Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Do employment services need to be neoliberal?
Other Titles: Career guidance for emancipation : reclaiming justice for the multitude
Authors: Nunn, Alex
Keywords: Vocational guidance -- Philosophy
Social justice -- Vocational guidance
Employment agencies
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Nunn, A. (2019). Do employment services need to be neoliberal? In T. Hooley, R. G. Sultana & R. Thomsen (Eds.), Career guidance for emancipation : reclaiming justice for the multitude (pp. 166-182). London: Routledge.
Abstract: The way that labour markets are governed is the subject of a great deal of literature. For example, there is considerable discussion of the effectiveness of active labour market programmes and policies (ALMPs) and their various types. There is also a small but growing literature on the ways that ALMPs are implemented through public management practice. Further, there is substantial discussion locating labour market reform and governance as a core component of neoliberalisation. This chapter engages with these overlapping literatures, taking the last as its starting point. The original argument to be made from this is that while labour market governance in a neoliberal context is likely to be neoliberalising itself, processes of public management implementation, local governance needs and conceptual openings—like the current policy fad for ‘inclusive growth’ (International Monetary Fund/IMF, 2017)—all create space and opportunity for contestation. The basic message is that there is scope to consciously articulate more inclusive governance practices to reorient employment services in ways that divert from neoliberalising processes. The chapter proposes that the materialist feminist theory of social reproduction provides one fruitful avenue to shape the thinking of policymakers and practitioners interested in utilising their agency to contest neoliberalisation through their ‘policy work’. The discussion proceeds in several sections. The first outlines how both career guidance generally and public employment services (PES) have increasingly focused on ‘activation’ or the promotion of neoliberal subjectivities in their service users. It suggests that career guidance is an important aspect of PES activity in shaping specific sections of the labour market but that this is, and is becoming even more, problematic. The second section locates the policy preference for activation in a broader understanding of open-ended and multi-scalar neoliberalisation. It is argued that a particular understanding of neoliberalisation is necessary in order to effectively contest it. The third section identifies how the multi-scale nature of neoliberalisation creates space for a range of policymakers and practitioners to undertake ‘policy work’ which might include contesting neoliberalising practices before the fourth suggests that the contemporary moment may be an opportune time to take up such a task. The final section sketches out some possible directions for contestation both in conceptual terms related to the ‘ends’ of employment services, but also in the ‘means’ of public service management and delivery via ‘inclusive governance’.
ISBN: 9781138087439
Appears in Collections:Career guidance for emancipation : reclaiming justice for the multitude

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
202.21 kBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.