The U.S. welfare reform ("workfare") is having a significant influence in Western Europe. There, "workfare" is called "active labor market policies." This is a sharp departure from the traditions of the European welfare states. Although there are variations in the European welfare states, all emphasized "social citizenship" -- the right to benefits against the major risks in life by virtue of the status of citizenship. Under the new regime, benefits are now conditional; obligations are attached to rights. Citizens have the "right to work instead of the right to assistance." The Europeans claim that although their changes may resemble the U.S. in some respects, they are fundamentally different in both ideology and practice. The seminar will raise questions as to these claims. It will examine the empirical literature in the U.S. and the research that is now underway in Europe. It will address the underlying assumptions in Europe as to why the changes are considered necessary and the implications for the future of social citizenship and the European welfare states.
Students will be required to read about two articles per week. The materials will be distributed a week before class, and each student will submit at least three statements or questions by noon, a day and a half before the seminar meets, which will form the basis for the class discussion. In addition, after each month's sessions, students will submit a 5-7 page "reflection" paper on the previous weeks. There will be three papers for the semester. The final grade will be a combination of the statements, the reflection papers, and class participation.