Lenka Kissova: "Individualised welfare and abnormality. The rule of the risk-security-deservingness nexus in the material need policy.”
22. listopadu 2017 15:15 – 16:45
receive my sincere invitaiton to another seminar of the Center for the Cultural Sociology of Migration, which will discuss Lenka Kissová’s working paper entitled
"Individualised welfare and abnormality. The rule of the risk-security-deservingness nexus in the material need policy.”
In 2014 new conditions within the Act on assistance in material need came into force in Slovakia. This legal act was proposed by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family and it conditions the basic part of the provision in material need with workfare. Thus, Slovakia has become one of the countries where welfare cut-backs affect the basic benefit in material need as well. As the main argumentation includes motifs of ‘motivation’, ‘adjustment’, ‘self-responsibility’ and ‘deservingness’ of beneficiaries, the individualisation rationality seems to take a lead.
The goal of the paper is to examine the perspective of the policy-makers, articulation of their ideas, motivations, opinions and arguments legitimising the recently adopted Act. The analysis is based mainly on the document analysis and critical political discourse analysis of parliamentary debates. In the paper I argue that the ‘deservingness’ phenomenon further co-occurs with the security and risk-prevention arguments. Based on the critical analysis of the debates, I argue that the formation of a risky other legitimates the adoption of measures which restrict social benefits and exclude people in need from solidarity. For all this, I argue that the welfare is one of the tools used by political actors to control and regulate behaviour of individuals. Moreover, in case of Slovakia, control and regulation of behaviour through risk and security assume an ethnic dimension.
Key words: political discourse, deservingness, risk, material need, Roma