Training and Enterprise Councils: Schumpeterian Workfare State, or What?

J. Peck, Martin Russell Jones

Allbwn ymchwil: Cyfraniad at gyfnodolynErthygladolygiad gan gymheiriaid


In the paper we critically examine Jessop's regulationist theorisation of state restructuring, focusing on his claim that a transition is underway from the Keynesian welfare state of the Fordist era to a new, post-Fordist Schumpeterian workfare state (SWS). According to Jessop, the strategic orientations of the SWS are for the promotion of innovation and structural competitiveness in economic policy (hence Schumpeter), and for the enhancement of flexibility and competitiveness in social policy (hence workfare). We seek to interrogate Jessop's claims by way of a case study of ‘leading edge’ state restructuring in the United Kingdom, the Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) initiative. The structure and discourses of TECs strongly echo Jessop's rendering of the neoliberal SWS: they are locally based, privatised and business-led bodies, contracted to central government to provide market-relevant training and enterprise services, to operate workfare-style programmes for the unemployed, and to restore through supply-side measures the dynamism and competitiveness of local economies. At the same time, however, as acting as potential exemplars of SWS institutional forms, TECs may also be illuminating incipient contradictions in (one of) its neoliberal variants. The TECs illustrate some of the problems associated with the geographical reconstitution of the state, which Jessop terms ‘hollowing out’, while also raising questions about the sustainability of the neoliberal SWS. Though the TECs may be pioneering new (local) ways of disciplining the unemployed, they are seen to be singularly ineffective in reproducing a flexible labour force. The TEC experience might be summarised as: workfare, yes; Schumpeter, no.
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Tudalennau (o-i)1361-1396
Nifer y tudalennau36
CyfnodolynEnvironment and Planning A
Rhif cyhoeddi9
Dynodwyr Gwrthrych Digidol (DOIs)
StatwsCyhoeddwyd - 1995

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