WP 4: Local Governance

The Local Governance of Social Cohesion

Work Package Leader: ENU

In WP04 LOCALISE aims at comprehensive empirical research, permitting an unprecedented inter-national and systemic comparison of the organisational challenges to the local governance of social cohesion in Europe. We will analyse and compare local approaches, interpretations and innovative practices of organising services for active social cohesion policy. Organisational arrangements are often fundamental to the success of social cohesion policies which aim to integrate long-term unemployed and other groups into the labour market. Activation of society’s most vulnerable and weakest groups requires an integrated social cohesion policy, to provide complementary, concerted and
individually tailored offers of placement, training and comprehensive social welfare. In addition to compulsory activities and sanctions, this includes the provision of client-centred training and counselling services in order to address the complex needs of the unemployed. It signifies the integration of formerly separated policies, divergent policy levels as well as different administrative agencies, public and private actors.
• Based on theoretical considerations, LOCALISE develops a common analytical grid to function as a general methodological reference for empirical research on local governance of an active social cohesion policy. Examples of such forms of local partnership include ‘bridging’ agencies, open coordination and co-production between public and private actors.
• LOCALISE will empirically investigate into the different, concurrent and dominant local modes of governance in the provision of welfare and work in Europe. Via in depth case study of three local entities per country, we aim to explore the different local practices, dilemmas, conflicts and their solutions. Organisational restructuring can create problems of fragmentation and overlapping of competencies and resources, for example due to difficulties in coordination between job placement and welfare policies or conflicts between the national and the local level.
• This raises the question of how organisations cope with the challenges of integrated and active social cohesion policy. Consequently, the focal point of our local case studies is to analyse the specific consequences of varying organisational configurations for the goal of an active and integrated social cohesion policy. The objective is to identify best practice and to explain local reform outcomes.

Please find here the Comparative Report on the Local Governance of Social Cohesion in Europe.