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Active inclusion as an organisational challenge: integrated anti-poverty policies in three European countries

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2020

Martin Heidenreich*
Department for Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstr. 114–118, OldenburgD-26121, Germany
Norbert Petzold
Department for Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstr. 114–118, OldenburgD-26121, Germany
Marcello Natili
Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Alexandru Panican
School of Social Work, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
*Corresponding author. Email:


Active inclusion aims at the reduction of poverty by strengthening the agency of excluded persons by the provision of a minimum income, activation and social services. The contribution to poverty alleviation is determined by expenditure levels and the organisation of these three policy fields. This can be shown by three examples: The comprehensive Swedish regime is characterised by high expenditures; the redistributive German regime is characterised by lower service levels and in Italy, all three dimensions are least developed. In addition, the organisation of services differs: Decentralised and discretionary system for the provision of services in Sweden, “creaming and parking” effects in Germany and fragmented providers in Italy. As a result of different expenditure levels and organisational patterns, the selectivity of active inclusion strategies is low in Sweden, medium in Germany and high in Italy. Both the financial and organisational dimensions of active inclusion therefore are decisive for poverty alleviation.

Research Article
Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis

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