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‘Activation’, referring to measures that increase the labour supply, has recently been a key concept in discussing employment in the developed countries. This paper analyses the motivations behind activation measures targeted at the unemployed as well as persons disabled due to mental health problems, as expressed through legislation and national policy documents following the 1990s recession in Finland. The analysis points out that the activation measures implemented in Finland at the turn of the millennium have had a tendency to reinforce ‘dualisation’, that is, to polarise citizens as either labour market insiders or outsiders. The analysis shows that activation also involves labels that fix blame on the people themselves for their situation. Hence, the activation measures have increased the risk of exclusion for many of the persons they were supposed to help. The results are discussed in the context of the broader literature on the Nordic welfare and labour market model.
- 5141 Sociologi