Inter-agency co-operation in activation: comparing three vanguard ‘active’ welfare states

Colin Lindsay, Ronald McQuaid

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New forms of inter-agency co-operation have gained increasing prominence in the development and delivery of activation strategies. This article compares different models of inter-agency co-operation, drawing on case study research in Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK. The different models have reported variations in performance when delivering on the key benefits often attributed to effective inter-agency co-operation. The article raises concerns that the process of contracting-out in activation has at times conflicted with attempts to improve co-operation between agencies, while the increasing dominance of purchaser–provider relations can undermine progress towards ‘shared ownership’ of activation policies and effective partnership-working.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-365
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • welfare states
  • inter-agency co-operation
  • partnership working
  • labour markets
  • Netherlands
  • Denmark
  • employment


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