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The OECD's thinking on the governing of unemployment

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Abstract:

Based on Foucault's notion of governmentality and problematisation, I analyse the problematisations, causal assumptions and policy recommendations found in the documents of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) concerning labour market issues. The article shows that, since the mid-1970s, the OECD's strategies on employment have consistently evolved around the problematisation of 'structural unemployment'. Demand management and other ways of tackling unemployment have been dismissed in favour of interventions seeking to stimulate the self-governing capacities of the unemployed, entrepreneurs, students and others. While the emphasis on the self-governing capacities of citizens may very broadly be characterised as a supply-side strategy, it has really nothing to do with a laissez-faire approach that assumes the existence of perfect, self-governing markets.

Keywords: EMPLOYMENT POLICIES; ENABLING INSTITUTIONS; GOVERNMENTALITY; INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/030557311X574243

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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