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"Social Governance After Lisbon: The Ambiguities of Policy Co-ordination"

Armstrong, Kenneth. (2007) "Social Governance After Lisbon: The Ambiguities of Policy Co-ordination". In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    The paper contends that the Lisbon strategy for a reformed economic, social and environmental governance is bedevilled by ambiguities operating at different levels. First, it has been unclear to what extent issues of social governance remain central to the Lisbon goals. Second, even if Lisbon has a social dimension, there are competing organising frameworks which may argue for a greater or lesser independent identity to that social dimension. Third, the use of the open method of co-ordination has avoided a deeper specification of the need for EU intervention in social policy: indeed, there has generally been a failure to distinguish between competing rationales for policy co-ordination not all of which may survive the application of a subsidiarity test. Fourth, attempts to streamline and reform the social OMC processes have not resolved these ambiguities and indeed have further highlighted a tension between a desire to focus on key social messages to drive co-ordination and a governance architecture which supports a much more open, selective and elective process of (potential) policy learning across states. Fifthly, the recent consultation on ‘active inclusion’ will be an important test for the future social co-ordination architecture, involving choices between quite different interpretations of the role of co-ordination in EU social governance. Finally, the paper suggests that one means of resolving the ambiguities of OMC is to place much less emphasis upon OMC as a means of ‘governing’ social inclusion and instead to focus on structures through which information gathering and monitoring might be harnessed to a rather older normative preoccupation, namely, the ‘accountability’ of governments.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Open Method of Coordination (OMC).
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > social policy > general
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Lisbon StrategyAgenda/Partnership for Growth and Employment
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > decision making/policy-making
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 09 May 2008
    Page Range: p. 27
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:49

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