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The motivations of migrants for travelling to Europe vary, and the quality of the processes involved in their settlement and contribution to social and economic development are inextricably linked to their prospects of finding and sustaining good-quality work.
This book explores the labour market integration of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers across seven European countries: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy, Switzerland and the UK. Using empirical data from the Horizon2020 SIRIUS Project, it investigates how legal, political, social and personal circumstances combine to determine the work trajectory for migrants who choose Europe as their home.
Social innovation has become a prominent theme in discussions of social policy reform across the world. This book examines why social innovation is important to social policy analysis. It discusses the theoretical and policy context of this concept; its origin and background; why it has emerged to prominence in recent years and how it has been applied.
The book relates social innovation to key debates and issues in social policy. These include competing agency and structural explanations of and solutions to social problems; the relative efficacy of government and civil society initiatives, and the capacity of community and/or service user-led responses to address social problems. The book will be a valuable resource for a wide, international readership including social and public policy analysts, policy makers, practitioners and students.
The introductory chapter discusses key theoretical concepts upon which the book develops, such as the meaning of integration and inclusion, broadly understood but also with reference to the labour market and to the wider social context. Hence it reflects on how different labour outcomes affect empowerment and participation as key aspects of newcomers’ integration. It also introduces the reader to the multilevel (local–national–European) and multidimensional (micro–meso–macro) framework of the study underpinning the book, as well as to its large quantitative and qualitative empirical basis. The introduction also discusses ethical aspects which pertain to research with vulnerable individuals. Finally, the layout of the book is presented and explained.
The introductory chapter outlines some of the major social changes (e.g. in demography, employment and labour markets) which pose significant challenges to established social welfare systems. It discusses how and why social innovation has emerged and been promoted as a response to these challenges. The chapter clarifies the meaning of social innovation by considering how it has been defined, and explains how it relates to innovation in technology and business, and how it differs from social enterprise. Examples of social innovations are provided which illustrate the wide range of activities and diverse forms they take. A typology is provided to classify these variants. The nature of innovation within public organisations is discussed (i.e. intrepreneurialism). The chapter concludes by setting out some of the questions which should be asked of social innovation in relation to social and public policy reform.
This chapter summarises the recurring themes and lessons from the preceding substantive chapters and reflects upon their implications for public policy and analysis. The chapter argues that social innovations provide many examples of imaginative and inspirational responses to the serious challenges confronting national welfare systems. The energy and commitment of social innovations are admirable, and their participatory approach to policy development and delivery, which empowers service users, is particularly valuable. However, the chapter notes that it is often difficult to evaluate the impact and relative cost-effectiveness of social innovations. Many have diffuse aims and multiple objectives. Also, as many social innovations operate at a local community level, they address the manifestations rather than the structural causes of problems. The chapter concludes by suggesting that most social innovations operate within rather challenge their existing socio-economic infrastructure and political environments. Currently they may complement but cannot replace existing public welfare systems.
This chapter discusses examples of social innovations which address unemployment: an issue of long-standing concern for many governments and an area of considerable policy activity. The chapter begins by outlining the growing incidence of precarious and low paid employment in many developed economies. Governments have been particularly concerned about the problem of youth unemployment and ‘NEETs’: young people who are not in employment, education or training. A favoured response to these problems have been so-called ‘active’ labour market programmes and initiatives which intended to enhance the ‘employability’ of unemployed people by improving their skills, experience and qualifications. The chapter describes examples of such initiatives which social innovations have developed with public and private sector with partners. The chapter discusses variations in the approaches and roles which social innovations take in employment policy between neo-Corporatist, Social Democratic and Liberal/Pluralist welfare regimes
This chapter discusses how social innovation relates to debates in social and public policy analysis. The chapter outlines the respective normative, analytical and empirical questions raised by social innovation in relation to welfare provision and reform. It discusses how social innovations originate and develop, and the extent to which they can be actively cultivated by policy makers. The chapter examines the varying receptiveness to social innovation of different types of welfare regime. It considers how far social innovations provide secure entitlements upon which service users can rely. The chapter then discusses the potential transferability of social innovations beyond the particular socio-economic contexts and policy environments which germinate and nurture them. The respective impact of social innovation and social movements are considered. The chapter concludes by highlighting the potential conservative or regressive implications of social innovation, and how it could be used to justify withdrawing public welfare services.
This chapter considers the response of social innovations to the growing concern with food poverty. Food provision has not traditionally been a core public welfare function in the most developed welfare regimes, and social innovations often provide more developed and effective responses than government in this area. Voluntary and civil society organisations have pioneered a variety of innovations to feed vulnerable groups while also reducing surplus food waste. These initiatives involve partnerships with private sector food companies which donate surplus supplies which social innovations distribute. The chapter provides examples of how inventive social innovations have had to be to meet the considerable logistical challenges they face in acquiring, storing and distributing surplus food. The chapter concludes by highlighting examples of the impact which social have had in helping to shape public policy innovations in the area of food poverty.
This chapter introduces and discusses examples of social innovation in response to the growing and pressing need to provide care for different groups. Social innovations in this area are often user-led and highly participatory. Many of the most imaginative such initiatives emerge from bottom-up responses developed by citizens’ groups. In other cases, social innovations are initiated by former public officials, frustrated at the lack of an effective response to care needs. The chapter discusses examples of such innovations. These include parental self-provision of childcare in France; involving members of migrant communities to assist with integrating new migrants in Germany; and supporting independent living for older people while providing accommodation for young people in Italy. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the lessons and potential transferability of such innovations to other contexts.
‘Delving into everyday experiences of a range of migrants and hearing their own voices, this chapter discusses how newcomers exercise agency to seize opportunities offered by their country of settlement and mitigate the effect of the turbulent social, political and economic circumstances they often meet with.
To understand migrants’ capabilities and agency, we not only look at their lives over the last five years but also explore their more distant memories long before their migration. Analysis of their past experiences enables our better understanding of their motivation for emigration, of barriers and opportunities they were facing and of their individual capacity for change and resistance. Looking back into their past also enables us to explore in-depth the reciprocal relationship between their agency and the sociocultural context.
The analytical accent is specifically placed on the turning points and emerging epiphanies of migrants’ lives as well as on issues of intersectionality which heavily determine migration outcomes. We mostly emphasise the narrative thematic analysis (composite biographies) and its combination with data from other levels of inquiry, or cross-level analysis.