Bureaucratic Manoeuvres: The Contested Administration of the Unemployed
In Bureaucratic Manoeuvres, John Grundy examines profound transformations in the governance of unemployment in Canada. While policy makers previously approached unemployment as a social and economic problem to be addressed through macroeconomic policies, recent labour market policy reforms have placed much more emphasis on the supposedly deficient employability of the unemployed themselves, a troubling shift that deserves close, critical attention.
Tracing a behind-the-scenes history of public employment services in Canada, Bureaucratic Manoeuvres shows just how difficult it has been for administrators and frontline staff to govern unemployment as a problem of individual employability. Drawing on untapped government records, it sheds much-needed light on internal bureaucratic struggles over the direction of labour market policy in Canada and makes a key contribution to Canadian political science, economics, public administration, and sociology.
- Series: Studies in Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy
- World Rights
- Page Count: 184 pages
- Illustrations: 3
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.7in x 9.3in
"Grundy’s patient empiricism could be put to good use in classrooms to critically explore with students the circulation of particular orientations or sensibilities through institutions and cultures over time, and to bring home the importance of taking a long view on where we are within longer histories of problematization and intervention. The readability of the book also recommends it for classroom use. Overall, Bureaucratic Manoeuvers makes an important and interesting contribution to social and employment policy and related studies in the Canadian context, and to comparative policy studies more broadly. I highly recommend it."
Critical Social Policy
"Bureaucratic Manoeuvres is an excellent piece of empirical scholarship. It is original and pushes discussions of employment insurance in new directions."
Peter Graefe, Department of Political Science, McMaster University
"Bureaucratic Manoeuvres is thorough and rich in material. Grundy’s primary archival research is unmatched by most scholars working in the field today."
Michelle Brady, School of Social Science, University of Queensland
Author InformationJohn Grundy is a research officer in the School of Arts, Media, Performance, and Design at York University.
Table of contentsIntroduction
1. Conceptualizing the Limits of Activation Policy
2. “More Than a Placement Service”: The Transient High Modernism of “Manpower” Planning, 1965–76
3. Making and Unmaking Frontline Professionalism, 1977–90
4. Within Reach of the “What Works Best Solution”: Evidence-Based Activation, 1994–2000
5. Toward a Culture of Results, 1996–2000
Appendix A: List of Acronyms
Appendix B: List of Interviews
Subjects and Courses