The promotion of capabilities in Sweden: a case study of the contraction of shipbuilding in Gothenburg

The promotion of capabilities in Sweden: a case study of the contraction of shipbuilding in... Purpose – Using the example of a project dedicated to labour market re‐activation in major shipyards in Sweden (Gothenburg) in the late 1970s, the purpose of this paper is to examine how integrated employment policies may be achieved using more deliberative public action than that offered by New Public Management (NPM). Design/methodology/approach – Based on original archival research and interviews with ex‐participants, the research reconstructs how this project was designed and operated; its analysis is based on a capability perspective. Findings – The paper analyses the problems encountered by projects promoting labour market integration and personal capabilities in the context of a productivity drive in a contracting industry that requires the retention of the most productive workers to stave off industrial collapse. It argues that deliberative democracy offers the more effective means for co‐ordinating integrated employment policies than governance strategies associated with NPM. Practical implications – This paper offers an example highly pertinent to the labour market conditions currently facing European economies in the current financial crisis. Originality/value – The paper offers original insights into the operation of the Swedish social model in practice, in a context of industrial crisis. Many scholars have analysed this model of labour market management from a national perspective: far fewer have addressed its practical limitations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy Emerald Publishing

The promotion of capabilities in Sweden: a case study of the contraction of shipbuilding in Gothenburg

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0144-333X
DOI
10.1108/01443330910999032
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Using the example of a project dedicated to labour market re‐activation in major shipyards in Sweden (Gothenburg) in the late 1970s, the purpose of this paper is to examine how integrated employment policies may be achieved using more deliberative public action than that offered by New Public Management (NPM). Design/methodology/approach – Based on original archival research and interviews with ex‐participants, the research reconstructs how this project was designed and operated; its analysis is based on a capability perspective. Findings – The paper analyses the problems encountered by projects promoting labour market integration and personal capabilities in the context of a productivity drive in a contracting industry that requires the retention of the most productive workers to stave off industrial collapse. It argues that deliberative democracy offers the more effective means for co‐ordinating integrated employment policies than governance strategies associated with NPM. Practical implications – This paper offers an example highly pertinent to the labour market conditions currently facing European economies in the current financial crisis. Originality/value – The paper offers original insights into the operation of the Swedish social model in practice, in a context of industrial crisis. Many scholars have analysed this model of labour market management from a national perspective: far fewer have addressed its practical limitations.

Journal

International Journal of Sociology and Social PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 23, 2009

Keywords: Sweden; Labour market; Government policy; Economic history; Shipbuilding industry

References

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