The increased emphasis on labour market activation in many European countries has led to new forms of governance in recent decades. Primarily through qualitative data and document analysis, this article compares the restructuring of labour market service delivery in the UK and Germany. The comparison suggests the emergence of complex governance arrangements that seek to balance public regulation and accountability with the creation of room for market competition. As a result, we can observe in both countries a greater use of markets, but also of rules. While in both countries the relationships between different providers of labour market services can best be described as a mixture of cooperation and competition, differences exist in terms of instruments and the comprehensiveness of coordination initiatives. The findings suggest that the distinctions between governance models may be more important in theory than in practice, although the combinations of theoretical forms vary in different circumstances.
- Employment Services