of individual and private being. Actually the social itself is undergoing a fundamental change, being redefined as matter of simple relationships between individuals and/or groups. It is in practice the problem Hans Kelsen deals with, writing:
If we ask for the reason of the validity of the constitution, that is, for the reason of the validity of the norms regulating the creation of the general norms, we may, perhaps, discover an older constitution; that means the validity of the existing constitution is justified by the fact that it was created according to the rules of an earlier constitution by way of a constitutional amendment. In this way we eventually arrive at a historically first constitution that cannot have been created in this way and whose validity, therefore, cannot be traced back to a positive norm created by a legal authority; we arrive, instead, at a constitution that became valid in a revolutionary way, …
(Kelsen, Hans: Pure Theory of Law; Translated from the Second [revised and enlarged] German Edition by Max Knight; Berkley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967/Clark, NJ: The Lawbook Exchange; 2005: 200)
It is interesting how the conservative legal scientist Hans Kelsen is even more revolutionary – and more realist – as many of the Brusseloise soft-rebels, young professionals, well-paid policy advisors, some once, in the sixties and seventies of the last century, populating the European streets and market places, ready to fight for revolutionary change, and now deteriorated into Popperian opportunism of piecemeal technocratic adaptations, not even feeling any shame when proposing the yarn of democratic governance as discourse in the Habermasian spirit – and indeed meeting with him in the space of freedom as subordination under so-called inherent necessities of the new strategic goal for the next decade: to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.
(Lisbon European Council. Conclusions, March 23rd/25th, 2000)
In any case we are confronted with the simple fact that any debate on general interest and social rights – in which limited understanding ever these are taken – has to start if not from a revolution so at least from the constitution of a demos. And in this regard the Monnet-strategy failed by taking its departure from individuals, joining their forces in favour of mutually favourable action rather than focusing on developing the ground for common practice.
So-called social policies, in particular in their supposed concern with wellbeing, are very much defined as matter of the individual sphere, and it is easy from here to shift them from the public as well to the individual sphere. This stands in close connection to what had been said before, namely the tendency to define social rights in an individualist-instrumental vein. Before it had been said that we are facing in the context of European policymaking a subordination of social matters under the economic thinking. This is in the meantime very much a standard allegation, itself problematic as it disregards the fact that the economic and the ‘social’ are only two sides of a complex process of what may be called inter-being.
Employment Policies and Working Conditions
The orientation on people most distant to the labour market, as frequently emphasised as goal of recent policy making is surely a positive trend as it can open a door for overcoming social exclusion. It is even worthwhile to mention that with such an orientation, at least as long as we take the framework of a capitalist market society as incontestable, actually an important aspect of truly social policy is concerned, namely helping individuals with the localisation on the tensional axes that determine the social, spanning between biographical and societal development on the one hand, between communities and institutions on the other hand. The problem is not seen in the work orientation as such. However, seeing work solely in terms of employment and furthermore thus deforming inclusion and integration by the focusing on the thus gained opportunity of generating income rather than as means of social meaningfulness, is more than problematic. This orientation fails not only by neglecting those who are not at all able to be integrated in this way; it fails not only as it also neglects the recognition of the usefulness and meaningfulness of other than employment-bound and income-generating (‘marketable’) activities. The more fundamental problem is the attribution of work to the social-private realm: Although being a social activity, the (e-)valuation is left to the private exchange on the market. Consequences of such a model can be seen in both, an ‘economically successful country’ as Ireland of the recent years and in the member states that only recently joined the EU we find the following patterns going hand in hand:
- jobless growth and also precarious work, overwork and problematic working conditions,
- increasing inequality,
- and loss of inclusion.
In short, though work is social in terms of the work process and in terms of its conditions as they are determined by combination of workforce in the industrial process, it is at the same time a fundamentally privatised process: the risk is determined by the private exchange amongst ‘free individuals’. Collective bargaining plays of course a role and is well contributing to overcoming partially the individualising drive. However, equally important is the fact that this fundamental privatist relationship sets as well the ground for the further individualisation in terms of increasing isolation amongst the workforce. Two factors are of crucial importance:
- the so-called social dialogue is not only – and perhaps not even primarily – imbalanced because of the different material resources of entrepreneurs on the one hand and workers on the other hand; moreover, it is imbalanced because of the different status from which they enter:
- The employers are increasingly ex-ante-socialised. Though production of commodities does always depend on the ex-post validation during the process of exchange, it is at the same time immediate part of the entirety of the productive process of a given society or more precise: a given market. As such competition is indeed a factor of displacement, but also of setting social standards, giving as such at least some ex-ante-orientation. More in economic terms: As much as individual production and reproduction depends on the market and the entirety of the productive system, it is equally fact that the perpetuation of the market exchange depends on production and reproduction of individual enterprises.
- The employees are only ex-post-socialised. Though being at the cradle of capitalist production immediately socialised by being combined at the workplace, this changed increasingly by developing division of labour in a way that made competition being a major force between the workers, even if combined in one enterprise. The worker is isolated even in combination as only the individual act of producing a commodity is potentially being translated into a use value (in this case: paying the worker a wage), whereas the social relationship which is result and part of the process of production is either subordinate to the process itself or it is in the way of the realisation of the realisation of the workforce – the Marxian optimism regarding the solidarising effect of combination of the workforce in the enterprises has to be qualified in this sense.
- Technological development and new patterns of division of labour lead to a further culmination of these effects. Under current conditions – available technology, accumulation regime and mode of regulation in a world in which global action is easily accessible and consequently exploitation across long distances – the individualisation is not new; however, it gains visibility as the inner conflict is now floating to the surface. And as it is appearing in the illusion of individual choice, it is easily distracting from recognising and identifying the core: new is only that the individualisation reached such an extent that it is now reflexive and paradoxically looses through this reflexivity its own perceptibility and ability of developing awareness.
All this does not suggest a renunciation of the policy of highlighting employment as factor of social inclusion and integration. Nor does it suggest undermining the meaning of social dialogue. However, it does suggest to fundamentally redefine labour, abrogating the iron link between work and employment. – One aspect in this context is debated under headings as citizen’s income and the like; another aspect had been especially brought forward by Paul Boccara, developing a concept of social security for employment and training (see Boccara, Paul: Une sécurité d’emploi ou de formation; Paris: Le Temps des Cerises; 2002) (stimulating in this context not least the debate from a colloquium titled Ce que nous Attendons Aujourd’hui de la Gauche en Europe; 17/18 mai 2008; organised by L’Espace de Marx and the GUE/NGL – see http://www.100voixpourlechangement.eu/ and http://www.dailymotion.com/100voixpourlagauche). Overall, the actual challenge is to factually socialise work by respecting that work is not an economic act, but part of what Hannah Arendt terms vita activa and sees as human condition (see Arendt, Hannah: The Human Condition; Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press; 1958/1969). And as such it has not least a strong historical perspective, as (though one can share or reject the spiritual undertone) [o]nly the existence of the public realm and the world’s subsequent transformation into a community of things which gathers men together and relates them to each other depends entirely on permanence. If the world is to contain a public space, it cannot be erected for one generation and planned for the living only; it must transcend the life-span of mortal men. (ibid.: 55)
Coming back to foregoing remarks on general interest and social rights, we see a similar argument at work when it comes to social care, at the same time being concerned with a fundamental difference: as much as we face the privatisation of such services, there is the undeniable political obligation that specific standards still have to be respected – otherwise the link to the legitimising side of the social dimension would break completely away. The problem would be that we would not only find a deterioration of these services as individualised supply mechanisms; moreover, we would find as well the loss of the ‘integrating role’ of the services in question. We can see without any doubts already relatively strong tendencies of such privatist and individualist standard setting: the increasing meaning of multi-tier systems in health care and also for some social care services shows part of this problematique. In other words: although services in question are person-oriented and as such part of the individual policy array, the paradox arises that they can be only person-oriented by way of localising them at least in the public or social realm, ideally they have to be located in the public social realm. It is only then that they fulfil the criteria of being also social in terms of fulfilling the role of social inclusion based on the realisation of rights. On the other hand, the reality is more geared to throwing the individual back on an autarkic status. Commodification is in this perspective very much as well the ‘infantilisation’ in the sense of creating dependency and reducing individuals on immediacy, cutting off the links that would allow developing a holistic social and time perspective.
Globalisation or Regionalisation and Renationalisation
One of the standard arguments when criticising rejections of any of the European treaties – or before the draft of the constitution – is the allegation that such a stance would equal a rejection of European integration. Surely this is as well frequently the case. However, one should not forget an interesting detail: When Denmark voted in 1992 against the treaty, subsequently actually gaining four opt-outs, it had been the country that scored best in terms of adhering to legislation imposed by the EU; when France and the Netherlands voted no in 2005, it was widely accepted that the French population, i.e. the electorate had been the best informed – polls showed that the population in France had been actually much better informed than German parliamentarians who ratified the proposed ‘Constitution’.
And it had been as well in France where it had been more than obvious that the decision was not about re-nationalisation as such but against the current course of Europe – a major issue had been the concern for the public services, their quality and the question of working conditions. Be it as it is, the European debate on globalisation or regionalisation and renationalisation has to be seen in the light at least of the following five perspectives:
- pure nationalism and regionalism based on ongoing backwardness
- pure nationalism as protectionism
- rejection of the current way of globalisation
- orientation on managing globalisation for the own advantage
- orientation on globalisation as establishing a ‘just and fair’, ‘mutually beneficial’ global order.
Looking at the development of the official EUropean debates, it is useful to distinguish between the following main directions.
First, in the early years, the institutionalised Europe can be very much seen as regionalist strategy, trying to cope more with internal challenges of a changing Europe – the call for peace not least as economic necessity – rather than being concerned with an expansionist orientation. The latter was surely present, but more to be seen as a matter executed under the aegis of the United States of North America and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as military alliance against the then existing socialist countries.
Second, after maintaining such an orientation at least until the times of the own push of enlargement and then especially linked to the World Trade Organization, incorporating the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in the early 1990s we find a shift in the orientation. This links after the enlargement of the 1970s as well into the wider debate on United Nations efforts on Convening of a World Summit for Social Development (UN-resolution 47/92). Though in a comparative perspective the EU-position within the GATT-negotiations cannot be seen other than ‘moderate’ (the US-position had been much more geared to a radical free-trade strategy against countries of the so-called developing world), the challenge had been seen as one to defend supposed European interests against globalisation, in other words: to avoid extensive pressure from a process of globalisation – seeing the latter as ‘unavoidable’, being an external process overcoming, not to say: threatening the EU-member states. Politics of the institutionalised Europe was seen as aiming on strengthening competitiveness on the one side. On the other side it is the time as well performing a duplicitous policy towards non-EU-countries. This linked a push towards fortress-building with the extension of humanitarian policies, the latter themselves being somewhat deceitful.
Third, be that as it is, the decisive point is that on the one hand the gained strength especially as player on the world market and on the other hand in consequence of (a) the increasing expansionist strategy and (b) the increasing internal inequalities and imbalances we find a further shift. Looking for instance at the Communication The European Interest: Succeeding in the Age of Globalisation (Commission of the European Communities: Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: The European Interest: Succeeding in the Age of Globalisation. Contribution of the Commission to the October Meeting of Heads of State and Government; Brussels, 3/10/07. COM 581 final), we face now the political will to manage globalisation rather than accepting it simply as overwhelming power. In the words of the mentioned communication we read of the will to show citizens how the EU is the best tool to enable Europeans to shape globalisation. (ibid.: 2)
As much as we can see this as change of the strategic orientation, we are at the same time confronted with the continuation of the fundamental course, reading that it is essential for Europe to react effectively to shifting trends in the global economy. It can only do this by actively promoting the European interest as a specific objective, offering a coherence which national action alone cannot match. The European interest needs to be specifically defined, strongly articulated, stoutly defended, and vigorously promoted, if Europe is to offer the right platform for the future. (ibid.)
And already the title shows that the tradition is not broken as it indicates that policies are aimed on the European Interest, striving for Succeeding in the Age of Globalisation. Even if it would be true that economic progress equals social development it is – to say the least – questionable if ‘we Europeans’ can legitimately urge ‘others’ to pay the price for our wellbeing.
And taken the statement from another communication, even moderateness can be questioned as it is highlighted that the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs must be complemented with an external agenda for creating opportunity in a globalised economy, encompassing our trade and other external policies. Our external priority in this area in recent years has been to pursue an ambitious, balanced and just multilateral agreement to liberalise international trade further, opening markets in which European companies can compete and providing new opportunities for growth and development.
(Commission of the European Communities: Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions Global Europe: Competing in the World. A Contribution to the EU’s Growth and Jobs Strategy; Brussels, 4/10/06; COM 567 final: 2)
In concrete terms – under the heading of Opening Markets Abroad:
Our core argument is that rejection of protectionism at home must be accompanied by activism in creating open markets and fair conditions for trade abroad. This improves the global business environment and helps spur economic reform in other countries. It reinforces the competitive position of EU industry in a globalised economy and is necessary to sustain domestic political support for our own openness. There are two core elements in pursuing this agenda: stronger engagement with major emerging economies and regions; and a sharper focus on barriers to trade behind the border. (ibid.: 5)
The main areas for pursuing this strategy are being named as intellectual property (IPR), services, investment, public procurement and competition. (ibid.: 6)
The decisive point, however, is that a good-willing interpretation can see the first years as somewhat visionary and ambitious, aiming on building up a new political space, though doing so only tentatively, hoping for a spill-over of modest economic steps. Paradoxically, the stated political ambition, being first vaguely brought forward in the debates on the Single European Act, then confirmed by the Summit in Paris (see Meetings of the Heads of State or Government. Paris. 19-21 October 1972. The First Summit of the Enlarged Community. Communiqué. Reproduced from the Bulletin of the European Communities, No. 10, 1972) found its way more and more into the traps of efforts of balancing traditional national institutional political and social systems with their mirror image on the supranational, i.e. EU level. One could say then that an honest assessment of EU-policies cannot see much else than an emerging new nationalism, now on a higher level. To the extent to which this is true, it is important to acknowledge as well that nationalism and regionalism emerge and increase to the same extent as the new entity fails to make the ‘revolutionary step’ which Hans Kelsen referred to and to which this lack of identity is not compensated for by the thorough, comprehensive and consistent socio-economic machinery that brings in this way sufficient material advantages. In addition, the latter would be in its own terms contestable.
In a side remark is worthwhile to draw a parallel between this orientation of a state-development in a globalising world and the answers suggested on social change in the field of people’s life is very similar, indeed. So we find in the debate on the Renewed Social Agenda that looks at Opportunities, Access and Solidarity in 21st Century Europe the remark that ‘social policies need to adapt to keep pace with these changing realities so as to continue and foster the well being of European now and in the future. In the face of rapid technological change, globalisation and an aging population, modern European social policies need to be flexible and responsive to change. They need to empower and enable individuals to take advantage of opportunities throughout their lives.’ Such view leaves hardly space for truly social rights. Following methodological individualism can at most secure the position of individuals; more likely is that it producers a society of winners … - … and losers. And what remains at the end when looking at the ‘welfare state’ is the neatly matching entity of market policy and social policy as, borrowing the words of Elmar Rieger and Stephan Leibfried, ‘Defensive Globalization in the Welfare State’ (Rieger, Elmar/Leibfried, Stephan: Limits to Globalization. Welfare States and the World Economy; Cambridge: Polity, 2003: 136)
Governance versus Public Policy – Conceptual References
Frequently – and actually continuously from the early beginnings of the EUropeanisation of social policy – some points of reference are made that can be seen as core societal guidelines or leitmotifs when it comes to discussing the underlying notion of social and societal policies. – Before looking at them it may be useful, however, to point again on the fact that there is actually hardly any real outspoken understanding of ‘societal policy’. We barely find fundamental functions of the state reflected in an integrated way (see for instance Schuppert, Gunnar Folke: Staatswissenschaft; Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2003) let alone is critical policy review concerned with analysing the character of the state as enterprise securing the reproduction of the capitalist system. Policy consultation forgot to think about politics, thus losing polities. And even those some of the ancestors who once started for a ‘long march through the institutions’ integrated in Germany for example under direction of Hertie (Berlin), Jacobs (Bremen) and most atrocious Bertelsmann and McKinsey (Lueneburg) into a march into the decreed knowledge-based society, surely in danger of suffocating from the frowst of thousand years, they once opposed. Political responsibility and even political science reprobates under their aegis, now suggesting socio-technocratic integration under headings as social management, social policy as subject dealing with volatilising structures and modes of life, thus looking for answers on individualisation rather than overcoming the structural mechanisms behind it and the like, falling far behind sociologists as Max Weber or social professionals as Saul Alinksi to name but a few. – Referring to German examples may have the simple reason that they show even in their dishonest opportunism a specific thoroughness – twice ending in catastrophic nationalist world wars, already then assisted by professionals who didn’t show any scruple to change from rhetoric leftism to real fascism.
Leaving this aside, the points of reference as they are chosen for the present debate are taken in particular from two sources, the first being the general ‘constitutional frameworks’, the second being the general objectives as they are used in European policies, not least as guidance of program and project policies.
Investigating the constitutional framework it is easily forgotten that the institutionalised and still further institutionalising Europe is caught in a historical and structural dilemma – not least deriving from what had been said before under the heading of Globalisation or Regionalisation and Renationalisation. Although the general debate on treaties, the process of enlargement and the like – to some extent rightly – concentrates on dealing with institutional issues and specific legal provisions, it should not be forgotten that the entire enterprise is a matter of the following two moments.
First and most fundamentally we are dealing with the process of state building and state restructuring. However, this can of course not follow the traditional pattern. First, now we are – stronger than in the original processes of initial foundation of modern nation states – facing the envisaged emergence of a ‘new state’, not besides existing states but as ‘intermingled structure’. All previous debates on (neo-)functionalist and (neo-)realist approaches of analysing European developments and the view on multi-level governance processes and the like do not loose their importance. However, it is important to realise that the current state of affairs reached already a stage where the EU has to be acknowledged as at least a state-like entity and is as such in a permanent structural conflict with its member states – a logical review of the formal characters proves this as true as far as
a) the division of power is not clearly regulated, thus leading to a systematic contradiction or at least insecurity in many cases about where the final decision-making power is located
b) the notion of federalism is present, though only maintained by the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.
On top of this lack of clarity we find another fundamental problematique underlying the current debate, though barely being issued in its principal meaning: Aside from EU- versus nation state, the question of statehood can be seen at least in the EUropean context as matter of concern. Far from dealing with the withering away of the state, as mentioned by Frederick Engels in his Anti-Duehring (see Engels, Frederick [1886-1878]: Anti-Duehring. Herr Eugen Duehring’s Revolution in Science; in: Karl Marx. Frederick Engels. Collected Works. Volume 25: Frederick Engels: Anti-Duehring. Dialectics of Nature; London: Lawrence&Wishart, 1987: 1-308; here: 267 f.) we find a restructuration of the state, building up open governance structures that only maintain traditional mechanisms of governing.
Second, this process of state building and restructuring – here we can say: the process of constituting statehood – is inherently linked to the question of identity building. And of course, it is only a small step from this remark to the debate of Hans Kelsen’s approach as it had been briefly presented before. If we take his reference to a constitution that became valid in a revolutionary way serious we can probably find the second original sin of European integration: the ignorance of the real challenge that arose end of the 1960s.
The emergence of social movements and identity politics, based on gender, age, sexuality disability, etc., that followed in the wake of the 1968 Student Revolt, fundamentally questioned the universalist humanist assumptions of redistributionist social policy, which extolled the civic virtues that created the basis for a moral community and inclusive democracy embodied in the institution of the Welfare State. The clash of ideologies between the rampant free- market values of the Right and the Left, fragmented into traditional social politics of the Welfare State, post- Marxism and social movements, occludes a deeper problem. There is a crisis of belief in the Welfare State. It is partly due to the declining influence of humanist values, traceable to the Enlightenment, that have shaped it. But it also reflects a deeper crisis in the quality and nature of Western democracy.
(Powell, Fred: The Changing Quality of Citizenship in Postmodern Society; in: Herrmann, Peter/Brandstaetter, Albert/O’Connell, Cathal [eds.]: Defining Social Services. Between the particular and the General; Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2007: 29-43; here: 39)
However, the answer given by the governing bodies was the effort of extending the very same welfare principles on the European level, expressed on the summit in Paris in 1972, where the Heads of States acknowledged for the first time a some extended European responsibility for the social realm. But failing to put the question of the demos forward, they only stated that [e]conomic expansion, which is not an end in itself, must as a priority help to attenuate the disparities in living conditions. It must develop with the participation of both sides of industry. It must emerge in an improved quality as well as an improved standard of life.
(Meetings of the Heads of State or Government. Paris. 19-21 October 1972. The First Summit of the Enlarged Community. Communiqué. Reproduced from the Bulletin of the European Communities, No. 10, 1972: 15 f.)
For that time in history it had been actually a huge step forward to state furthermore:
The Heads of State and Government emphasized that vigorous action in the social sphere is to them just as important as achieving Economic and Monetary Union. They consider it absolutely necessary to secure an increasing share by both sides of industry in the Community’s economic and social decisions. …
The programme must implement a coordinated policy for employment and vocational training, to improve working and living conditions, secure the collaboration of workers in the function in the function of undertakings, facilitate – according to the conditions in each country – the conclusion of collective European agreements in appropriate areas and strengthen and coordinate action for protecting the consumer. (ibid.: 19)
Thus the foundation for failure of social policy was cemented. This is even more so as the stance which had been forward by the European Parliament had been widely ignored in the subsequent debates and policies. Form there we read:
Le Parlement européen, …
20.prend acte de ce que les Chefs d’Etat ou de gouvernement se sont doné comme objectif majeur de transformer, avant la fin de l’actuelle décennie et dans le respect absolu des traités déjà souscrits, l’ensemble des relations des Etats membres en une « Union européenne », et qu’ils ont demandé aux institutions de la Communauté d’élaborer sur ce sujet, avant la fin de 1975, un rapport destiné à être soumis à une Conférence au sommet ultérieure ;
21.Est convaincu que l’expression « Union européenne », employée pour la première fois dans la déclaration de Paris, recouvre également les objectifs retenus par la Parlement européen dan ses prises de position précédentes sur l’ « Union politique » ;
22.estime que seule la participation des peuples et de leurs représentants élus peut permettre la réalisation de cet objectif dans la démocratie et la liberté …
(Mueller, M. Josef [Rapporteur]: Rapport fait au nom de la commission politique sur les résultats de la Conférence au sommet des Chefs d’Etat ou de gouvernement des Etats membres de la Communauté élargie qui s’est tenue à Paris le 19 et 20 octobre 1972; in: Communautés Européennes. Parlement Européen: Documents de séance 1972-1973. 14 novembre 1972. Document 194/72:8)
Of course, this statement by the Parliament is not least motivated by gaining own institutional power. However, at the same time it has to be highlighted that institutional power had been explicitly defined in political terms and with the claimed perspective on demos building.
From a more fundamental perspective, the problem is actually well captured in what Jean-Claude Pinson writes, namely:
L’individu ne se reconnaît pas immédiatement dans la substantialité de l’Etat. Affectée de naturalité, sa volonté demeure pour une part étrangère à celle de l’Etat et en cela elle est portée à la contingence. Mais le rapport qui le met en présence de la volonté universelle de l’Etat n’est pas celui d’un face à face immédiat qui ne pourrait être que conflictuel. Il est bien plutôt celui d’une patiente assimilation qui se développe dans le sphères médiatisantes de la vie éthique, notamment à partir des ces deux « racines éthiques » de l ‘Etat que sont la famille et la corporation.
(Pinson, Jean-Claude: Hegel, le droit et le libéralisme; Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1989: 145 f.; with reference to Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich: Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts ; hrsg.: J. Hoffmeister; Hamburg : Felix Meiner, 19554: §255)
The importance of this statement is at first instance the confirmation of the underlying concept of the statehood as reaffirmation of individualism. Even in the tradition brought forward by Pinson, it is the individual that is a kind of ‘independent’ or ‘distinct spirit’, that has to be brought under the realm of general or universal will (see in this context the debate of different approaches in Herrmann, Peter: Social Professional Activities and the State; New York: Nova, 2007). In other words, drawing the strict link between state, law(fulness) and liberty bears individualism as its consequential outcome – independent of following methodological individualism or contractualist collectivism.
Second, the statement is concerned with a principal tension along which the EU developed from its early years: the missing identity of state and citizenry. Note, that in the beginning we find the notion of the European Economic Community and the subsequent development suggested that the further ‘Unionisation’, i.e. the establishment of an institutionalised European political entity would be ensued by an emerging identity: the vision of European citizens as reality.
This is reflected in the well-known two dialectical tensions noted by the social quality approach. For the present debate it means the challenge of how European policymaking can deal with two challenges:
- the one being concerned with establishing its own ‘nationhood’ in the sense of fixing its own identity by defining external borders and with this the principals of internal division of power,
- the other being concerned with establishing its own ‘statehood’ in the meaning of defining its own mechanisms of governance.
The actual – and ignored – challenge has to be seen in the consistent coupling of the two. In other words: How can the EU be justified not by (only) offering a potentially more appropriate answer to current material challenges (policy challenge) but by equally responding to the political challenge of answering changed attitudes, expectations and the general (or secular) different understanding of political involvement and identity of citizens (politics and polity challenge).
The main problem of any current debate on the related development of the state is that it disjoins the different dimensions, prioritising the legal (‘statehood’) and political dimension (the reference to nationhood/nationality), seeing the economy as factor necessary to maintain this entity rather than recognising the constitutive role of the economic interests. Of course, at first glance this contradicts the mainstream view on a ‘Europe as instrument of the multis’. However, the dominance can only be understood if we recognise the actual split: a sidelined civil dialog and the emergence of a rather complicated and factually exclusive governance mechanism on the one hand; on the other hand a ‘social dialogue’, deadlocked from above by the strict orientation on competitiveness as answer on globalisation.
The debate so far shows that we are confronted with an ongoing – and renewed – seemingly falling apart of economic and social policies. However, this is only by of mis-conceptualisation of the economy. As economic actors are put at the core of the entire understanding of society – the individual, rationally pursuing the individual economic advantage – we find at the same time the externalisation of the economy of the social realm. This is getting clear by the fact that despite all orientation on shaping globalisation this primarily economic processes remains to be seen as external matter, locating ‘social goals’ as separate. José Manuel Durão Barroso made this in a more than inept way clear, while addressing the Social Agenda Forum in Brussels, taking place on Mai 6th 2008. He told the audience that had been invited by the European Commission:
The consultation underlined the rapid pace of social change – new family and working patterns, changing values, weakening bonds between generations, new job opportunities, demands for new skills, mobility and diversity. It highlighted many positive developments: increasing prosperity; unprecedented opportunities; more choice; innovative and open societies; improved living conditions, Europeans living longer, healthier lives. But starker realities also came to the fore – too many living in poverty (especially youth but also older people); despite the success of the Lisbon Strategy, pockets of unemployment still persist; too many early school leavers; increasing social isolation and old age dependency; increasing incidence of diseases of affluence (obesity, stress).
(Barroso, José Manuel Durão: Shaping a Modern Social Agenda for Europe; Speech on the Social Agenda Forum, Brussels, 06/05/08 – SPEECH/08/230: 2)
Important is that he then continued by saying:
It has shown that there is a need to place the goals of our social policies –justice, social cohesion, equal opportunity, greater equity – in today’s world of globalisation, and see if we need to adjust the way we pursue them. When the EU was founded, the accepted way to meet these goals was by providing social insurance to cope with the risks of an industrial society which was largely dominated by one-breadwinner households with strong family support structures.
The social reality check has shown that some of these approaches are no longer attuned to modern realities: today child poverty is as much of an issue as poverty in old age; generational inequalities mean that young people do not have access to the secure jobs, housing and generous pensions that their parents enjoy; there are persistent pockets of labour market inactivity (the unskilled, early retirees, school drop-outs, those on long term sickness or invalidity benefits); universal services have not always guaranteed equity. Old models have had some unforeseen impacts: they have not always delivered the fair society that was hoped. The social reality stocktaking has shown that a broader, more integrated approach is needed – a cross cutting approach, covering aspects of employment, health, mobility, integration, education, and non-discrimination. (ibid.)
It is interesting to see on the other hand the argument brought forward by Vladimír Špidla, addressing the same assembly one day earlier:
De nombreuses mutations sont à l’œuvre dans nos sociétés européennes et génèrent progressivement de nouvelles réalités sociales. Ce sont un ensemble de facteurs qui remodèlent progressivement nos économies bien sûr, mais également nos quotidiens et nos équilibres sociaux.
(Špidla, Vladimír: Un Agenda Social Renouvelé; Conférence de la Commission: Réprondre aux Nouvelles Réalités sociales. Chances, accès et solidarité, un agenda européen; Brussels, 05/05/08 – SPEECH/08/223: 2)
Sure, it follows (in this sequence) an outlook on technological change, globalisation, demographic change, migration and climate change. However, at least there is the emphasis of a complex, interwoven process of economic, political and social change, seeing this as change of the social fabric. Fact is that globalisation is in reality no real threat for the European system (see for instance Begg, Ian/Draxler, Juraj, Mortensen, Jørgen: Is Social Europe Fit for Globalisation?; European Communities, 2008). What is decisive, however, is to rejoin values and social reality by way of reshaping the economy. This is at its core a matter of defining private-public and individual-social dimensions of intervention. In this respect, some analysis had been presented above, leading in broad terms to the following matrix.
Individual - General Interest - Social Policy
- Social Rights - Health Care
(- Social Care) - Housing Policies
(- Health Care) - Child Care
Social - Employment and - Antidiscrimination
Working Conditions - Gender Equality
- Social Care
The institutionalist perspective is cutting things short, providing only functionalist provisions. And actually it fails to preserve even the standards the EU itself claims as European values in the globalised world, namely
- First, national economic and social policies are built on shared values such as solidarity and cohesion, equal opportunities and the fight against all forms of discrimination, adequate health and safety in the workplace, universal access to education and healthcare, quality of life and quality in work, sustainable development and the involvement of civil society. These values represent a European choice in favour of a social market economy. They are reflected in the EU treaties, its action and legislation, as well as in the European Convention of Human Rights and our Charter of fundamental rights.
- Second, European citizens have greater expectations of the state than their equivalents in the Asia or America. …
- Third, a strong “European dimension” reinforces national systems. In contrast to other regions of the world, national systems here are reinforced by European level policies (such as the stability offered by macro-economic policy, the dynamism created by the internal market and the social agenda, and the cohesion promoted by EU Structural Funding).
- Fourth, there is a strong tradition of social dialogue and partnership between governments, industry and trade unions – even if the detailed mechanisms vary considerably between Member States.
(Commission of the European Communities: Communication of the European Communities: Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: European Values in the Globalised World. Contribution of the Commission to the October Meeting of Heads of State and Government; Brussels, 20/10/05. COM525 final: 4f.)
Conclusions – Crisis and Opportunity
Coming back to the beginning and thus coming back to the quote from Dante Alighieri, opening the text: The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis, it seems that we will remain stuck at the end, lacking the mental readiness to leave the cave of darkness and shadows, continuously looking at the wall with the shadows of the conventional system being drawn by the flames:
- perpetuating the growth strategy of an economy that needs a redefinition of work in the sense of respecting the vita activa and the fact of social quality rather than considerations on permanent new employment and the extended commodified life within all its spheres;
- social security as the accommodation of individuals rather than respecting their right to develop,
- growth as – at most – integration of foreigners and dissenters, going hand in hand with fortress building and expansion (or at least shaping globalisation in its own interest) rather than searching for growth as enforcing the development of global spaces of diversity and looking for pathways for conscious and consistent breaches of norms.
As said, the revolution, even the conservative revolutions as outlined by Hans Kelsen or a Schumpertarian ‘creative destruction’ are seen as vision of contemporary politicians. According to the Irish Times from the 16th of June 2008, the Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb:
The treaty is not dead. The EU is in constant crisis management – we go from one crisis to another and finally we find a solution.
(Irish Times: European foreign ministers vow to keep treaty alive; Monday, June 16, 2008: http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0616/breaking2.html?via=me; 17/06/08)
Coming to the end of this essay, I would well agree with the interpretation that the treaty is not dead; and also I would agree with the assessment of a constant crisis. However, I strongly disagree with a strategy that allows need of overcoming a crisis to dictate solutions; instead we should look for real questions and elaborate from there strategic answers.
And accepting the responsibility of asking the relevant question, we should not overlook the potential hypocrisy of talking about liberty – be it Irish or in general national liberty and European liberty alike; a insincerity as [t]he word ‘liberty’ has to be defined. Here it means not so much individual liberty, the normal criterion in the ‘free world’ of today, but rather the liberty of groups. It is no accident that the Middle Ages spoke much more of libertates (liberties) than of libertas (liberty). In the plural, the word meant very much the same as privilegia (privileges) or jura (rights). Liberties, in fact, were the franchises or privileges protecting this or that group of people or interests, which used protection to exploit others, often without shame.
(Braudel, Fernand : A History of Civilizations; New York: Penguin, 1993: 316)
Then, the final question is Whose privileges do we have in mind? And in a world full of contradictions and inequality we have to conclude – against the notion of a general interest – with a paradox: it is about the privilege of those who lack liberty. As long this is not seen as rights of the oppressed against the liberty of the powerful, Europe – the EU and its member states – has something medieval – a renaissance of a different kind of which the US may seem to be forerunners but for which important values are laid down in the European rejoicing of a concept individuality that undermines personality, going hand in hand with celebrating formality while forgetting substantiality.
If and – if at all – to which extent the result of Ireland’s referendum matters remains an open question. In any case, what is needed is a close look at the fundamentals rather than scratching another time at the surface.
The author is correspondent to the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Social Law (Munich, Germany), senior advisor to the European Foundation on Social Quality (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Director of the Independent Research Institute European Social, Organisational and Science Consultancy (Aghabullogue, Ireland) and senior research fellow at the University College of Cork, Department of Applied Social Studies, (Cork, Ireland).
July 30th, 2008
Walter Lorenz, Bolzano (Italy)
Children and young people continue to rank highly in Italian society, at least as far as their cultural and symbolic value is concerned. Italy represents a “Southern European pattern of family formation” which combines falling birth rates “lowest-low fertility” (Kohler et al., 2002) with a relatively strong adherence to traditional marriage patterns, albeit with ever longer postponed entry into adulthood and marriage which has been characterized as “latest-late transition to adulthood” (Billari, 2004) or “postponement syndrome” (Livi Bacci, 2001). Italy experienced a steady decline in fertility in recent decades and reached one of the lowest rates in Western Europe in 1995 with 1,19 children per woman, although this rate recovered slightly to 1,34 in 2006. The average female age at first marriage is 29.5 and the percentage of women aged 25-29 who have not yet entered their first union is among the highest in Europe (59% according to the 2001 census). De facto, family relations and family support play an important role in Italian society, for better or for worse, and state social policies have never really attempted to redistribute resourcesin favour of weaker families. Italy has, together with Malta, the highest rate of youth dependency on families: in 2003 64% of males under 35 still lived with their parents (in Germany the rate was 21%, http://www.eurofound.ie/publications/EF04105.htm).
Recently, the reduction of certain levels of benefits, particularly to young unemployed people, has increased their material dependence on the family as a resource so that social inequalities on the whole become more pronounced in the transition from one generation to the next. This also explains the low rate of cohabitation in Italy which is not so much caused by adherence to traditional values among youth, but rather by economic uncertainty such as high youth unemployment in certain areas and difficulties in obtaining housing and general social support from public sources (Domínguez et al 2007). Leaving the family brings no immediate advantages for young people; rather, the protection of the family allows them to seek less well paid, less permanent and less career oriented jobs, a phenomenon of adjustment to the “flexibilisation” of labour which has affected Italy to some extent as a result of globalization. However, the family dependency limits the geographical range within which young people respond to employment opportunities. Young people display a marked “inertia” in taking initiatives and particularly in terms of a more critical engagement with the changes in the economy. This is expressed in a relatively high level of satisfaction with their employment situation, even if this means postponing marriage and having children more and more. Questions of career planning and making provisions for pensions feature only marginally in their concerns (Buzzi 2007). Unemployment among 17-25 year olds is steadily falling from 35% in 1996 to 20,6% in 2006, although the situation in the South of Italy is hard to capture in statistics. Young people attribute their success in finding employment usually not to competence and professional preparation but to personal relations which are crucial in finding employment, a phenomenon which lessens the spread of an “achiever culture”.
Relations within families also show a marked and somewhat contradictory tension. On the one hand one can observe a transformation of role stereotypes: women enter the labour market in greater numbers while at the same time fathers seek more involvement with their children. This leads to a higher degree of freedom and a less rigid approach to the allocation of domestic duties, but it also increases the burden of having to negotiate roles and functions on different occasions for which many couples are poorly prepared. There is a strong desire to avoid intergenerational conflict and children have normally a lot of freedom. On the other hand gender stereotypes are still pronounced particularly in the differential treatment of daughters and sons. The latter are free to seek their centres of activity outside the family, even where they live with the family of origin, while girls are still drawn into domestic duties to a much higher degree (Leccardi 2007).
Justice through education
The Italian school system continues to be highly selective and therefore enforces class differences rather than reducing them. The pre-university level is dominated by the Lyceum, a kind of Grammar School (Gymnasium) with classical-humanistic orientation which counts as the surest pathway not only to university entry but to careers in higher employment positions, not on account of the use of the knowledge it conveys in employment but rather on account of the social contacts the system provides. Those young people who do not pass the entry exam into the Lyceum have a choice between a variety of vocationally oriented schools which count however as “second best”. These schools have a marked drop-out rate of 20,8% in 2006, Argentin 2007) and their employment orientation tends to be at the expense of a person-orientation so that many young people feel alienated from the vocational “stream” in which they find themselves and gain little aid in vocational orientation (Censis 2007).
Justice through integration
In the political culture of Italy integration is very much related to social capital; this causes social and material differences to become more pronounced but at the same time stimulates civil society to produce compensatory structures for the lack of an effective, consensus-oriented public sphere. Belonging to networks is therefore a vital ingredient for social protection in every regard, allegiances get formed within those networks on local but also on family oriented principles. The growth of Mafia-type structures and their appeal to young people relates directly to this phenomenon as new recruits experience belonging and support within those criminal counter-societies that parade as communities. The number of youth with immigrant background has doubled since 2003; they are accepted into the school system even where the legal residence status of their parents is uncertain, although when it comes to obtaining formal qualifications those without residence permit are excluded. Family relations are a crucial element of their integration which is frequently perceived by the autochthonous society as a lack of integration or a refusal to mix and integrate even though in many way it copies the cultural particularities of the indigenous culture. Young people’s opinions of immigrants very much resemble those of the older generation in their strong xenophobic orientation, an attitude which is more pronounced among the working classes than among the middle class in Italy. The current government has embarked on a series of highly discriminatory measures not only against immigrants but against Roma and Sinti citizens and their children even though they have mostly been resident in Italy for a long time, ordering for instance the fingerprinting of all Roma children.
Justice through participation
Participation patterns of Italian youth correspond to the factors identified above. For instance, although formal participation in clubs and associations has increased somewhat in the 1980s, only 44% of youth are registered members of clubs, one of the lowest rates in Europe where the average is 50%, and this mainly in associations of sports and the church and not in those concerned with public and political issues. Working class youth are even less formally organized, even in sports, and participation drops further for unemployed and non-student youth, paradoxically those youngsters who would have more time available. By contrast, friendship networks play a prominent role, considered by 73,4% of young people as highly important, and 48% of 15-25 year olds are highly satisfied with their friendships. 83% see their friends at least 2-3 times per week and contacts tend to be closer among males than among females. Friendship patterns are very much a result of schooling and are hence also strongly related to social class, evidencing once again the role of social capital in Italian society (La Valle 2007).
Italian youth also display strong regional loyalties; a more national orientation which was noticeable a decade ago is again in decline and the use of local dialects is becoming more pronounced again among young people. In conclusion, the picture of the social position and integration of young people in Italian society corresponds closely to the class patterns characteristic of this society overall. Patterns of schooling and economic trends reinforce inequality and politics do little by way of compensating for disadvantages. The impact of the advancing casualisation of labour is cushioned by the strong influence of family and friendship networks which are vital for the fabric of Italian society.
Argentin, G. (2007), Come funziona la schuola oggi: esperienze e opinioni dei giovani italiani, in C. Buzzi, A. Cavalli and A. de Lillo (eds.), Rapporto Giovani – sesta indagine dell’Istituto IARD sulla condizione giovanile in Italia, Bologna: Il Mulino
Billari, F.C. (2004). Becoming an adult in Europe: A macro/(micro)-demographic perspective. Demographic Research, Special Collection 3, Article 3. www.demographic-research.org
Buzzi, C. (2007), I giovani nell’era della flessibilità, in C. Buzzi, A. Cavalli and A. de Lillo (eds.), Rapporto Giovani – sesta indagine dell’Istituto IARD sulla condizione giovanile in Italia, Bologna: Il Mulino
CENSIS (2007), XLI Rapporto sulla situazione sociale del paese, http://www.censis.it/277/280/339/6366/6368/6373/content.asp
Domínguez, M., Castro Martín, T. and Mencarini, L., European Latecomers: Cohabitation in Italy and Spain, Paper prepared for the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, New York, March 2007-03-11
Kohler H.P., F.C. Billari and J.A. Ortega (2002). The emergence of lowest-low fertility in Europe during the 1990s. Population and Development Review 28(4): 641-681.
La Valle, D. (2007), Il gruppo di amici e le associazioni, in C. Buzzi, A. Cavalli and A. de Lillo (eds.), Rapporto Giovani – sesta indagine dell’Istituto IARD sulla condizione giovanile in Italia, Bologna: Il Mulino
Leccardi, C. (2007), Stereotipi di genere, in C. Buzzi, A. Cavalli and A. de Lillo (eds.), Rapporto Giovani – sesta indagine dell’Istituto IARD sulla condizione giovanile in Italia, Bologna: Il Mulino
Livi Bacci, M. (2001). Too few children and too much family. Dedalus 130, 3: 139-155.
Walter Lorenz works as professor for social sciences at the Free University of Bolzano, Italy.
Picture: www.pixelio.de (Photographer: Rainer Sturm)
July 30th, 2008
Klaus Schneider, Luxemburg
This article describes the history of youth welfare in Luxemburg and especially developments in policy and practice of employability trainings for young people in social work in his country.
In modernen Gesellschaften misst man der beruflichen Integration der in einem Prozess der Identitätsfindung und persönlichen Orientierung befindlichen Jugendlichen große Bedeutung zu (Schelsky 1963). Ausbildung und Beschäftigung sind in einer als Übergangszeitraum definierten Jugendphase maßgeblich für die Ausgestaltung und Festigung der Persönlichkeit Jugendlicher verantwortlich (Baacke 2003).
Die Berufsvorbereitung und Qualifizierung berufsunreifer oder schwer vermittelbarer Heranwachsender bilden eine wichtige Brückenfunktion im Übergang von der Schule in den Beruf. Sie stellen aber auch ein Auffangbecken für benachteiligte und in ihrer Entwicklung retardierte Jugendliche dar. Bei diesen Jugendlichen handelt es sich meist um Schul- und Berufsabbrecher (drop-out), die das formale Bildungssystem ohne regulären Abschluss verlassen.
Demnach reagiert die Jugendberufshilfe auf soziale Benachteiligung und konzentriert ihre Maßnahmen innerhalb der Transitionsphase auf die Vermeidung resp. Bekämpfung der Jugendarbeitslosigkeit. Während sich die Angebote gemeinnütziger Institutionen auf die Durchführung von Arbeits- und Qualifizierungsmaßnahmen konzentrieren, offerieren die öffentlichen Einrichtungen vornehmlich präventive Angebote an der Schwelle Schule-Beruf.
Die Begriffe und Angebote
Eine eindeutige Begriffsbestimmung der Jugendberufshilfe und Nutzung des Begriffs in der luxemburgischen Sozial- und Arbeitsgesetzgebung ist aufgrund der Verwobenheit der Praxisfelder (1) nur schwer möglich. Einsatzgebiete der Jugendberufshilfe finden sich in der klassischen Sozialarbeit, der Schulsozialarbeit, dem schulpsychologischen Dienst, der Heimerziehung, der Berufsberatung, der beruflichen Umschulung/Weiterbildung und den Qualifizierungs- und Beschäftigungsmaßnahmen für Jugendliche.
Die Jugendberufshilfe in Luxemburg umfasst die berufliche Re-Integration von Heranwachsenden im Alter von 16 bis 25 Jahren in eine Ausbildung oder Beschäftigung.
Als Teil der arbeitsweltbezogenen Jugendsozialarbeit beinhaltet die Jugendberufshilfe zwei sich ergänzende Zielsetzungen: einerseits die Begleitung, Beratung und Unterstützung von Jugendlichen im Übergang von der Schule in das Berufsleben, andererseits die Berufsvorbereitung, Qualifizierung und Beschäftigung von jugendlichen Arbeitssuchenden in Orientierungs- und Qualifizierungsmaßnahmen. Berufsvorbereitende Lehrgänge, Arbeitsbeschaffungs- und Qualifizierungsmaßnahmen bilden die wesentlichen aktivierenden Instrumente der Jugendberufshilfe in der öffentlichen und privaten Trägerlandschaft. Sie ist ein sozialstaatliches Instrument zur Steigerung der Beschäftigungsfähigkeit durch den Erwerb von Handlungs- und Fachkompetenz sowie von Schlüsselqualifikationen mit dem Ziel, die (Wieder-)Aufnahme einer Berufsausbildung (Formation professionnelle) oder Beschäftigung zu gewährleisten resp. zu erleichtern.
Somit umfasst die Jugendberufshilfe die Förderung der sozialen, schulischen, außerschulischen und beruflichen Entwicklung insbesondere benachteiligter Jugendlicher. Öffentliche und private Träger, aber auch Bildungseinrichtungen, bieten unter dieser Prämisse Aus- und Weiterbildung (2), Beratung und Unterstützung an.
Die Geschichte der Jugendberufshilfe
Erste Strukturen, die man der Jugendberufshilfe zuordnen könnte, entstanden bereits im Mittelalter. Zünfte, private Initiativen und kirchliche Heime nahmen sich der Berufsbildung von Waisen und armen Kindern an. Im 18. Jahrhundert wurden vermehrt pflegebedürftige Kinder in privaten Pflegestellen oder kleineren privaten Heimstrukturen erzogen und auf eine selbständige Lebensführung vorbereitet. Dies beinhaltete auch die berufsbezogene Integration der Mädchen und Knaben. Dementsprechend regelten im 19. Jahrhundert die lokalen Wohltätigkeitsbüros die Pflege und Obhut dieser Jugendlichen. Die repressiven Arbeitshäuser sollten die Jugendlichen an die Arbeit heranführen. Auch in den Handwerksbetrieben war das Leben der Zöglinge von Entbehrung und harter Arbeit geprägt. Die in den Heimen (damalige Fürsorgestellen) angesiedelten Berufsintegrationsmaßnahmen bestehen bis heute fort. In den staatlichen stationären Einrichtungen den „Centres socio-éducatifs de l’Etat“ (3) werden Qualifizierungs- und Orientierungsmaßnahmen angeboten. So bestehen im Mädchenheim in Schrassig Kursangebote in der Küche und im Friseurhandwerk. Im Jungenheim in Dreiborn befindet sich ein Holz- und ein Metallatelier.
Die Bekämpfung der Jugendarbeitslosigkeit steht seit den 70er Jahren auf der sozial- und arbeitsmarktpolitischen Agenda. Die Reform der Arbeitsmarktverwaltung (4), die Entwicklung jugendspezifischer Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahmen sowie die Förderung privater und staatlicher Jugendberatungsstellen trugen zur Senkung, aber nicht zur Beseitigung der Jugendarbeitslosigkeit bei. Die bis heute währende Problematik und anhaltende öffentliche Diskussion der Jugendarbeitslosigkeit gründet auf den Auswirkungen eines atypischen Arbeitsmarktes. Seit der Bewältigung der Stahlkrise und der anschließenden Diversifikation (überwiegend im Dienstleistungssektor) der 80er Jahre weist Luxemburg ein beachtliches Wirtschaftswachstum auf. Dieser beschleunigte Strukturwandel wurde zunächst durch eine gezielte Migrationspolitik bewältigt. Die überproportionale Beschäftigungsintensität seit den 90er Jahren wird weithin durch das Leistungsvermögen der Grenzgänger der Großregion gewährleistet.
Entgegen diesem Trend steigt in Luxemburg die Zahl der Arbeitslosen demnach kontinuierlich. Ungeachtet der Beschäftigungszuwächse bleibt den unqualifizierten Jugendlichen infolge der hohen beruflichen Anforderungen der Zugang zum Arbeitsmarkt verwehrt. Zudem beeinträchtigen mangelnde Sprachkenntnisse, regionale Benachteiligungen, familiäre Konflikte, gesundheitliche Einschränkungen, schlechte Wohnbedingungen und finanzielle Probleme die berufliche Zukunft. Oftmals ist die Herkunftsfamilie selbst von Arbeitslosigkeit und sozialen Problemlagen (sog. Statusreproduktion) gezeichnet. Dieses Sozialisationsumfeld spiegelt sich in der Eigenwahrnehmung der Jugendlichen als Schulversager und Arbeitsloser. Zusätzlich reduziert die hiermit einhergehende Stigmatisierung das Entwicklungspotential von Jugendlichen mit schlechten Bildungsvoraussetzungen.
Die Qualifizierung und Arbeitsbeschaffung
Die allgemeine Arbeitslosenversicherung (MÉMORIAL 1921) (5) mit finanzieller Beteiligung von Staat, Gemeinde, Arbeitgebern und Arbeitnehmern gewährte erstmals einen gesetzlichen Anspruch auf Arbeitslosengeld. In dem 1921 verfassten Gesetzestext war die Arbeitslosenunterstützung für Leistungsberechtigte ab 16 Jahren festgelegt (ebenda, S. 1006). Erste Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahmen stellten die Notstandsarbeiten dar (ebenda, Artikel 25). Diese Beschäftigungsmaßnahmen waren für die Bezieher der Arbeitslosenunterstützung verpflichtend. Neben den Gemeinden gab es noch regionale Arbeitsnachweisämter (Stellenvermittlungsämter) und ein zentrales Arbeitsnachweisamt in der Stadt Luxemburg, die die Vermittlung der Arbeitslosen in Betriebe regelten (ebenda, S. 1015).
Ende der 70er Jahre führt die internationale Stahlkrise zu massiven Beeinträchtigungen der Berufschancen Jugendlicher. Die Veränderungen der Arbeits- und Lebenswelt treffen besonders Schulabbrecher und benachteiligte Jugendliche. Der Übergang von der Schule in das Berufsleben (6) resp. der Antritt einer Ausbildungsstelle gestaltete sich aufgrund der geburtenstarken Jahrgänge in Europa insbesondere für lernschwache Schüler zunehmend schwierig. Auch in Luxemburg war die bis in die 70erJahre automatisch erfolgte berufliche Integration der Schulabgänger (auch ohne Abschluss) in eine Arbeit oder Ausbildung nicht mehr garantiert. Damit wurde für viele Jugendliche ohne regulären Schulabschluss oder Qualifikation der Gang zum Arbeitsamt zum festen Bestandteil der Berufsbiographie. Mit der anhaltenden Krise des Arbeitsmarktes entwickelten sich auch die sozialpolitischen Instrumente und Strukturen der Jugendberufshilfe in Luxemburg. Zur Bewältigung der Wirtschaftskrise entstand 1976 ein Beschäftigungsfonds (7) (MÉMORIAL 1976, S. 592 ff). Zahlreiche Modifikationen erweiterten das Gesetz in den Folgejahren.
Nachdem die Jugendarbeitslosigkeit auf über mehr als 50% anstieg, setzte die damalige LSAP-DP Regierung 1978 (8) ein Gesetz (MÉMORIAL 1978, S. 1010 ff) zur Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen für Jugendliche mit großer parlamentarischer Zustimmung um. Im April 1978 waren von gesamt 1208 Arbeitslosen knapp die Hälfte (620) Jugendliche unter 25 Jahren (Projet de loi No 2192, p. 69). Mit der neuen Gesetzgebung bezuschusste der Gesetzgeber zwei Beschäftigungsmaßnahmen für junge Arbeitssuchende im Alter von 16 bis 25 Jahren. Diese Maßnahmen sollten vorerst bis 1980 befristet sein und die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung fördern. Infolge der anhaltenden Krise wurden die Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahmen am 5.3.1980 (MÉMORIAL, 1980) und in den darauf folgenden Jahren bis zur Neuregelung 1999 (9) verlängert. Die Einführungspraktika „Stage d’initation“ (SI) fanden im privaten Sektor und die „division auxiliare temporaire“ (DAT resp. DA) im staatlichen resp. gemeinnützigen Bereich breite Anwendung. Mit dem Budgetgesetz vom 19.12.1983 (10) erweiterte das Parlament das Angebot an Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahmen für Jugendliche um den „Stage de préparation en entreprise“ (SP). Dieses betriebliche Einführungspraktikum wurde im Zuge der Reform der sozialen Grundsicherung (revenu minimum garanti-RMG) 1989 (MÉMORIAL 1989, S. 814) für Jugendliche bis 29 Jahre ausgedehnt.
Im Rahmen der weiteren beschäftigungspolitischen Steuerung weiteten sich die Qualifizierungs- und Integrationsinstrumente in den Folgejahren aus. Alte Förderinstrumente blieben bestehen, wurden aber in der Praxis des Arbeitsamtes nicht mehr angewendet (vgl. Bulletin Luxembourgeois de l’emploi No 04/2008, S.4). Der nationale Aktionsplan „Plan d’action national en faveur de l’emploi 1998“ (PAN) definiert im Gesetz vom 12.2.1999 (MÉMORIAL 1999, S. 190 ff) zwei neue Beschäftigungsmaßnahmen. Der „Contrat d´auxiliaire temporaire“ (CAT) und der „Stage d´insertion“ (SI) bilden fortan die neuen Aktivierungsmaßnahmen für benachteiligte Arbeitssuchende. Diese Instrumente finden in Privatwirtschaft (Contrat d´auxiliaire temporaire du sector privé - CAT PR) und insbesondere im öffentlichen Sektor (Contrat d´auxiliaire temporaire du sector public-CAT PU) breite Zustimmung.
Die Reform 5611
Die enttäuschenden Vermittlungserfolge der öffentlichen Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahmen im Rahmen des CAT PU in staatlichen und kommunalen Dienststellen führten 2007 zu einer Änderung der Arbeitsgesetzgebung. Die zahlreichen Angebote hatten in der Vergangenheit nicht das Ziel der Vermittlung, sondern die Funktion einer Warteschleife. Die CAT-Maßnahmen weckten die Illusion einer möglichen Anstellung bei Staat oder Gemeinde und wirkten dem allgemeinen Vermittlungsgedanken entgegen. Als Konsequenz verfestigte sich die Jugendarbeitslosigkeit.
Mit der so genannten 5611 Gesetzgebung (MÉMORIAL, 2006) wurden auch die Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahmen für Jugendliche reformiert. Der „Contrat d´auxiliaire temporaire“ wurde durch den „Contrat appui-emploi“ (CAE) und dem “Contrat d’initiation-emploi“ (CIE) ersetzt. Der neue Vertrag wird zwischen Arbeitsamt und Arbeitslosen geschlossen. Der Beschäftigungsumfang reduziert sich in den öffentlichen und gemeinnützigen Beschäftigungsverträgen (CAE) von 40 auf 32 Wochenstunden. Die Entgeldleistungen sinken bei den privaten Maßnahmen (CIE) von 100 auf 80%. Zudem engagierten sich die Beschäftigungsträger einer privaten Maßnahme für eine Anschlussbeschäftigung. Gleichzeitig erhöhten sich auch die Anforderungen an die Arbeitssuchenden. Die Verfügbarkeit, Mitwirkung und Aktivitätsverpflichtung der Jugendlichen wird intensiver kontrolliert und Verfehlungen rigoroser mit dem Entzug des Arbeitslosengeldes sanktioniert. Eine individuelle Aktivierungsvereinbarung zwischen Arbeitsamt und Jugendlichen nach spätestens drei Monaten (MÉMORIAL 2007, S. 3071) regelt die Rechte und Pflichten sowie die weiterführenden Integrationsvereinbarungen für den Zeitraum eines Jahres. Diese intensive Kooperation und mögliche Sperrung der Arbeitslosenunterstützung sollen die Eigeninitiative der Jugendlichen verstärken, zielgerichtete Förderungen in Qualifizierungsmaßnahmen ermöglichen und die langfristige berufliche Integration erwirken.
Mit der 5611-Gesetzgebung werden die staatlichen Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahmen (CAE) zentral reguliert und die Integration durch die CIE-Maßnahmen in den ersten Arbeitsmarkt verstärkt. Neben der Zuweisung (Assignation) erfolgt jetzt auch eine Steuerung der Maßnahmen durch das Arbeitsamt. Der Arbeitsvertrag zwischen Arbeitsamt und Jugendlichen verdeutlicht diese zentrale Kontrolle des Arbeitsamtes. Der Beschäftigungsträger verpflichtet sich, neben der Zahlung eines sozialversicherungspflichtigen Gehalts, zur Schulung der Teilnehmer. Inhalt und Zielsetzung der Qualifizierung sind in einem obligatorischen Ausbildungsplan festgelegt. Dieser Schulungsplan soll die Beschäftigungsfähigkeit des Jugendlichen stärken. Zudem werden die Arbeitsvermittler intensiver durch den „Service d’accompagnement personnalisé des demandeurs d’emploi” (SAPDE) und den Sozialdienst (Service Social) der Arbeitsmarktverwaltung unterstützt.
Seit der Umsetzung zum 1.7.2007 sinkt die Jugendarbeitslosigkeit in Luxemburg. Während im Januar 2007 noch insgesamt 1450 Jugendliche in CAT-Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahmen verweilten, waren es im Dezember 2007 nur 910 Heranwachsende, die in den auslaufenden CAT und den neuen CAE und CIE Maßnahmen beschäftigt waren (Les activités de l’Administration de l’emploi en 2007, S. 99). Im Gegensatz zu den CAE-Verträgen sollen nunmehr die betrieblichen CIE verstärkt ausgebaut werden (vgl. Bulletin Luxemburgeois de l’emploi No 04/2008, S.4). Seither sinkt die Zahl der Qualifizierungsmaßnahmen ohne dass der Verbleib der Jugendlichen geklärt wäre. Einerseits wurde der Zugang zu den Maßnahmen erschwert, andererseits führen Sanktionen zu einer Reduktion der Anspruchsberechtigten. Für eine abschließende Bewertung der Reform ist es derzeit noch zu früh.
Die Berufsberatung der Arbeitsmarktverwaltung
Die Berufsberatung des Arbeitsministeriums, der „Service de l’orientation professionnelle“ (OP), unterstützt Jugendliche und Erwachsene gleichermaßen bei der Ausbildungs- und Arbeitssuche. Die Berufsberatung ist Bindeglied zwischen Betrieb und Lehrling und verfügt über das Vermittlungsmonopol betrieblicher Lehrlingsausbildung (Apprentissage).
Der über das Erziehungsministerium (11) initiierte „Service de Psychologie et d’Orientation scolaire“ (SPOS) und die Berufsberatung „Orientation professionnelle“ (OP) des Arbeitsamtes (vormals Office National du Travail) arbeiten teilweise parallel. Eine synergetische Zusammenlegung der beiden Beratungsangebote wurde bereits in den parlamentarischen Diskussionen von 1987 (12) angesprochen und scheint bis heute nicht in Sicht.
Die staatliche Qualifizierung und Beratung
Die lokalen Beratungsstellen des „Services de psychologie et d’orientation scolaires“ (SPOS) sind in den Sekundarschulen angesiedelt und fungieren als begleitende Übergangsstrukturen und präventives Bindeglied zwischen Schule und Ausbildung. Das „Centre de psychologie et d’orientation scolaires“ (CPOS) koordiniert die schulpsychologischen Dienststellen.
Bereits 1945 wurden im Zuge der Neuordnung der Arbeitslosenunterstützung die Missionen der später als CPOS bezeichneten Berufsberatung im grossherzoglichen Erlass vom 30. Juni 1945 formuliert (MÉMORIAL, 1945, S. 375). Interessant ist in diesem Zusammenhang ein ministerielles Rundschreiben vom 12. Februar 1949. Hier werden die Zielsetzungen der Berufsberatung und Orientierung sowie ein Fragebogen für die Primärschule aufgezeigt. „Le problème le plus important qui se pose pour nos enfants au sortir de l´école primaire est sans doute le choix d´une profession. “ (MÉMORIAL 1949, S. 66)
Im Gesetz vom 16. August 1965 wurden dann die Zielsetzungen für den „Service de psychologie et d’orientation scolaires“ festgelegt. Der Benachteiligtenförderung von Schülern und der Berufsorientierung wurden hier die ersten Weichen (mit einem Verweis für den noch zu schaffenden CPOS) gestellt. „Art. 23. Il est créé auprès du Ministère de l’Education Nationale un centre de psychologie et d’orientation scolaires…“.
Im Gesetz vom 10. Mai 1968 über die Reform des Sekundarbereichs wird dann der gesetzliche Grundstein zum „Service de psychologie et d’orientation scolaires“ gelegt. „Auprès de chaque établissement d´enseignement secondaire il est créé un service de psychologie et d´orientation scolaires qui fonctionnera en liaison avec le centre de psychologie et d´orientation scolaires créé par l´article 23.“
Bereits 1970 entstanden die ersten Beratungsstellen in den Lyzeen Diekirch und Echternach. Das Personal bestand aus engagierten Lehrern, die eine psychologische Ausbildung vorweisen konnten.
Am 22.09.1978 wurde das Gesetzprojekt „Projet de loi 2216/00 portant création d’un Institut national d’information et d’orientation scolaires“ zur Schaffung eines schulpsychologischen Dienstes deponiert. Mit dem grossherzoglichen Reglement vom 20.11.1984 wurden dem „Service de psychologie et d’orientation scolaires“ 15 Psychologen zugesprochen und damit die Personalausstattung maßgeblich verbessert. Weitere Stellenbesetzungen in den Folgejahren entwickelten den schulpsychologischen Dienst zu einem flächendeckenden Instrument der Berufsorientierung als integraler Teil der Sekundarstufe. Mit dem Gesetz vom 1.04.1987 wurden die koordinierenden Funktionen gesetzlich determiniert und im Gesetz vom 13.07.2007 die überordnete Aufgabenstellung (Koordination, Evaluation, Methodenentwicklung, Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, Mediatorenfunktion usw.) präzisiert.
Die Einführungs- und Orientierungskurse
Die staatliche Jugendberufshilfe startet mit der Entstehung der „Cours d’Initiation et d’Orientation Professionnelles“ (COIP). Mit dem „Règlement Grand-Ducal du 21 février 1978 portant organisation de cours d’orientation et d’initiation professionnelle“ wurde der 1976 erhobenen Forderung „organiser des cours de formation professionnelle ou d´enseignement général“ (MÉMORIAL 1976) nach Berufsbildung Rechnung getragen. Die grossherzogliche Verordnung beinhaltet auch die Schaffung neuer nationaler Weiterbildungszentren. Im „Centre national de formation professionnelle continue“ (CNFPC) in Walferdange starten 1978 die ersten berufsvorbereitenden Orientierungskurse. In Esch/Alzette, Mersch und Ettelbrück erfolgt später das Angebot weiterer COIP-Kurse für 15-16 Jährige. Als Reaktion auf die Probleme beim Übergang „Schule/Beruf“ wurden diese auf 9 Monate befristeten Orientierungs- und Integrationskurse für Jugendliche als Überbrückungsangebote initiiert. Die staatlichen Bildungsstrukturen des CNFPC bieten diese beruflichen Orientierungs- und Einführungskurse an. Unter Leitung des Erziehungsministeriums und mit Zustimmung des Arbeitsministeriums wurden am 21. Mai 1979 (MÉMORIAL 1979) die beruflichen Weiterbildungs- und Eingliederungskurse sowie Umschulungen gesetzlich festgelegt.
Seit dem 1. Oktober 2007 (Mémorial 15.11.2007, S. 3546 ff) besteht eine neue Orientierungsmaßnahme des nationalen Jugenddienstes (Service National de la Jeunesse) für Schulabgänger. Dieser Freiwilligendienst (Service Volontaire d’Orientation) richtet sich an Jugendliche im Alter von 16 bis 30 Jahren. Einsatzgebiete sind der Naturschutz sowie Projekte im öffentlichen, soziokulturellen, sozialen und kulturellen Bereich.
Der neue Freiwilligendienst des Familienministeriums ist für viele arbeitsuchende Jugendliche eine hilfreiche Orientierung und sinnvolle Beschäftigung. Die Teilnehmer erhalten eine bedarfsorientierte Entschädigung zur Sicherung des Lebensunterhalts. Die Teilnehmerplätze sind beschränkt und die Warteliste ist mit zahlreichen Jugendlichen gefüllt, die von den Angeboten des Arbeitsamtes ausgeschlossen sind. Der Ausbau des Freiwilligendienstes ist für das Jahr 2009 vorgesehen.
Die derzeitigen Bestimmungen
Mit dem Gesetz vom 16.03.2007 („cours de formation professionnelle au centre nationale de formation professionnelle continue“ als Teilreform des Gesetzprojekts 5593) fallen die „cours d’orientation et d’initiation professionnelles“ unter die alleinige Regie des Erziehungsministeriums. Die beruflichen Weiterbildungszentren werden in das Schul- und Berufsausbildungssystem des Erziehungsministeriums (MEN) integriert. Die Kurse dienen als Auffangbecken für benachteiligte Jugendliche, erfolglose Lehrstellenbewerber und Schulabbrecher (Mémorial 11.04.2007). Die Ausführungsbestimmungen (RGD 24.08.2007) regeln die Zulassung für minderjährige Jugendliche und präzisieren die Zuständigkeit der lokalen Jugendberatungsstellen (Action Locale pour Jeunes-ALJ) sowie den Inhalt der COIP-Kurse. Der ALJ obliegt die Steuerung der Kurse in den CNFPC und die soziale Begleitung der Jugendlichen. Dies umfasst das Training von Sozialkompetenzen, die sozialpsychologische Unterstützung, das Screening, die Organisation der Praktika, die Koordination komplementärer Institutionen, die Elternberatung, die Kompetenzbilanzierung, die Lehrstellensuche sowie die anschließende zweijährige Begleitung der Teilnehmer und Evaluation des Maßnahmeerfolgs.
Die 12-24 Monate andauernden Orientierungskurse beruhen auf einer Mischung aus Arbeitspädagogik und Sozialpädagogik und beinhalten allgemeine und praktische Module sowie ein Betriebspraktikum. Die fortwährende sozialpsychologische Begleitung, Evaluierung und Kompetenzbilanzierung der Maßnahmeteilnehmer sind Grundlage der weiterführenden schulischen und beruflichen Orientierung.
Eine finanzielle Entschädigung (indemnité de formation) für Schüler im Alter von 18-24 Jahren wurde als Überbrückungshilfe eingerichtet. Diese finanzielle Unterstützung schließt eine Lücke, da der RMG-Bezug in der Regel erst mit einem Alter von 25 Jahren vorgesehen ist. Im Schuljahr 2007/2008 wurden die beruflichen Orientierungskurse neben den beiden nationalen Weiterbildungszentren (CNFPC) auf sechs ausgewiesene technische Gymnasien ausgedehnt und die Teilnehmerzahl auf 400 Schüler erhöht (MEN, 2008). Mit dieser Reform konnte die Schulpflicht (derzeit 9 Schuljahre der Sekundärstufe I) um ein freiwilliges Jahr ausgedehnt werden. Eine Erhöhung der Regelschulzeit auf 10 Schuljahre wird hiermit zumindest angedacht.
Wenngleich diese Warteschleifen sinnvolle Qualifizierungen und sozialpädagogische Begleitung offerieren, stigmatisiert dieses Qualifizierungsjahr viele junge Arbeitssuchende. Die Strukturen der berufsvorbereitenden Maßnahmen gelten allgemein als Schonraum und Überbrückung bis zur Volljährigkeit.
Die lokale Jugendberatung
1984 entstand im Zuge der Entschließung des EG-Ministerrates (EG 1982) ein europäisches Modellprojekt zur Bekämpfung der hohen Jugendarbeitslosenquote im Süden des Landes. Die erste nationale Jugendberatungsstelle “Action Locale pour Jeunes“ (vgl. Parlamentarische Anfrage Nr. 28, 1986) entstand in Differdange. Anschließend wurden in den Gemeinden Ettelbrück, Rumelange, Redange und Echternach lokale Jugendberatungsstellen gegründet. Ergänzend richteten später weitere Gemeinden lokale Jugendberatungsstellen ein.
Mit dem grossherzoglichen Reglement vom 17.2.1987 (condition agrément des Centres de rencontre pour jeunes) wurde die gesetzliche Grundlage der “Action Locale pour Jeunes“ geschaffen und integraler Bestandteil des nationalen Jugendservice (Service national de la jeunesse-SNJ). Zielgruppe waren die 14 bis 17-jährigen arbeitsuchenden Schulabgänger aber auch Schulabbrecher, die aus dem schulbezogenen Einsatzgebiet des „Service de psychologie et d’orientation scolaires“ heraustraten. Das Angebot der “Action Locale pour Jeunes“ umfasst die Vorbereitung auf das Erwerbsleben, die Organisation betrieblicher Praktika, die Beratung und Begleitung, die Koordination komplementärer Hilfsangebote (Schuldnerberatung, Drogenberatung, Wohnungssuche usw.) sowie die sozialpädagogische Begleitung von Jugendlichen in Berufsvorbereitungsmaßnahmen.
Die private Trägerlandschaft
Die private Trägerlandschaft bietet in Kooperation mit dem Arbeitsamt eine Vielzahl von Beschäftigungsmaßnahmen für Jugendliche. Die ersten Strukturen der Jugendberufshilfe bildeten sich Anfang der 80er Jahre.
Die 1979 von drei Sozialarbeitern gegründete Vereinigung (13) trat bereits 1980 mit einem sozialökonomischen Projekt im Stadtteil Grund in Erscheinung. Aufgrund der Erfahrungen in der Gemeinwesenarbeit in sozialen Brennpunkten der Stadtteile Grund und Clausen wurde 1981 die Firma POLYGONE sàrl gegründet. Die multidimensionalen Probleme der Jugendlichen veranlassten Inter-Actions zur Entwicklung eines sozio-ökonomischen Begleitprogramms „Structure d’encadrement socio-économique“. Dieses am Leistungsvermögen der Teilnehmer ausgerichtete Konzept beinhaltet sowohl die Beratung und Begleitung als auch die Beschäftigung und Qualifizierung der Jugendlichen im Rahmen sozialversicherungspflichtiger Integrationsmaßnahmen. Zudem offeriert Inter-Actions als Vorstufe des Wiedereingliederungsbetriebs POLYGONE seit 1986 ein Einführungspraktikum im Atelier Schläifmillen und verfügt seit 1992 über eine psychosoziale Beratungsstelle. Während sich die Firma POLYGONE in einem kommerziellen Umfeld ohne staatliche Subsidien behaupten muss, wird die Jugendberufshilfeeinrichtung Schläifmillen durch die Finanzierung von Staat und der Stadt Luxemburg getragen. Seit 2008 werden in den Räumlichkeiten der Schläifmillen neben den traditionellen Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahmen hauptsächlich Kompetenzbilanzierungen und berufliche Orientierungsmaßnahme für Jugendliche angeboten (vgl. Schneider 2008).
GAMO asbl/Aarbechtshellef asbl : Centre d’Insertion et de Réinsertion Professionnelle (CIRP)
Die « Groupe d’assistance en milieu ouvert » (GAMO) wurde 1981 aufgrund der Erfahrungen in der Heimerziehung des „Jongenheem“ gegründet. Zunächst begleitete GAMO heimentlassene Jugendliche bei der Arbeits- und Wohnungssuche sowie in anderen Bereichen der Verselbständigung (Nachbetreuung).
1983 entstand die gemeinnützige Vereinigung ohne Gewinnzweck „Aarbechtshellef asbl“, welche sich die Beschäftigung von benachteiligten Jugendlichen zum Ziel gesetzt hat. Seit 1999 arbeiten beide Träger gemeinsam im CIRP. In den verschiedenen Ateliers (Holz-, Metall-, Montagewerkstatt usw.) werden mit finanzieller Förderung des Familienministeriums arbeitsuchende Jugendliche ab 15 Jahren im Rahmen einer Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahme (CAE) qualifiziert oder in einem befristeten Vertrag (CDD) der gemeinnützigen Zeitarbeitsvermittlung beschäftigt. Ziel ist die soziale und berufliche Integration der Jugendlichen. Das 1988 gegründete Netzwerk „Wunnengshëllef“ und die Wohnstrukturen des „Jongenheem“ bieten volljährigen Jugendlichen preisgünstigen Wohnraum. Seit 2008 beteiligt sich auch das Gesundheitsministerium an diesem Angebot und finanziert den therapeutischen Jugenddienst „Service Thérapeutique Solidarité Jeunes“.
Seit der Gründung 1983 engagiert sich die solidarökonomische Genossenschaft in der Unterstützung, Beschäftigung und Qualifizierung schwervermittelbarer Jugendlicher im Garten- , Landschafts- (GALA), Zierpflanzenbau und in der Forstwirtschaft.
Diese „parastaatlichen” Einrichtungen verfügen über eine Konvention mit einem resp. mehreren Ministerien (14) und richten sich mit ihrem Qualifizierungsangebot an arbeitsuchende Jugendliche. Einige Träger bieten den Jugendlichen betriebsähnliche Beschäftigungsmaßnahmen mit „Ernstcharakter“ zwecks Aneignung von Schlüsselqualifikationen und berufsspezifischer Fach- und Sozialkompetenz mit dem Ziel der Verbesserung der Vermittlungsfähigkeit (vgl. Fülbier, 2002, S. 486 ff). Diese betriebsnahen Trägerstrukturen können als Jugendberufshilfebetriebe bezeichnet werden.
In dieser betriebsnahen Umgebung werden Produkte und Dienstleistungen unter fachpraktischer Anleitung mit den Jugendlichen erstellt. Die realitätsnahe Arbeitsumgebung bzw. die Marktnähe bilden das maßgebliche fachpraktische und pädagogische Förderinstrument eines Jugendberufshilfebetriebs zur Re-Integration Jugendlicher in das Arbeitsleben. Der Jugendhilfebetrieb qualifiziert benachteiligte Jugendliche in einer arbeitsmarktnahen Umgebung. (vgl. Lex 2001, S. 11).
Die im Jugendhilfebetrieb erwirtschafteten Gewinne aus den Aufträgen dienen der ergänzenden Finanzierung. In diesem Arbeitskontext ist der Jugendliche sowohl Leistungserbringer (Arbeiter oder Dienstleister) als auch Leistungsempfänger (Anleitung, Beratung und soziale Begleitung). Die betriebliche Umgebung orientiert sich am Leistungsvermögen des Jugendlichen. Das zugewiesene Aufgabenfeld fordert ihn ohne zu überfordern. Diese Balance bestimmt gleichermaßen die Entwicklung der betrieblichen Produktivität und des Kapazitätsprofils des Jugendlichen. Eine vorgeschaltete Orientierungsphase resp. Arbeitserprobung dient der Kapazitätsbilanzierung und anschließenden Zuordnung der Jugendlichen in die Fördermaßnahmen des Trägers. Das Anforderungsprofil orientiert sich am Arbeitsvermögen und Entwicklungspotential des Jugendlichen. Die Maßnahmen konzentrieren sich erfahrungsgemäß auf die manuelle Einarbeitung, das Erlernen der Arbeitstugenden (Gewöhnung an die betrieblichen Anforderungen, Einhaltung der Arbeitsordnung), die soziale Begleitung und einen kompetenzorientierten Personaleinsatz.
Der Übergang von der Arbeitslosigkeit in ein nicht subventioniertes Beschäftigungsverhältnis auf dem ersten Arbeitsmarkt wurde zum Erfolgsrezept der freien Trägerlandschaft.
Die statistische Erfassung der Jugendarbeitslosigkeit
Luxemburg weist im Gegensatz zu anderen europäischen Mitgliedstaaten eine unterdurchschnittliche Arbeitslosigkeit auf. Im April 2007 lag die Arbeitslosigkeit bei 4,7 %. (EU15: 7,1%). Dagegen bereitet die Bekämpfung der hohen Jugendarbeitslosigkeit nach wie vor Probleme und wurde wiederholt durch die Kommission angemahnt (15). In Luxemburg stieg die Jugendarbeitslosenquote von 1996 bis 2007 von 8,2 auf 17,5 % an und lag stets über dem EU15-Durchschnitt (16).
Im Jahr 2007 lag die durchschnittliche Arbeitslosenquote bei 4,4% (Ministère du Travail et de l’emploi 2007, S. 85). 29,4 % (2892) der Arbeitssuchenden waren unter 30 Jahre alt (ebenda, S. 107). Jugendliche ohne Schulabschluss und/oder mit Migrationsgeschichte (17) sind überproportional von Arbeitslosigkeit bedroht. Strukturelle Probleme auf dem Arbeitsmarkt verschärfen die Berufschancen dieser Jugendlichen. Aufgrund einer Neubewertung der statistischen Angaben sank im Mai 2008 die Arbeitslosenquote der unter 25-Jährigen auf 15,6 % (gegenüber 17,8 % im Vorjahr). Damit liegt Luxemburg immer noch über dem EU15-Durchschnitt von 15%. Trotz der Neubewertung des Zahlenmaterials sind die statistischen Angaben in Dänemark (5,8%), der Niederlanden (5,6%) und Österreich (8,4%) weitaus besser (EUROSTAT 94/2008). Der eingeschränkte Zugang zum Arbeitsmarkt wird durch die hohe Klassenwiederholungsrate von 5% (MEN 2005, S.17) und die Schulabbrecherquote determiniert. Im Jahr 2006 verließen 20,9 % der Jungen und 14% der Mädchen im Alter von 18-24 Jahren vorzeitig das Schulsystem und befanden sich weder in Qualifizierungs- noch Beschäftigungsmaßnahmen (EUROSTAT 2008).
Eine nicht unbedeutende Dunkelziffer verbirgt sich hinter dem amtlichen Zahlenwerk und erschwert die Hilfen für Jugendliche die nicht bei der ADEM registriert sind. Auch mangelt es weithin an empirischen Daten, die Aufschluss über die Auswirkungen der Arbeitslosigkeit auf die Persönlichkeit und das Verhalten der Jugendlichen geben. Vorliegende Untersuchungen stellen nur eingeschränkt die subjektiven Lebensbedingungen arbeitsloser Jugendlicher dar. Während im nahen Ausland zahlreiche Studien die Auswirkungen der Jugendarbeitslosigkeit quantitativ und qualitativ aufzeigen beschränken sich hiesige Untersuchungen vornehmlich auf die empirische Erfassung arbeitsmarkt- und bildungsrelevanter Daten.
(1) Eine weitere Dimension der Jugendberufshilfe resp. der Jugendhilfe soll im Gesetzprojekt „Projet de loi sur la jeunesse“ vom 13.02.2007 geregelt werden.
(2) Betriebe, Jugendberufshilfebetriebe und überbetriebliche Ausbildungsstätten
(3) Die Reorganisation der „Centres socio-éducatifs de l’Etat“ erfolgte im Gesetz vom 16 Juni 2004
(4) Administration de l´emploi-ADEM
(5) Loi du 6 août 1921 concernant la participation financière des communes, des patrons et des ouvriers dans l’allocation des secours de chômage.
(6) Transition à la vie active
(7) Auf den Seiten 599 ff beschreibt das Mémorial vom 30 Juni 1976 im Artikel 33 die berufliche Eingliederung wie folgt: 1. Dans l´intérêt de l´insertion ou de la réinsertion des chômeurs complets dans la vie professionnelle, le Ministre de l´Education nationale peut, sur avis conforme du Ministre du Travail, organiser des cours de formation professionnelle ou d´enseignement général dont les modalités d´organisation sont déterminées par règlement grand-ducal. 2. Les bénéficiaires de l´indemnité de chômage complet peuvent être invités par les bureaux déplacement publics à suivre les cours prévus au paragraphe qui précède ou d´autres cours de formation professionnelle ou d´enseignement général. 3. En cas de refus non justifié de participer à de tels cours, le droit à l´indemnité de chômage se perd. En cas d´absence sans excuse valable à ces cours, le droit à l´indemnité de chômage complet est supprimé pour sept jours de calendrier, en cas de récidive pour trente jours de calendrier.
(8) Loi du 27 juillet 1978 portant diverses mesures en faveur de l’emploi des jeunes
(9) „Den initiale Projet huet virun allem drop gesat, fir eng Weiderféierung vum bestehenden Instrumentarium säit dem Gesetz vun 1978 ze maachen, dat heescht, fir d’Division d’auxiliaires, d’Stages de préparation en entreprise, d’Stages d’initiation asw. weiderzeféieren. Si wëllen och nach e Stage de réinsertion fir eler Aarbechtsloser aféieren.“, so der damalige palarmentarische Co-Sprecher der Spezialkommission und Abgeordnete Lucien Lux am 3.2.1999.
(10) Zusätzlich wird in der großherzoglichen Verordnung vom 4 April 1984 die Finanzierung der socio-ökonomischen Maßnahmen für Jugendliche im Budget 1984 festgeschrieben (MÉMORIAL 1983). 1994 wird diese Finanzierung auf alle Arbeitslosen erweitert und hiermit die Voraussetzung für die Beschäftigungsinitiativen gelegt (RGD, 1994, S. 1030). Die Maßnahmen firmieren nunmehr als „Mesures spéciales“ in der amtlichen Statistik (vgl. Conseil économique et social, 2004, S. 77). In den letzten Jahren sind die Kosten der Beschäftigungsgesellschaften stark gestiegen. Der seit 2003 ausgiebig diskutierte Gesetzentwurf (5144) soll eine Strukturierung und Kontrolle der Aktivitäten gewährleisten.
(11) Ministère de l’Éducation nationale et de la formation professionnelle (MENFP)
(12) Discussion générale, Chambre des députes, 38. Séance, 25.2.1987
(13) Zunächst unter dem Namen Inter-Actions Faubourgs
(14) In der Regel in einer Konvention mit dem Familien-, Jugend-, Arbeits- oder Gesundheitsministerium. Teilweise werden die Maßnahmen durch die lokale Gemeinde unterstützt.
Baacke, Dieter (2003): Einführung in die Probleme des Jugendalters. Weinheim und Basel
Bulletin Luxembourgeois de l’emploi No 04/2008
Conseil économique et social (2004): Evolution economique, sociale et financière du pays 2004
Discussion générale, Chambre des députes, 38. Séance, 25.2.1987
EUROSTAT Yearbook 2008
EUROSTAT : 94/2008 – 1.07.2008
Europäische Gemeinschaft: 12.07.1982
Fülbier, Paul & Münchmeier, Richard (2002) : Handbuch Jugendsozialarbeit. Münster
Ministère du Travail et de l’emploi (2008) : Les activités de l’Administration de l’emploi en 2007. Luxembourg
Lex, Tilly (2001): Förderung benachteiligte Jugendlicher im Jugendhilfebetrieb. München
Ministère de l’Éducation nationale et de la Formation professionnelle (2008) : Rapport d’activité 2007. Luxembourg
Ministère de l’Éducation nationale et de la Formation professionnelle (2005): Analyse des Klassenwiederholens im primären und postprimären Bereich. Luxemburg
Ministère de l’Éducation nationale et de la Formation professionnelle (2006): Le décrochage scolaire au Luxembourg. Parcours et caractéristiques des jeunes en rupture scolaire. Raisons entraînant l’arrêt des études. Luxemburg
Schelsky, Helmut (1963) : Die skeptische Generation. Düsseldorf
Schneider, Klaus (Hrsg.) (2007) : Evaluationsmethoden und Kompetenzbilanzen für Arbeitssuchende. Luxemburg
Loi du 16.08.1965 (CPOS)
Loi du 10.05.1968 (Sekundarunterricht)
Loi du 22.09.1978 (SPOS)
Loi du 1.04.1987 (CPOS)
Loi du 16.06.2004 (CSEEs)
Loi du 16.03.2007 (MEN)
Loi du 13.07.2007 (CPOS)
Mémorial A n° 55 du 10.08.1921
Mémorial A n° 34 du 12.07.1945
Mémorial A n° 4 du 12.02.1949
Mémorial A n° 34 du 30.06.1976
Mémorial A n° 43 du 28.07.1978
Mémorial A n° 41 du 28.05.1979
Mémorial A n° 26 du 21.03.1980
Mémorial A n° 111 du 23.12.1983
Mémorial A n° 44 du 30.06.1989
Mémorial A n° 13 du 23.02.1999
Mémorial A n° 224 du 22.12.2006
Mémorial A n° 164 du 29.08.2007
Mémorial A n° 54 du 11.04.2007
Mémorial A n° 202 du 15.11.2007
Projet de loi No 2192
Projet de loi No 5144
Parlamentarische Anfrage Nr. 28, 1986
Règlement Grand-Ducal du 12.04.1984
Règlement Grand-Ducal du 20.11.1984
Règlement Grand-Ducal du 17.06.1994
Règlement Grand-Ducal du 21.02.1978
Règlement Grand-Ducal du 24.08.2007
ADEM Administration de l’emploi
ALJ Action Locale pour Jeunes
CATP Certificat d’aptitude technique et professionnelle
CCM Certificat de capacité manuelle
CITP Certificat d’initiation technique et professionnelle
CNFPC Centre national de la formation professionnelle continue
CPOS Centre de psychologie et d’orientation scolaires
CAT PR Contrat d´auxiliaire temporaire du sector privé
CAT PU Contrat d´auxiliaire temporaire du sector public
CAE Contrat appui-emploi
CIE Contrat d’initiation-emploi
FPC Formation professionnelle continue
MENFP Ministère de l’Éducation nationale et de la formation professionnelle
OECD Organisation für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung
OP Orientation professionnelle
PAN Plan d’action national
RGD Règlement Grand-Ducal
SNJ Service national de la jeunesse
SPOS Service de psychologie et d’orientation scolaires
STATEC Service central de la statistique et des études économiques
The Autor works in Luxemburg at the institution FORWARD and is founder of the European Anti Poverty Network Luxemburg (EAPN). This article will be also published in “Bildung und Qualifizierung jugendlicher Arbeitssuchender” (Klaus Schneider, editor), Schriftenreihe FORWARD, BAND III.
Picture: www.pixelio.de (Photographer: Klaus-Uwe Gerhardt)
July 30th, 2008
Barbara Hoenig, Feldkirchen (Austria)
Background & Research Question (1)
Located at the Southern periphery of the European Union, the neighbouring countries Slovenia and Austria have recently underwent deep transformation processes which can be characterized with the concept of “Europeanization” of national societies as well as of its social sciences, specifically sociology. This has been indicated by the revolutions of 1989 (Dahrendorf 1990), which might also be interpreted as “revolutions of recuperation” (Habermas 1990), the possibilities of a “new” and a “cosmopolitan” Europe (Bauman 2004; Beck/Sznaider 2006) or even a “Social Europe” (Bailey 1998; Vaughan-Whitehead 2003) overcoming by the tensions and divisions which so often have evolved as troublesome conflicts and wars in Europe’s history by enlargement and integration. Urgent social problems in both countries, e.g. unemployment, poverty or social inequalities, prompt the question of how a common problem analysis could be achieved and on the basis of which experiences and interests. Despite of an occasionally stated “crisis” of (Western) sociology (Gouldner 1971; Cole 2001), sociology might have something to offer again. Confronted with enormous transformations in European countries, it might become an innovative generator of knowledge relevant to the enlightenment – as an European heritage – of its societies and of itself.
Social work and empirical social research are capable of mutually complementing and supporting each other in many fruitful ways (Otto 2003). Roughly speaking, what sociology can offer to social work theory and practice might be generating critical and reflexive knowledge about those social institutions and processes, individual strategies and collective conditions of a “risk society” that shape actions of those persons social work deals with (Webb 2006). Here we investigate the changing institutional environment of sociology in an European context and whether these social conditions do have any impact on the content of knowledge so produced. Of particular interest is the question in which way urgent social problems of societies are reflected by sociology. We hope to contribute to a common learning context in the border region Slovenia - Austria, where social workers and social scientists begin to act together and work on a common analysis of social problems.
In the following, firstly we will describe the development of sociology of knowledge in order to apply this to a perspective of the new constellation which we find within the common border region since the EU-accession. Secondly, a short historical overview of the development of sociology in the border region will be given, in the form of some theses and with the aim of arousing your curiosity regarding sociology as social work’s neighbouring discipline. Third, these assumed effects and their impact on sociology will be empirically investigated here on the level of knowledge content, by a bibliometric analysis of two sociological journals in the border region Slovenia – Austria.
Theoretical Framework & Central Concepts
Regarding the social role of knowledge in societies, Stehr defines knowledge as a capacity for social action (Stehr 1994: 95) to be implemented in the context of specific social and intellectual conditions. That means also acknowledging knowledge as an element of power relations. Those can be conceptualised as generating repressive, constraining but also enabling consequences or features, e.g. allowing groups and individuals to organize resistance, avoidance, and opposition. Power then defines what is accepted as knowledge or what counts as knowledge. The notion of knowledge as a capacity for social action has the advantage of enabling one to stress multi-faceted consequences of knowledge for action. Regarding different knowledge types (Gibbons et al. 1994: 24f.), a quite common difference is drawn between the codified, mainly written, formal and declaratory knowledge, which is e.g. explicitly laid down in numerous EU documents, and the rather implicit, procedural and intuitive type of knowledge, which often manifests itself only in social practices of applying, using and practicing this kind of codified knowledge. In raising the question, which kind of sociology we will investigate here, we have to deal with shifting perspectives or maybe a kind of sociology as a generator of a “translation function”: “…If sociology can reclaim exclusiveness at all, this results not so much from that what it describes but from the way how it does so – that is from the sociological perspective, which also mediates new insights resulting from taking a look on an already known phenomenon.”(Mozetic 2001: 229, translation added). It seems plausible that sociology as a scientific endeavour has to fulfil various “translation functions” when we consider its relation to the fundamental transformations European societies undergo nowadays.
The collapse of the communist system in Eastern European countries in 1989 brought several topics on the agenda like the emergence of new social actors, the topic of civil society as well as the concept of transition and of global trends, where “the implications of these new conceptualizations focusing on regional processes in the broad global context are still to be analysed and properly placed in the development of world sociology.” (Genov 2004: 25). To put it differently, what can be called the condition of sociology (or sociologies) in post-communist societies? Sztompka identifies several universal problems of the discipline of sociology such as, first, the hindrance to innovative research and multidimensional explanation of social phenomena by the issue of interdisciplinary borders, second, the opposition between empirical research and sociological theory, and third, the impact of globalization (Sztompka 2002: 548). Furthermore, he asks, as the most important issue of nowadays is, “whether we are doomed to remain the poor cousins of Western colleagues – mere recipients, trend followers, and imitators. Or perhaps we can offer something original and innovative, an authentic contribution to world sociology” (Sztompka 2002: 551). Instead of the rather complicated or diffuse concept of transition, where there are raging intellectual debates about how to define transition and by which criteria we can define when transition ends, we will here talk mainly about “EU accession as a good working definition of successful transition” (Barr 2005: 21). That means, when becoming members of the European Union, the respective countries were judged to be in compliance with the Copenhagen Criteria and at least with a critical mass of the Acquis Communautaire. One of the advantages of the concept of accession is that Austria as well as Slovenia have been subject to it, albeit at different historical moments, and on a remarkably different background of social, economic and political conditions.
Why do we talk about a common border region at large, and not so much about a bi-national comparison between two neighbouring countries? Which kind of unity we would like to insist on thereby? Does this concept necessarily diminish the historically grown differences between the two neighbouring countries? The region is the central unit of European thinking. It has become a key concept in the process of European integration, and also of its efforts to prevent the negative consequences of a sort of regionalism which enforces all kinds of conflicting and disintegrative nationalisms within the member states. Since 1992 the Maastricht Contract of the EU has provided the basis for a broader discussion of the importance of regions within Europe. The process of formation of European regions cannot be constrained by traditional administrative structures of authority and traditional historical consciousness but rather manifests itself as a process of integration of smaller socially-spatially defined areas of living in a “bottom-up” process, in order to meet the current needs and interests of the regional population. In addition, the region is depicted as a geographically or spatially defined unit, also as culturally and historically grown, as well as an economic entity. In the context of cross-border co-operations one might speak of Euregios, Euregions or Euro-regions in the sense of cross-border regions. The concept might be used in at least three different ways (Langer 2007: 14f.): Some interpret it mainly as a vehicle of co-operation to facilitate access to EU funding instruments, where the inhabitants of the regions or even the partners of a project do not really share a common identity. In a second meaning addressing rather subject specific issues, it designates those cross-border-cooperation structures containing a common organisational body with substantial decision making competencies. Third, it can be linked with a macro-oriented post-national vision of Europe, where nation states as political actors are replaced by new regional or supranational institutions like a regional parliament, council or the Commission. When we talk of a common border region in an empirically way, we mean in particular the Republic of Slovenia at large as well as the Federal provinces of Austria, which have a common border with Slovenia, here Carinthia and Styria. That means we are dealing with statistical regions due to the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics NUTS I (the state of Slovenia) and NUTS II (provinces of Carinthia and Styria). One of the reasons of this device is that the process of defining different regions within the Republic of Slovenia is not finished up till now. But we should keep in mind that the neighbours defined as such are localized at a different level of national or sub-national comparison. The Austrian part of the common border region contains the provinces of Styria and Carinthia with about 26.000 square kilometres and 1,725.000 inhabitants. The Republic of Slovenia contains 20.000 square kilometres and 1.900.000 inhabitants (Moritsch 2001:8). It is a highly heterogeneous region with a remarkable grade of variety as one of its commonalities, both in its geographical and social phenomenology as well as in its historical growth.
Theses on the Historical Development of Sociology in the Border Region
Sociology as a scientific discipline has been established quite differently in Slovenia and Austria, due to its specific historical contexts. What are the particular strengths and weaknesses of both national sociologies in the international division of labour? What do they share and how can they integrate and complement each other in a fruitful cooperation? When we look at the socio-cultural and historical backgrounds for the development of sociology from its very beginnings in the region around 1900, it has to be mentioned that in both countries a not very enlightened Catholic culture has been influential to support social harmonization (Jogan 1988). Besides this, also rationalistic as well as mythological tendencies in intellectual developments were indicated in Austria, which have manifested themselves e.g. in sociologies emerging in ethnic conflicting situations of the Habsburg monarchy or in the rationalistic as well as politically inspired works of the Austro-Marxists (Mozetic 1985; 1988). Although institutionalized at universities, in Slovenia sociology at this time was rather considered as an additional knowledge source and not so much as an autonomous discipline. Some concepts and terms of sociology were included in discussions of Marxist circles. The interwar-period was specifically fruitful in Austrian sociology, although it has not been successful with regard to university institutionalization in those times (Torrance 1976; Fleck/Nowotny 1993: 101). In Slovenia, the historical experience of having been successful as a small state in defending itself against the regime of National Socialism is rather present, and there are good reasons that the Austrian public has at times been sceptically perceived mainly as one of its successor states. The forced emigration of many intellectuals during National Socialism in Austria has resulted in a massive loss of intellectual productivity with severe consequences for the country till nowadays.
In both countries sociology - as a scientific discipline to study, teach and do research at university - was institutionalized mainly after World War II, specifically during the 1960s. Although in Slovenia sociology had first been labelled as “bourgeoise science” this has been changing as a result of a beginning professionalization process and changing political circumstances too (Jogan 2006: 24). In Yugoslav times, Marxist theory was the dominant one in Slovene sociology, which oriented research to topics like stratification and issues of class. A lively discussion of other theoretical approaches and developments were available (Flere 1994), however, at least in the form of Marxist critiques on it (Bernik/Roncevic 2001: 23). In Slovenia, the 1950s and 1960s were rather perceived as a kind of open-minded socialism and a flourishing intellectual debate among social scientists of the Praxis Group (Flere 1994). Moreover, in Slovenia sociology is a teaching subject in public high schools since the 1960s which partly explains the growing number of sociological textbooks at this time (Flere 1994: 118), but also reflects its higher public acceptance in the educational system as compared to Austria. As the rather self-ironic labelling of the restoration of Austrian sociology as a kind of “alpine provincialism” (Fleck/Nowotny 1993) during this phase indicates, till the 1960s the intellectual climate in Austria was much more conservative and coined by the effects of the emigration of many intellectuals in the decades before and during National Socialism. In the 1970s sociology in Austria became much more heterogeneous, with specifically expanding independent research institutes outside university, whereas in Slovenia at the same time the political control of sociology as a science was rather visible resulting e.g. into the public suspension of four sociologists from university teaching possibilities (Flere 1994: 115; Adam/Makarovic 2002: 537). One might observe that research orientation in general is particularly strong and there is a high amount of quantitative data stemming from the Slovene public opinion poll project since the late 1960s (Tos 1968 to present). In Austria the service orientation of much of research is rather manifest, the institutionalization at universities, however, is rather low and not as strong as in Slovenia. Austria in its history has been specifically innovative regarding institution building; it also has built up a strong tradition in social partnership, which has left its marks on doing social scientific research within policy oriented fields (Fleck/Nowotny 1993: 110). The institutionalization of sociology within universities in Slovenia is rather high, at least in quantitative terms (Adam/Makarovic 2002: 543). Slovenia’s connections with policy oriented research and private industries are rather low and somewhat in the beginnings (Mali 2003: 212) due to a civil society beginning to develop relatively late since the 1980s. Since the independence of Slovenia in 1991, there is an increasing amount of research institutes emerging outside universities. Historically seen, new cohorts of sociologists are growing up in both of the national scientific communities which might possibly develop new specific “strategies of transformation” (Weingart 1998) within the enlarged European Union.
Culturally seen, Austria is rather highly dominated by an overarching German-speaking culture, where some Austrian researchers in sociology also find publication possibilities in German-speaking sociological journals. In contrast to this, Slovenian researchers tend much more to identify themselves in an international context: As far as language as a central determinant of scientific communication is concerned and since the community in Slovenia is rather small, scientists are much more open to the international dimension of the social scientific discourse. To be sure, however, sociologists all agree upon that both countries can profit in its emerging sociological developments from internationalization very much, insofar scientists much more become part of relevant international networks, offer the research they do to an increasing European sociological public and contribute to a growing stock of knowledge in what might be called a European sociology.
European-ness in Slovene society was very important for many social groups and was perceived also as a strong possibility to separate from former Yugoslav society, that means it could also be an active complement and integrated in a certain kind of Slovene nationalism. In Austria, political processes at least since the conservative and right-wing government from 2000 on were such, that one could be quite happy of being part of the European Union. When we turn to some striking similarities in the sociologies in both neighbouring countries, it is first obvious, that both countries are rather small countries and share a geopolitically privileged location as enabling alleys between North and South, as well as between West and East of Europe. It is plausible to assume that sociology particularly in the common border region might highly benefit from increasing possibilities of trans-national co-operations and international research collaboration and contribute to the development of the discipline at large.
Methods & Research Design
Focusing research in a comparative perspective, there are two options: first, to identify uniformities and similarities in a variety and difference of issues that means search for reasons and causes of these similarities; second, to find specifics in an apparent homogeneity and to explain this form of diversity (Sztompka 1990). In a further approach to the subject at issue, it might be possible to transcend comparative research in favour of an assumed commonality of the cross-border region under investigation, if we regard the region and the trans-national co-operations and conflicts as an integrated subject itself. “Territories” might then not only be regarded as geographical-spatial entities, but also fields of intellectual production where e.g. the trans-national co-operations as well as cultural objects are on the agenda. Practical knowledge and experience about the region as socio-cultural environment then might be a crucial factor. We now will turn to the content dimension of sociological knowledge in the border region and explore empirically its characteristics, possible country-specific differences as well as time-specific effects of the EU accession on the sociological knowledge so produced.
This will be done in analyzing sociological knowledge set down in scientific articles published in two sociological journals chosen. For what counts as knowledge within the scientific community, mainly is knowledge published in periodicals, books, research reports, and so on: Derek de Solla Price (Price 1969) once has proposed “to take as science that which is published in scientific papers” (Price 1969: 94.). Furthermore it is possible to understand scientific journals as part of the professionalization process of an academic discipline (Abbott 1988; 2001). We then are dealing with individual and collective actions of scientists searching for successful strategies regarding that constitutive and/or restricting situation in the process of “how to become a sociologist”.
The research design is led by two questions: First, what is the relative importance of two chosen journals in relation to all real journals that sociologists in the border region publish? Concerning this question, we will investigate scientific and professional articles published in scientific journals by sociologists of five university departments of sociology in the border region (Graz, Klagenfurt, Ljubljana Faculty of Social Sciences FDV, Ljubljana Faculty of Arts FF, as well as Maribor). The second question is: When we choose two sociological journals in the region, how can the knowledge about social problems published there be characterized? What are their common features, what are their differences, and is there any time-specific effect of the EU accession upon this knowledge? This will be measured by choosing two journals (the Slovene Druzboslovne razprave, and the Austrian Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie) as the official journals of the respective sociological associations and investigating their articles’ titles and abstracts as well as references. For this purpose we have drawn on an increasing literature regarding bibliometric analysis (Hjerppe 1980; Potter 1981; Cronin 2000). Investigated were five university locations in the common border region and its departments of sociology, where recent publications of its members were available per internet (status: 31.12.2007), that means the department’s homepages in case of Austrian universities and the bibliography system of COBISS (Co-operative Online Bibliographic System and Services) in case of Slovene universities offering full publication lists of its members. Included into the sample were all those researchers of the departments’ staff who at least have received a PhD and therefore are competent of independent scientific activities. In a first step the objects of the study were the journals in which original scientific articles were published, as available by the internet sources mentioned above, as well as in a second step, all of the articles as documents published in two chosen journals during a specific time-span (1986-2007). Excluded from the sample of articles were short scientific articles, miscellanea as well as book reviews and obituaries. Since the amount of the research staff differs remarkably between the departments under investigation, as well as since in some Austrian case not the full publication lists were available but only the most recently ones, the absolute frequencies of articles differs enormously in relation to each of the departments. Therefore, in estimating the status or importance of each of the journals in Table 1 only the relative frequencies were taken into account. The cross-cultural comparison has included in sum 942 (n=942) articles of these journals into the sample. So, are there any time-dependent changes or transformations in the sociological knowledge published in these journals and within this period, which might be linked to or identified as possible effects of the EU accession in 1995 (Austria) respectively 2004 (Slovenia)?
Results & Discussion
Before going much more into detail, we will first take a look on the relative importance of the Austrian Journal for Sociology Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie (ÖZS) and the Slovene Journal for Social Studies Druzboslovne razprave (DR) as chosen publication organs among the sociological community in total.
Table 1: Articles published in DR and ÖZS in relation to all journals’ articles per university department, in absolute numbers and in per cent
The relative status of the two journals subject to investigation was as follows. Regarding their position in the scope of other sociological journals, the ÖZS is clearly most important at the departments of Graz: 9,0% of all published articles were published in the ÖZS. From the department of Klagenfurt we can obtain a relatively similar picture, at least 7,6% of all published articles were published in the ÖZS. However, the departments of sociology in Slovenia differ very much regarding the importance of the DR as a publication organ for its staff members. The highest relevance of the DR is reached at the Faculty of the Social Sciences’ department of sociology at the University of Ljubljana (FDV) with 12,6% of all published articles. At the Faculty of Arts (FF) only 2,1% of all published articles were published in the DR, and at the department of sociology at the University of Maribor this was the case for only 4,5% of all published articles. We will remember that the actual frequency of articles published in sociological journals is relatively low among the staff of these departments too, compared to other discipline’s journals or regional journals. As a byproduct, Table 1 also documents the lacking of the researchers’ orientation towards their neighbouring country, when they publish a sociological article; this is at least true within the time-span of 1986 to 2007. This result seems to be even more astonishing, if we take the variety of trans-national contacts and co-operations into account. However, the products of these scientific co-operations across the border apparently are published mostly not in common scientific journals, but rather as conference proceedings or research reports of EU projects.
Any country-specific differences in the corpus of sociological knowledge can be interpreted as evolving from different historical contexts and matters of interest within the scientific community organized in national sociologies. For a sociological specification of the topical dimension of the research published within the sociological journals, there first has been used the classification system of the International Sociological Association ISA which draws a distinction between 53 different research committees within their scope. Topics of the articles published were, due to their specification in the title and the abstract, classified with the help of the ISA classification system.
Figure 1: Articles due to ISA classification per journal, in per cent (rates under 1% were excluded)
Figure 1 shows all topical specifications due to the ISA classification which gained results more than 1 per cent, rates under 1 per cent were excluded. Topics due to the ISA classification partly differ considerably in their frequencies. Within the DR, topics of “political sociology”, of “poverty and social welfare”, of “social transformations and the sociology of development”, but also of “social stratification” and “regional and urban development” as well as research on “racism and nationalism” are rather frequently addressed. Within the ÖZS, topics like “sociological theory”, the “sociology of education” and “history of sociology”, the “sociology of science and technology” and the “sociology of work”, but also the “sociology of arts”, the “sociology of migration” and the situation of “women in society” are more prominent than in the DR.
Apparently there seems, at least at first glance, to exist no unquestionable trans-national consensus neither on social problems nor on the “core” topics of the discipline in relation to rather “marginal” hyphen-sociologies. Rather it is evident that within the DR the subject interest in what is perceived as the urgent problems of current societies, political democratization, the question of nationalism, social transformations, poverty and welfare, as well as social stratification, is much more frequently addressed than in Austria, where this discourse seems to be more or less absent. The fundamental transformations of Slovene society since the 1990s – the collapse of the communist system in 1989, the foundation of the Slovene Republic in 1991, as well as the rather rapid orientation towards European integration, resulting into the EU-accession in 2004 – have clearly left its marks in the subject interest of sociology too. It seems to be a clear competency and explanative power available among Slovene sociologists to deal with the urgent questions of their time and to publicly set knowledge claims in reflecting their entire society. They not only seem to be more involved and interested in these topics than their Austrian colleagues, but probably are also scientifically better equipped to do so. At the same time it is hardly explainable why Austrian sociologists seem relatively uninterested in those societal processes, economic and political conditions that shape European societies nowadays and are of outstanding relevance to their closest neighbours. In contrast, in Austria there is, on the one hand, a rather self-reflexive attitude to discuss more frequently issues of sociological theory, sociology of science and technology, as well as history of sociology, on the other hand there is an empirical interest in the sociology of work, of education, and of gender. On the one hand, this development might be labelled as a kind of self-centredness or let’s say a self-reflexivity of sociology discussing the own conditions of its genesis, on the other hand it might also reflect a growing interest in what is perceived as effects of modernization in the development of technologies, as evident in diverse forms of sociology of technology, technology assessment, and so on. However, what is rather unclear up till now is the apparent deficit and absence in Austrian sociology regarding social stratification studies, issues of social classes and social inequalities, economic and political elites, as central questions of the sociological discipline. It might be the case that the underlying sociological paradigm in dealing with these forms of social inequalities has changed at least within the last decades. Even if we can assume that much of “applied” sociology’s empirical results are generated in contractual research outside university, these, at least to some extent, found their way not only to the market of “grey literature” of research reports, but also in the central sociological publication organs of the border region. This is true for both of the national communities in Slovenia and in Austria. However, the mentioned differences in what is perceived as the central and urgent problems of sociological analysis need further investigation.
Furthermore, we were interested in any time-specific effects on the corpus of sociological knowledge published in the two journals, specifically regarding the EU accession of the neighbouring countries. The analysis of the percentage of absolute frequencies of articles’ characteristics showed particular tendencies within a time-span of 22 years, which were described with linear figures. Regarding our theoretical interests, during the time-span of 1986 to 2007, the following milestones can be identified: for Slovene society as well as for its sociology, 1991 was relevant as the year of the actual foundation of the Republic of Slovenia, and 2004 as the year of the EU-accession. We will see that the year of 1991 seems to be very relevant and in a sense preparing sociology for trends important later on also affecting the EU-accession of Slovenia in 2004. Milestones of Austrian society and sociology are at least 1995 as the year of the EU-accession and possibly the EU-accession of its neighbour state in 2004. How can be made plausible that the EU accession directly results into some effects? That prompts the question in which way we can depict certain substantial research interests as a direct or indirect effect of the EU accession of the respective country at all. E.g. the issues of gender mainstreaming and gender studies have a long pre-history, which does not directly interfere with the EU accession. Then we can talk about a rather immanent development of gender studies that also results into a higher quantity of contributions to gender studies. Referring to the EU accession in this case does at first glance not seem to be plausible. However, it might be possible that there are indeed socio-historical backgrounds which promote the style or discourse in which it became possible to put gender on the agenda: roughly speaking, a conceptual shift in analyzing inequalities from vertical hierarchies to horizontal issues of diversity. In some way this form of intellectual discourse might be linked to such historical conditions which also contributed to the EU accession of the countries under question. To be sure, referring to internal developments is a rather general and diffuse explanation. Which effects are directly and immediately reactions on the EU accession, which topics are not understandable as such effects, where can we talk about an indirect change, as a change that did not occur immediately but rather can be interpreted as long-standing effect ? To formulate a first assumption: It could be the case that the emerging of new topics might be accelerated by specific historical events like the breakdown of the communist regime at large and/or the evolution of the Slovenian new state which were clearly antecedent to the EU accession, but also made that accession in some way possible at all. Therefore we will try to distinguish, for our analytical purposes, between direct, indirect, and no effect – issues of the EU accession on these various topics visible in our data. Indicators for these could be substantial considerations as well as the historical milestones themselves. In addition, it might be important to keep in mind that a certain historical event like the EU accession has also effects on the neighbouring sociological community and/or public discourse.
Figure 2: Articles’ topics per journal and year, in per cent (n=942)
Those topics prominent in the Slovene discourse, as manifest in the DR articles, have a specific timeline: Whereas in the 1980s the discourse around the concept of “civil society” was rather significant (DR 1987), together with the rise of the young Republic of Slovenia in 1991 also the interest and research in Eastern European studies became important, and with 1995 – the year of the EU-accession of the neighbour state Austria – even more important in its actual amount. However, this did not continue with such a high proportion within the last years. In the late 1980s as well as in the beginning and the midst of the 1990s, in Slovenia there was a successful research project investigating the “quality of life” among the Slovene population (DR 1996). All of these discourses do not have any counterpart of a similar high proportion within the ÖZS articles, where these topics seem to be rather insignificant, except from the fact that the discourse on “East Europe” was slightly visible in the first half of the 1990s as well as around 2002 again.
Figure 3: Articles’ topic ISA classification per journal and year, in per cent (n=942)
Another issue of interest is the possibility of classifying the articles’ topics due to the ISA classification system. If we do so, we can observe divergences between the two journals investigated, and also analyse remarkable developments in time. As mentioned before, in the DR the areas of “political sociology”, “poverty and social welfare”, as well as the “sociology of transformations”, are, in quantitative terms, much more important than in the ÖZS. Political sociology is a constant theme in the DR, it had its peak in the 1980s, together with the civil society debate. Since the rise of the Slovene Republic in the 1990s, the “sociology of transformations” gained much in importance and relevance, with peaks in the years of 1992 and 1995. The same can be said about the “sociology of poverty and social welfare”, which had its most resonance in the late 1990s. All of the three topics are rather insignificant within the ÖZS, however, in the last years there have been some articles published about the “sociology of poverty and social welfare”, with a peak in 2004.
Figure 4: Articles’ topic ISA classification per journal and year, in per cent (n=942)
There are topics specific to Austrian sociology too, like the higher amount of articles concerning “educational policies”, which were emerging specifically around 1995 and 2005, the last peak being due to a special issue on educational policies in the ÖZS. Concerning educational policies there might be an indirect effect of the EU accession on this topic, since the evolving European Educational Area requires rather massive reforms like the so-called Bologna Process from various institutions like universities. However, in both countries there have also been implemented university reforms antecedent and parallel to that process already in the 1990s. The “sociology of science” was rather frequently addressed before 1995, specifically with already two special issues of the ÖZS on this topic, whereas the “history of sociology” seemed to continue this trend towards a self-reflective science somehow, also equipped with a special issue in this field of research. All three substantial approaches of sociology do not have any counterpart among DR articles, at least regarding the amount of articles published there.
Figure 5: Articles’ keywords a) per journal and year, in per cent (n=942)
Concerning the self-reflective discourse on “social science” issues, a similar development can be detected in the DR, where this discourse found resonance in the 1980s and in the 2000s again, but was rather less significant during the 1990s, where issues of the “welfare state” were more prominent. It seems to be an at least indirect effect of the independence of the evolving new state of Slovenia in 1991, that there have been many changes in societal respect, e.g. in employment legislations, health insurances, social and legal rights, which did create a rather urgent task for sociological analysis to deal with these societal changes in an analytical and reflexive way. Furthermore, there is a more visible discourse about “political change” among DR articles than among ÖZS articles. The debate about “civil society” has clearly left its mark in the DR specifically in the 1980s, in a time that has been characterized as a “good time for intellectuals” by sociologists themselves: They not only theoretically discussed the concept of civil society and its sociological merits in reflecting the relationship of state and society, but also practically used it as an effective tool of mobilizing and legitimating an evolving political movement which in the end led to the founding of a new state. No such development can be found in the ÖZS, where “social science” issues within the last two decades have been continuously more frequently addressed than in the DR at large, and issues of the “welfare state” were at least more visible in the beginning 2000s, in a time where the societal foundations of the welfare state were under much pressure because of many neo-liberal reforms of an emerging right-winged government.
Figure 6: Articles’ keywords f) per journal and year, in per cent (n=942)
Issues of “social cohesion and social policy” are a topic rather frequently addressed within the DR; as one can observe from the figure above that social policy debates were present during the late 1980s as well as specifically in the midst of the 1990s. While these issues generally are not so much addressed in the ÖZS, one might detect that around 1995 and in the beginning 2000s these issues were rather present in ÖZS articles. “Social inequality” was rather sporadically addressed in the DR. However, in the ÖZS journals articles dealt with topics of “social inequality” specifically around 1989 as well as in 1995 and the following years. One might speculate that this interest in social inequalities has a time-specific dimension at least partly dependent on social transformations of higher importance like the transition of 1989 of post-communist countries as neighbouring countries of Austria as well as on the EU accession of the country in 1995. However, issues of “minorities and migration” are generally rather absent in both journals, whereas in the ÖZS these issues were more frequently published in the late 1980s than in the following years.
Here we have investigated the knowledge bases of sociology in the common border region as it is incorporated in published articles in two sociological journals – Druzboslovne razprave (DR) and Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie (ÖZS) – which are both the official publication journal of the respective sociological association in the two neighbouring countries. Of particular interest was the question whether there can be found any country-specific characteristics and differences in the sociological reflection of social problems as this might contribute to the development of sociological knowledge in the international division of labour. Furthermore it was of interest if there can be stated any time-specific effects on the sociological knowledge produced which might be linked to the EU accession of the countries in 1995 and 2004. For purpose of analysis, in sum 942 articles of the two journals were integrated in the sample containing articles from 1986 till 2007. Subject to measurement were the relative frequencies of characteristics of sociological knowledge as it was manifest in the articles’ titles and abstracts.
Whereas articles’ abstracts in the DR much more frequently dealt with “political sociology”, “poverty, social welfare, and social policy”, as well as with “social transformations and sociology of development”, in contrast to this, articles’ abstracts in the ÖZS more frequently addressed issues of the “sociology of science and technology” and the “sociology of work”. In the DR articles, the topics of “political change”, “civil society”, and “quality of life” were much more frequently addressed. Also addressed were topics of “economic change” and “sociological theory”, however, these were slightly less frequently addressed than in the ÖZS. Regarding important keywords as extracted from the abstracts of the articles, were “political change”, “welfare state”, “Eastern Europe”, “modernization”, “public policy”, as well as “social cohesion and social policy”. In the ÖZS articles, “sociological theory” as well as issues of “science and technology”, “gender studies”, and “culturalism” were more frequently addressed. Important keywords as extracted from the articles’ abstracts were “social science” issues, “work and work organization”, and “popular culture and everyday life”. In the 1980s, within Slovene sociology there has been an important discourse in political sociology on the concept of “civil society” as well as a large-scale research project on the “quality of life”. However, both topics did not find a continuity of a comparable importance, at least in quantitative terms, in the DR journal. Similarly, the discourse on “regional and urban development” which were relevant in the DR during the 1980s as well as the discourse on “social stratification” visible in the 1990s did not find any continuity in Slovene sociology of nowadays. Whereas in Austrian sociology there has been a discourse on “minorities and migration” in the 1980s, currently these issues are rather absent in both journals.
With the foundation of the Republic of Slovenia in 1991 the interest in “Eastern European studies” became relevant and even increasing in importance till 1995 – the year of the EU accession of the neighbouring country Austria. However, this did not find any comparable continuity within the last ten years. Similarly, in Slovenia the sociology of transformations was specifically important in the first half of the 1990s, parallel to an increasing interest in the sociology of poverty and social welfare. The discourse on “national and cultural identities” has gained in importance in Slovene sociology since the late 1980s, specifically since 2000. In Austria, however, this discourse on identities was put on the agenda in the first half of the 1990s, with a peak in 1991 (the year of the foundation of the Republic of Slovenia) and immediately before 2004 (the EU accession of Slovenia). Regarding issues of racism and nationalism, this discourse was visible in Slovene (and Austrian) sociology around 1991, in 1995 as well as in the last years. It can be concluded that the social scientific interest in phenomena like racism and nationalism is linked to the events of the EU accession of both countries. “Social inequalities” have been addressed specifically in Austrian sociology around 1989 as well as in 1995 as the year of the EU accession and the following years. “Social cohesion and social policy” is an issue frequently addressed within the DR since the late 1980 and specifically in the midst of the 1990s. In Austrian sociology this discourse has been visible around 1995 and in the beginning 2000s. Within Austrian sociology meta-theoretical issues of the “sociology of science” and “history of sociology” are continuously of higher importance than in Slovene sociology, where issues of “political change” and “public policy” are continuously more prominent since the 1990s. In both journals there can be observed the growing interest in questions of “work organization” since 1995, which might be interpreted as a topic of rather high dependence on the new EU context, whereas “European integration” itself is a discourse evolving specifically in Slovenia around 1992 as well as around the EU accession of 2004. This topic is nearly absent in the ÖZS journal. In Austria, “gender studies” and “educational policy” are continuing topics since the late 1980s, which have – after a decreasing rate in the late 1990s – gained in importance specifically in the last years. Besides their internal differentiations within the last decades, it seems plausible to assume that these discourses might be more easily articulated or enforced within the context of EU policies on gender and education.
Concerning the reflection of social problems in sociology, the changes in Slovenian sociology are perceived as part of the big transformations of the Slovene society since 1989. The society is in transition, and therefore the science of this society is, too, both in its institutional dimension and in its cognitive content, e.g. in European and transition studies, which focus on various dimension of societal change. In this respect Austrian sociology might have to learn a lot from its Southern neighbour. In Slovenia, the subject of transition of society is quite visible in publications which deal e.g. with political democratization and economic marketing, globalization and European integration (Adam/Makarovic 2002), much more often than in Austria. Although there has been a raging debate among sociologists as well as in the general public about political and economic elites in Slovenia in the 1980s (Makarovic 1994; Kramberger/Vehovar 2000), there is not so much research on decision-making processes and new actors of the administrative and economic sector available, which has been growing with the European integration process in Slovenia. In Slovenia, since the 1980s and beginning 1990s there is a specific interest in new concepts like “civil society” (Bernik 1994) and in new sociological theories like e.g. Luhmann’s system theory (Bernik/Roncevic 2001) which is partly explainable due to a “multi-paradigmatic” situation (Adam/Makarovic 2002: 537) after the end of the communist regime and the ended dominance of the historical materialist paradigm in sociological thought. In Austrian sociology, one might observe a huge amount of eclecticism in theory (Fleck 1994: 13), although the importance of the history of sociology in quantitative terms in Austrian publications points to an exciting past in intellectual thought in the social sciences (Crothers 2000: 276).
As can be concluded from this analysis of two sociological journals, obviously there are some effects of the EU accession on the corpus of sociological knowledge that has been produced during the last two decades in the border region Slovenia and Austria. We have focused on analysing country-specific characteristics, which sometime might compete with one another, but in general do also have the potential in complementing and enriching one another in a fruitful co-operation. Furthermore, we have analysed time-specific effects and tendencies regarding the developments of sociology within the last two decades, specifically referring to some milestones as indicated by the EU accession of both countries. Results obtained from this analysis of sociological developments might encourage sociology in its further formation towards a meta-discourse of self-reflexivity and, from a social scientifically informed perspective, in finding more adequate answers and solutions to pressing problems of its changing societies as well. It was suggested that these sociologically sound insights might also enrich social work in its theoretical and practical dimension. Furthermore, pressing social problems do not restrict themselves to borders of nation’s states, so we have to address them in trans-national cooperation. And as trans-national co-operation does not fall out of the blue, we have to investigate its conditions and learn to do so in content.
(1) This paper is based on a PhD thesis written under the supervision of Univ. Prof. Doz. Dr. Gerald Angermann-Mozetic at the Department of Sociology, Graz University, Austria.
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Barbara Hoenig works as a research assistant at the School of Social Work, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Austria. Contact: email@example.com
Picture: www.pixelio.de (Photographer: Jasminka Becker)
July 30th, 2008
Szabó Béla, Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
In search of the community
It is very hard to talk about “a first time” when studying the issue of community. There have been studies which backdate the idea of community to the eras of Confucius via Ibn-Khaldun and St. Thomas Aquinas (1). We can still have some doubts about the scientific consistency in these times, but have to admit that community and community studies are not the invention of the 20th century. The founding fathers of sociology were those people who were particularly interested in academic discussions on community studies. Tocqueville, Comte, Tönnies, Le Play, Marx and Durkheim have referred to community as an institution which registered a collapse caused by industrial revolutions in Western-Europe and by the democratic-political revolutions in the US and France. Debates on community have been a very hot topic throughout the 20th century as well (here we must refer to Max Weber, Parsons and Nisbet as having made important contributions in the conceptualisation of the notion of community.
Starting as early as the sixties there have been serious debates around the definition of the notion of community and the placement of this concept among the topics of sociological research. As Ruth Glass stated, community was to be “the poor sociologist’s substitute for the novel” (2) (Glass, 1966). Very probably because of the very high levels of subjectivity it involves, and the impossibility of a clear and consistent definition, community and community development were the subject matter of serious conflicts throughout the 20th century.
However, despite this there is one thing that everyone can agree upon: and this is the positive ethical charge, community is considered to be a good thing. In academic (social and political sciences) circles as well as in the world of policy-makers community is correlated with positive aspects: cultural values and virtue, but at the same time as being one of the most elusive concepts.
Before talking about community development we should try to provide a theoretical insight into the definitions of a “community”. But do communities exist at all any more? It is often said that in the post-industrial society (or on the basis of this kind of cliché) the concept of a community has become irrelevant (but there are no substitutes as far as we know which can totally replace this concept).
So we must emphasize that community is considered by some scholars to be an unused concept which is not functional when researching into local society, and which should not and cannot be the object of study for social scientists. Even though they questioned the relevance of definitional consistency, some of these scholars have produced community studies, using community not as objects of survey but as a method.
We have to mention that over time both the American and European sociologists have used the concept of community in their field-research work and have made attempts to provide at least an overview of the different ways of defining the concept of community (must mention the classical effort of George A. Hillery in 1955 of inspecting ninety-four definitions of community). As in the seventies Colin Bell and Howard Newby have pointed out the only common things in all these definitions were the elements of ‘networking’ and ‘locality’ (3).
The two authors mention Tönnies as being the founding father of the theory of community. Written in 1887, his theory which deals with the dichotomy of Gemeinschaft- Gesellschaft, has been the starting-point for sociologists (and not only for sociologists) in their “search for community” ever since. His model based on this dichotomy of community and society is one of the most widely cited models used to describe the concept of community in modern societies. Even if his theory has lots of strengths and also weaknesses, one cannot doubt that there are still elements in today’s society which can be defined as belonging to the traditional community.
After providing these brief insights into the theoretical attempts of defining the community, we would like to briefly present a programme of community-development, carried out as a possibility to enforce non-traditional resources of local and regional development.
Even if community action and community-development has had many opponents among academics and policy-makers over time there have undoubtedly been examples where development of the local community has been positively influenced by outside actions. But what does community development actually mean? Roland L. Warren considers it to be a way of achieving purposeful social change, “a campaign strategy out of which a consensus strategy for decision-making is projected for the future” (4).
Community-actions which were meant to strengthen local initiatives were quite common in the modern societies of the Eastern and Central European countries. Especially in the second half of the 19th century, the appearance of modernity and as J. Habermas sees it the emergence of the public sphere and the strengthening of the civil society have characterised bourgeois society. We have to talk about this in the context of the case-study we are going to mention, community-development action took place in North-Western Transylvania which in the 19th century as a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire had undergone this kind of modernisation process. These community actions by that time were mainly conducted by intellectuals who were far ahead their times and supported by the new class of bourgeoisie, and it was directed more towards the rural people, in this case we must mention the courses for farmers and housewives which were meant to modernise the way of farming and the way of life and little by little to change the traditional mentality.
The researchers mainly carried out two forms of analysis. The representatives of the first group emphasised the importance of the descriptive researches while the second group’s general objective was to actively make changes in the field after making an accurate map of the villages. The research was often based on some kind of ideology. The most important research was carried out by the monographical school from Bucharest and by the intellectuals from Cluj Napoca, whose target was mainly the countryside of Transylvania.
The research surveys were important – and all the parties agreed on this point – because the gap between the villages and the cities had increased in time. The scholars were looking for explanations of the discrepancies and for the factors which were responsible for the poorness of the villages. Confronting the works from the country with those made abroad we can conclude that the movement was actually launched in the western countries, and in their situation this has ended with a real rural development (social transformation, new buildings such as schools, cultural centers, hospitals etc.). By contrast, in the case of the scholars from Romania the main aim was to find solutions in terms of how to bring the villages closer to the cities, and how to create real leaders. The researchers form Transylvania admit that it is important to base the development process on the local resources. The importance of the findings are still relevant to this day.
The most impressive effect on the village-research work was demonstrated by Dimitrie Gusti (5). The monographical school from Bucharest is linked with his name and achieved real success, determining the shape of the following analyses. Gusti has analysed the villages as social units. His work consists of 500 village-monographies. His main objective was to get to know the villages, and in his last period of research he focused on society issues. His latest research work is often called action-research work. He was the one who implemented the monographical studies, which attracted a wide range of followers. The method of sociological monography developed by Gusti was also recognised on a theoretical level. In his opinion the phenomena need to be analysed in context, as their manifestations are not isolated from each other. In accordance with this concept he concluded that the geographical surroundings and the society unit (as we mentioned above, this is the village in Gusti’s way of thinking) are connected and both of them have an influence upon each other.
There have been cases in the 20th century when local priests or teachers have been the initiators of local community actions, and this is the case of a Unitarian priest Balázs Ferenc who has tried to reform the farming habits of the locals in the 1930’s in the villages of Mészkő (Cheia, in Transylvania, Romania). He did not stop the research only by describing the particularities of a certain village. He tried to make it better, to change the existing life-forms. In the economical analysis he emphasised the importance of individualisation, collaboration between the manufacturers and the identification of those possibilities whereby the grower-production can be increased. Balázs Ferenc put his suggestions into practice, being the first to contribute and to lead the villages through a developmental process. All that he made and organised in the villages can be considered to be community development, because he successfully merged the individual and community farming and management. Of course his activity was not only targeting the local economy, but also aimed to increase people’s knowledge and the amount of information at their disposal. He organised schools and carried out numerous presentations.
For the post communist Romania the word development became a fundamental concept in almost every public discussion. In this context discussions arose concerning local community development, and community development in general – this right in fact was a re-attained after a long period of time when the majority of the decisions regarding development were made at a central level and the feelings of belonging and responsibility were destroyed. After more than a decade of practicing democracy we can surprisingly observe that policies implemented in this sector did not reach their targets at a local level in the majority of cases. Generally this occurs in the case of communities from rural areas, without a clearly defined and general conception of the development.
Another aspect of the Romanian administrative life (and also the community development) after the ‘90s consists in broadening the project managements, and making it one of the main principles in the everyday life for the public administration and for the protagongists involved in the local development processes.
Applying the principles which represent the basis of the project management process in practice is quite difficult with the existing human resources available in the area of public administration in Romania. Although, in the last few years many universities created new specialisations concerning public administration with qualified staff and with competing curricula, the motivation of the public functionaries is low. This can be explained by their material situation (salaries in the public administration in general are low) and by the legislation concerning corruption (the public functionaries do not have the right to have extra income even when they are involved in projects with extra-budget funds).
This situation must be merged also with the weak development of other agents of development that existed at the community level in the rural areas. As the Rural Euro Barometer (2003) demonstated (implemented by the Gallup Organization requested by the Foundation for Open Society) only 7% of the rural area population has somebody from the family who is an associate in a private business or entrepreneurial enterprise. The same source indicates that at the level of the rural communities there are no other forms of organisation than the local administration, which is involved in solving the communities problems. 73% of the persons interviewed stress this fact.
Another strategy for purposeful social change was the help given to local organisations, to certain groups in order to organise cultural and artistic events and by this to stir the still water of the Transylvanian villages. We have to mention this even though these efforts seemed to die out after 19450 and were replaced by other actions which were imposed to the local people by the political power of that time and their main aim was to impose very strict control upon local community life.
After 1989 civil-society and the NGO’s tried to rebuild the sense of solidarity that had long since disappeared and community actions without - as we have mentioned above - too much help from the local and central authorities. In most of the times with external help, religious (and not only religious) associations undertook the task of rebuilding the social capital, the trust in each other and local society. We mention religion and the role of the Church as very important aspects in the traditional rural (and not only rural) communities as the polls and several surveys in Romania have demonstrated from 1989 onwards, that the institution of the Church had always been the institution that was most trusted by the people, having the highest amount of social capital and so community-actions involving NGO’s with religious affiliation achieved greater success, as the local people had more trust in them.
This is the case with the community-development action we would like to present it briefly as follows.
The programme of community development was carried out in the rural settlement of Mera, situated 14 kilometres north west of Cluj-Napoca/Kolozsvar which is the most important economical and cultural centre of the region of Transylvania.
With a population of almost 1450 persons Mera can be considered a large rural settlement, now administratively belonging to the commune of Baciu/Kisbacs. It is part of the micro-region of Kalotaszeg (more specifically the so-called Cifrakalotaszeg), with impressive ethnographical and historical potential. Locals have been very successful in exploiting this potential to make embroidered and usually sell them to foreign tourists at a good price.
This and the traditional agriculture based on the raising of the oxen can be considered as elements of the village’s economic strengths.
Whilst referring to the cultural and ethnical specificity of the village we have to mention that the overwhelming majority of the population (around 90%) is Calvinist, and as is the case in the other rural communities in Romania, the institution of the Church is the most popular institution. During the last census in 2002 85% of the population was of Hungarian nationality. These two elements: the confessional and ethnical identity of the local population have played an important role alongside the community-development programme.
The two NGO’s which have played an important role (mainly they were the main protagonists amongst the “outsiders”) were both promoting the Christian values of the Reformed Church. The CRWRC and the Diakonia Christian Foundation have followed a “baby-steps” approach in terms of their involvement in the life of the local community.
Before we go into more detail about the CDP (community-development programme) we will make a short presentation of the Christian Foundation Diakonia, which has played the lions’s part during the performance of the CDP.
Whilst there was a greater emphasis upon the social and economical life of Romania in the last 5 years NGO’s and especially those which had a non-profit profile were not really supported in anyway by the state. Due to the fact that all the existing civil organisations (cultural and religious foundations, association, etc.) were prohibited after 1950, in the nineties the revived or newly founded NGO’s were considered to be a kind of competitive actor to the formal governmental pratogonists (the communist regime) and the ruling powers tried to marginalise them.
The Foundation of the Diakonia was founded (actually re-founded as it was operating between the two world wars) under the patronage of the Transylvanian Calvinist Church. Its main field of activity comprised the medical services and from the late nineties the field social services. We have to stress this because the first baby-step the Foundation took in Mera was the implementation of a family-doctor’s surgery in 1998. This had been a good starting-point in building up trust between the local population and the Diakonia as the social services and especially health-care services were quite poor. The medical profession had revealed the medical problems of the population and thus the social deficiencies of the locals and mainly with the collaboration of the local Calvinist Church and the priest and not so much with the assistance of the local government of Baciu/Kisbacs. This way the NGO could implement a program identifying the immediate needs and thus objectives which could contribute to the improvement of the social conditions of the local population, and especially some sections of the population which were more exposed to social exclusion, such as the children and the Romas.
With the help of the volunteers a survey has been carried out by the Diakonia Foundation in 2000 and the results demonstrated that a percentage of 3% of the local population is illiterate and 44.13% have very poor levels of literacy, 11.94% of the population lives in very poor social conditions and many children have a very bad social and family background (drinking problems, unemployment, etc.). More than 8% of the children under the age of 14 have never been to school. The results of the survey have shown that the majority of the children in need were Romas.
Another quite shocking finding was that there were a large number of of adults who did not have any ID cards and they could thus not benefit from any social services. One of the first steps was to establish a social service-office (with the help of the local authorities).
After this first evaluation step in 2001 a program has been launched where the children with a poor situation could benefit from the guidance of the trained school-trainers and a social-worker.
The after-school children-program which involves the participation of more than 20 children (mostly Romas) has provided the children the basic knowledge and help to ensure they are more successfully integrated within the society (Now the group has around 50 children). They had also benefited from a warm meal and clothes (donations from partnering institutions of the Diakonia). Besides the teaching of the basic norms of behavior they interiorise the Christian values, the local norms. This program was the first step only, as the Diakonia (and the CRWRC) has initiated lots of other specific activities in order to capture all the segments of the local society.
One of these was the organisation in 2002 of the Days of Mera Village, which was meant to enforce the local identity of the villagers. The event that is organised on an annual basis was a success and managed to attract all the people- by the year 2006 they had organized (in the last few years the locals have played a much more active part in the organization) the Days of the Village and it has also become an attraction also for tourists.
Figure nr. 1: Map of Mera
Another important community development project has been the construction of a so-called community house (in 2007 it will be finalised). We must outline the new projects which have started:
The enforcement of local identity can be seen through the placement of the new old wooden carved-gates which are part of the traditional architectural landscape and the folk-dance group’s activity has been much more intense since then.
The local community has become stronger and taken a few steps which proved they can organise themselves. After 10 years they have elected a new president for the RMDSZ (The Democratic Association of the Hungarians from Romania) and have formed a local foundation “Kankalin” (Primrose) which can better represent and promote the interests of the locals.
Two other projects are the Women’s Project (supported by the CWRWC and carried out by two skilled social-workers) which was launched in September 2006 and where all women were free to join and the other is the continuation of the football-team’s construction (it was one of the first measures taken by the Diakonia and the locals to diminish the social distance as Roma and Hungarian boys played together in this team and won the Kalota Football-Cup).
These measures have shown that the project of community-development proved to be a success and can be seen as an example for other community studies and other community development projects.
Colin Bell and Howard Newby, ‘Community studies’, Plymouth, Clarke,Doble & Brendon, 1975,p. 25.
Ruth Glass, ‘Conflict in Cities’, p.148 in Conflict in Society, London Churchill, 1966.
Roland L. Warren: Types of Purposive Social Change at the Community Level, in: Readings in Community Organization Practice, ed. By Ralph Kramer and Harry Specht, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 1969. pp.134-150.
Csite Andras-Kovách Imre (1995) Posztszocialista átalakulás közép- és kelet-európa rurális társadalmaiban in Szociológiai Szemle, vol 2 pp. 49-72.
Glass, Ruth. “Conflict in Cities.” In Ciba Foundation (A. de Reuck and Julie Knight [eds.]), Conflict in Society. London.
Szabo Bela, PhD., works as university lecturer at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca and community care co-ordinator in Romania. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture: www.pixelio.de (Photographer: Thommy Weiss)
July 30th, 2008
Tatiana Matulayová, Banská Bystrica (Slovakia)
English abstract: In Slovakia, Social work as a study program belongs to extensively developing study programs these days. This paper informs about current offer of Social work study programs at universities in Slovakia and the preparation of social workers ras well as the most serious problems in the field of professionalisation for social workers at universities.
Die gegenwärtige gesellschaftliche Situation in der slowakischen Republik wird durch progressive, schwerpunktmäßige Reformen aller grundlegenden Bereiche des Gesellschaftslebens - der politischen, wirtschaftlichen, kulturellen und sozialen - charakterisiert. Negative Begleiterscheinungen der Reformen sind vor allem Arbeitslosigkeit, soziale Exklusion mehrerer Volksgruppen, ein erhöhter Krankenstand oder die Steigerung sozialpathologischer Erscheinungen. Die Wirklichkeit, dass die Reformen zugleich in allen Sphären verlaufen, spiegelt sich auch in der Zufriedenheit und Lebensqualität der Einwohner.
Dieser Zustand deutet hinreichend auf eine erhöhte Notwendigkeit der Sozialarbeit hin, die in letzten 15 Jahren extensiv nicht nur in einer praktischen, sondern auch theoretischen Ebene entwickelt wird.
Gegenwärtiger Zustand der Hochschulvorbereitung
In der slowakischen Republik gibt es mittlerweile an allen Universitäten das Studium auf der Basis des ECTS-Systems. Es ist möglich angebotene Studienprogramme entweder als dreijähriges Bakkalaureusstudium oder fünfjähriges Magisterstudium zu absolvieren. Es ist auch möglich die Qualifikation weiter zu erhöhen und im Doktorstudium (PhDr.) oder im Doktorandstudium (PhD.) fortzusetzen. Im Wissensgebiet Sozialarbeit ist es möglich sich zu habilitieren (Doc.) und sich zu inaugurieren (Prof.).
Es existieren öffentliche Universitäten und Hochschulen und private Hochschulen. Das Schulwesenministerium der Slowakischen Republik erteilt den einzelnen Arbeitplätzen aufgrund ihres Antrags und nach der Erfüllung vorgeschriebener Bedingungen ihre Akkreditierung. Es ist möglich tägliche oder externe Formen des Studiums zu nutzen.
Gegenwärtig kann man ein akkreditiertes Studienprogramm Sozialarbeit an den öffentlichen Universitäten in Bratislava, Trnava, Nitra, Banská Bystrica (als Bakkalaureusstudium), in Prešov und an privaten Hochschulen in Sládkovičovo und Prešov absolvieren. Dieses reiche Ausbildungsangebot in der Sozialarbeit ist eine Antwort der Universitäten und Hochschulen auf eine große Nachfrage. Für das Studium an einer Hochschule interessieren sich nicht nur Absolventen der Mittelschule sondern auch viele Arbeitnehmer der öffentlichen Verwaltung. Die aktuell rechtskräftige Legislative (Gesetz NR SR Nr. 312/2001 Gesetzsammlung vom Staatsdienst und Gesetz NR SR Nr. 553/2003 Gesetzsammlung vom Dienst im öffentlichen Interesse) begrenzt die Ansprüche an die Qualifikation (und die damit zusammenhängende Lohneingruppierung) dieser Arbeitnehmer.
Philosophische Fakultät an der Universität in Prešov
Der Lehrstuhl für Sozialarbeit und Erwachsenenbildung der Philosophischen Fakultät an Universität in Prešov bildet seit dem akademischen Jahr 1997/1998 SozialarbeiterInnen aus. Das ist ein fünfjähriges Magisterstudium. Der Studienplan konzentriert sich auf Bereitstellung von Polyvalentvorbereitung so, dass der Absolvent sich auf dem Arbeitsmarkt ohne Beschränkung durchsetzen kann. Vom 1. bis 6. Semester absolviert der Student im Rahmen der theoretischen Vorbereitung ausgewählte Grunddisziplinen der philosophischen, psychologischen, soziologischen, bildenden, rechtlichen und ökonomischen Wissenschaften. In den nächsten Semestern vertieft und verbreite sich der Student seine Kenntnisse von den ausgewählten Applikationswissenschaften über den Menschen und Gesellschaft. Integralbestandteil der Hochschulvorbereitung von zukünftigen Sozialarbeitern ist die Fachpraxis. Sie wird in mehreren Formen realisiert. Wir organisieren Exkursionen vor allem im Verlauf des 1. Studienjahrs, es gibt ein 5- tägliches Praktikum im Sommersemester im 1. Studienjahr, und ein 10-tägliches Praktikum im nächsten Semester bis zum 4. Studienjahr und ein 15-tägliches Vordiplompraktikum im Wintersemester des letzten Studienjahres. Die Vorbereitung und die Evaluation der Fachpraxis wird in den Seminaren über die Fachpraxis realisiert. Die Verträge über die Mitarbeit mit der Sicherung der praktischen Vorbereitung werden mit ausgewählten Arbeitsplätzen der Sozialarbeit unterschrieben. Der Student absolviert insgesamt 90 Tage der Fachpraxis während des ganzen 5-jährigen Studiums. Der Lehrstuhl unterstützt auch die freiwillige Arbeit der Studenten in Sozialdiensten.
Während des Studiums absolvieren die Studenten auch ein sozial– psychologisches Training und mehrere Disziplinen (z.B.: Die Grundlage von Psychoterapie und Sozioterapie oder Ethik für Sozialarbeit). Sie sind auf Kommunikationsfertigkeiten und berufliche Zuständigkeiten eines Sozialarbeiters hin orientiert und tragen zu seiner Professionalität bei. Bei der Lehre dieser Fächer werden Methoden des Erlebnislernens bevorzugt.
Die Studenten unseres Lehrstuhls nehmen an der Entwicklung von Forschungsthemen teil. Während der Ausbildung widmet man die Aufmerksamkeit der Lehre von Wissenschaftsmethodologie und der individuellen Führung der Studenten bei der Bearbeitung der Seminar-, Jahr- und Diplomarbeit. Ihr hohes fachliches Niveau bestätigen nebenbei verschiedene Wettbewerbe, die unsere Studenten in den letzen Jahren gewannen.
Zu dem Spezifikum der Hochschulvorbereitung an diesem Lehrstuhl gehört vor allem ihre Orientation an die Sozialarbeit mit den Erwachsenen und Senioren. Hinsichtlich der Regionalsituation konzentriert sich der Lehrstuhl auf zwei große Zielgruppen der Sozialarbeit – auf die Arbeitslosen und Zigeuner. Objekte der wissenschaftlichen Forschung des Lehrstuhls, der zwei Studiengänge (Sozialarbeit und Erwachsenenbildung) versichert, sind inter- und multidisziplinäre Probleme. Die Mitglieder des Lehrstuhls orientieren und bilden so die Studenten Unterrichtsprozess. In der Vorbereitung werden holistisch, komplex und systemisch Menschen und Gesellschaft einbezogen.
Seit dem akademischen Jahr 2005/2006 ist an der Fakultät ein Kreditsystem des Studiums eingeführt und das Studium der Sozialarbeit ist zweistufig – Bakkalaureus (3 Jahre) und Magister (5 Jahre).
Absolventen des Magisterstudiums können im Rigorosstudium fortsetzen. Nach dem Rigorosstudium gewinnen sie den Titel PhDr. Der Lehrstuhl gewann in diesem akademischen Jahr die Akkreditierung des Schulwesenministeriums der Slowakischen Republik für Organisation des Doktorandstudium. Die Wissenschaftliche Forschung des Lehrstuhls konzentriert sich auf die Entwicklung von theoretischen Begründungen im Unterrichtsprozess und in der Gesellschaftspraxis. Diese Forschung konzentriert sich in den letzten Jahren auf die Qualität des Lebens und ihre Determinanten. Der Lehrstuhl übernahm und übernimmt mehrere Forschungsaufgaben für die VEGA (Wissenschaftliche Grantagentur beim Schulwesenministerium der Slowakischen Republik), die finanziell die Forschungsarbeitsplätze unterstützt. In der Zusammenarbeit mit bedeutenden slowakischen Institutionen organisiert sie internationale Konferenzen. Sie publiziert in diesem Zusammenhang auch Sammelwerke. Die letzte Konferenz fand im November 2004 statt. Fast alle Glieder des Lehrstuhls publizieren intensiv. Im Jahre 2005 wurden z. B. drei Monographien: V. Frk – J. Kredátus: Kommunikation in der Personal- und Sozial Praxis, B. Balogová: Senior und E. Žiaková (ed.): Psychosoziale Aspekte der Sozialarbeit herausgegeben.
Es gibt immer ein großes Interesse für das Studium der Sozialarbeit an unserem Lehrstuhl. Jedes Jahr registrieren wir durchschnittlich 7 bis 10–mal mehr Bewerber, als wir hinsichtlich der Personal – und Raummöglichkeiten aufnehmen können.
Fachdiskussion von der Hochschulvorbereitung
Mit der Problematik der Hochschulvorbereitung von Sozialarbeitern beschäftigen sich in der SR vor allem Hochschullehrer in ihrer Publikationstätigkeit: Š.Strieženec (2001), M.Schavel – M.Davideková (2005), A. Tokárová (2004), J. Levická (2000), A.Žilová (2002), T. Matulayová (1997, 2001). Sie konzentrieren ihre Aufmerksamkeit auf den Vergleich der einzelnen Studiengänge in der Slowakei und Tschechei, den Anteil der praktischen und theoretischen Vorbereitung, die Bedeutung der Praxis und freiwilligen Arbeit und die Position einzelner Disziplinen.
Im Jahre 1997 entstand die Assoziation der Hochschulen, die in der Sozialarbeit ausbilden. Sie widmete sich intensiv der Qualitätssteigerung der Hochschulvorbereitung von Sozialarbeitern. Ihr Bemühen richtete sich auf die Gestaltung der Minimalausbildungsstandards, die aber schließlich nicht aufgenommen wurden. Trotzdem orientieren sich die Hochschulen weitgehen daran. Sie organisierte nebenbei auch Fachseminare, mobilisierte Fachdiskussion, partizipierte an der Entstehung des ersten slowakischen Hochschullehrbuchs Tokárová a kol.: Sozialarbeit (2002).
Während der ganzen Tätigkeit arbeitete sie mit Ministerium der Arbeit, Sozialwessen und Familie mit. Es unterstützte ihre Tätigkeit. Einen wichtigen Raum für die Fachdiskussion in dieser Problematik bilden Fachseminare und Konferenzen und eine böhmisch-slowakische Zeitschrift Sozialarbeit.
In den letzten Jahren organisiert man auch den “Republikkreis der wissenschaftlichen und fachlichen Tätigkeit im Fach Sozialarbeit”, wo die besten Arbeiten von Studenten präsentiert werden.
Gegenwärtige Probleme in der Ausbildung der Sozialarbeiter
Den gegenwärtigen Zustand der Hochschulvorbereitung der Sozialarbeiter in SR determinieren nach unserer Meinung mehrere Faktoren. Zu den bedeutungsschwersten gehören vor allem:
- der gegenwärtige Zustand in der Praxis der Sozialarbeit,
- die ungünstige Finanzlage im Bereich des Hochschulwesens,
- die unvollständige Studienreform,
- die Absenz von Minimalausbildungsstandards,
- die Assoziation der Hochschulen, die in der Sozialarbeit ausbilden, die funktioniert nicht,
- die hohe Dauerbelastung der Hochschulpädagogen.
Nach 15 Jahren Existenz des weiterentwickelten Studiengangs Sozialarbeit können wir aber nicht nur seinen extensiven qualitativen Aufstieg, sondern auch eine Qualitätserhöhung der Ausbildung, Professionalisierung der Sozialarbeitern in der Praxis oder Entwicklung der Fachkenntnisse konstatieren. Vom Aspekt der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit im internationalen Maßstab wird in der SR wichtig, viel großere Aufmerksamkeit der Internationalisierung und der Europäisierung als den Grundprinzipen der Ausbildungspolitik zu widmen.
Balogová, B.: Seniori. Prešov 2005
Frk, V.– Kredátus, J.: Komunikácia v personálnej a sociálnej praxi. Prešov 2005.
Kováčiková, D.: Základné otázky dejín osciálnej práce. Žilina: Inštitút priemyselnej výchovy, 2000.
Levická, J.: Sociálna práca ako vedná disciplína. In Sociálna práca a zdravotníctvo, roč. 1, 2000, č. 1, S.7-16.
Matulayová, T.: Vysokoškolská príprava budúceho sopciálneho pracovníka. In Acta universitatis Matthaei Belii č. 4, 1997, S. 105 – 112.
Matulayová, T. – Krystoň, M.: Kontinuálne vzdelávanie ako prostriedok profesionalizácie súčasných sociálnych pracovníkov. In Práca a scoiálna politika. Roč. IX., 2001, č. 9, S. 16-17.
Schavel, M. – Davideková, M.: Vzdelávanie v sociálnej práci, porovnanie obsahu štúdia na vybraných fakultách. Sociální práce/sociálna práca, 1/2005, S. 88 – 100.
Strieženec, Š.: Prístupy v sociálnej práci na Slovensku. In Práca a sociálna politika. Roč. IX, 2001, č.1, S. 5 – 9.
Tokárová, A.: K povinne voliteľným predmetom patrí Terapia a výchova dobrodružstvom a zážitkom. In Sociální práce/ sociálna práca, 3/2004, S. 136 – 145.
Tokárová, A. (ed.): Sociálna práca. Prešov: Filozofická fakulta Prešovskej univerzity, 2002.
Žilová, A.: Pohľad na sociálnu práci ako etablujúci sa vedný odbor na Slovensku v uplynulom desaťročí. In Práca a sociálna politika, roč. X., 2002, č. 5, S. 8-13.
Žiaková, E. (ed.): Psychosociálne aspekty sociálnej práce. Prešov 2005.
The author works at the University of Banska Bystrica.
July 30th, 2008