Subsidiarity and Social Citizenship: Social Assistance Schemes in Austria, Belgium, Switzerland and Norway.
Sprache des Titels:
Previous research has emphasised that conditionality impinges on social citizenship. However, a systematic assessment examining the impact of functional and territorial subsidiarity has been overlooked. Developing seven operational criteria ? rights, means testing, conditionality, voice and choice, discretion, benefit's adequacy and supplementary system ? we determined levels of subsidiarity and social citizenship in social assistance schemes. Analysing the benefit reform trajectories of Austria, Belgium, Norway and Switzerland, we conclude that social assistance schemes have not improved. Low benefits, means testing and work linkage have strengthened functional subsidiarity, whereas questions of voice and choice are rarely on the agenda. Caseworkers? discretion and local administration have sustained territorial subsidiarity. Therefore, considering the potential role that benefits could play in the welfare state, low up-take minimises the redistributive potential and, in general, risk has substantially shifted towards social assistance.