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Europeanisation through the European Social Fund? : a case study on Spanish activation policies

Gürocak, Susanna (2011) Europeanisation through the European Social Fund? : a case study on Spanish activation policies.

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Abstract:The various ways in which the European Union (EU) exerts influence on the Member States (MS) have been addressed by a number of researchers from different policy areas. Studies on Europeanisation in the field of social policies have extensively focused on soft implementation tools that the EU utilises to induce change in domestic policies – however, only with a marginal view on the dynamics that the European Social Fund (ESF) may yield in this context. For this purpose, in this Master thesis I analysed to what extent Europeanisation through the use of the European Social Fund (ESF) has influenced domestic activation policies in Spain. My research was orientated on a former research conducted in Belgium. Drawing on their findings allowed for consulting three precise mechanisms - strategic usage, aid conditionality and policy learning –which were further brought into question in conducted expert interviews to disclose the exact workings of the ESF on domestic grounds. To allow for the decentralised structure of activation policies in Spain, the interviews took place on the central level in Madrid and on the regional level, exemplified on Catalonia. The findings show that the ESF has functioned as a ‘selective amplifier’ of activation policies in Spain, for as it has empowered national and sub-national actors to further their capacities to activate, shown effects on the governance of labour as well as on policy framing. These insights need to be taken into consideration in future research about Europeanisation in the social area as they break open new grounds on ‘where and how Europe matters’ in domestic spheres.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies MSc (69303)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63007
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