Profiles

Renate Minas. Foto: Vilhelm Stokstad

Renate Minas

Universitetslektor

Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Social Work
Telephone 08-674 73 76
Email renate.minas@socarb.su.se
Visiting address Sveavägen 160, Sveaplan
Room 736
Postal address Institutionen för socialt arbete 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am an associate professor of social work at Stockholm University (Department of Social Work). My fields of interest are welfare state reforms in Sweden and in European countries with a special focus on social assistance schemes and activation policies from a governance perspective. I am in particularly interested in questions related to social inclusion and poverty with a focus on institutions and organizational solutions.

Projects
I participated in several international research projects and networks such as "The role of Social Assistance as a means of Social Inclusion and Activation" (SocAss), the Project on Rescaling of Social Welfare Policies, the RECWOWE Network of Excellence, and the Nordic network "Countering Globalization: Education, activation, and social exclusion in the Nordic countries". Just now, I am Principal Swedish Investigator in the INSPIRES project (Innovative Social Policies for Inclusive and Resilient Labour Markets in Europe) a long-term project co-funded by the European Commission under the Framework Program 7.

My recent project is to examine the extent and character of and policy responses to the increase in non-economic vulnerable EU citizens in Sweden. Together with some collegues I will scrutiniz national and local institutions and actors involved in the policy formulation and implementation and their dynamic interactions in the case of vulnerable EU citizens.

Publications

A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2016. Åke Bergmark, Olof Bäckman, Renate Minas. European Journal of Social Work

    Active labour market policies and programs (ALMPs) have over the lastdecades been established as main instruments to promote the transitionfrom welfare to work. In this article we study strategies employed bySwedish municipalities to help recipients ending spells of socialassistance take-up. By using a combination of quantitative andqualitative data we try to identify which approaches stand out as moresuccessful than others with respect to social assistance duration. Wehave formed pairs of municipalities similar in important respects, butwith different social assistance exit rates as predicted by a statisticalmodel. Then we conducted case studies in the selected municipalities’social assistance units, gathering information on how work is carried outand organized. Information was collected by semi-structured interviewswith department managers and front-line social workers. In theinterviews we identified various elements of practice that emerged asrelevant, suggesting that shorter spells follow from activation with afocus on human resource development, programmes targeted at youngadults, well-functioning collaboration, and use of sanctions or an overallapproach characterized by systemized efforts.

  • 2016. Renate Minas. International Social Security Review 69 (3-4), 85-107

    The concept of integrated services is a common feature of current social policy discussions. It is often argued that social support systems have not evolved to cope with the complexity of individuals’ needs. This is deemed true for a variety of interrelated difficulties that cut across traditional welfare programmes and life course lines. This article examines the efforts of integrated services to bridge policy areas such as social policy, labour market policy and health care services for four different vulnerable groups at major stages of the life course: childhood, youth, adulthood and old age. Analytically, the article adopts a framework developed by Valentijn et al. (2013) that allows systematic comparisons. Using mainly high-income economy examples, the article connects key features of a certain policy area with key elements of integrated services. Key features of a policy area direct attention to the function of the policy area, and these are expressed through the framework of “person-focused” and “population-focused” services. Key elements of integrated services in turn emphasize levels of integration (macro, meso, micro). Central questions addressed are the character of integration efforts for vulnerable groups at different stages of the life cycle and how variations therein can be understood. As a complement, sociological explanations of individual vulnerability, which are separated by causes of vulnerability into basic, conditional and triggering factors, are also used. A main finding is that the life course perspective as such does not explain variation in integration efforts; rather, it is the institutional features of the specific policy areas. These constrain or promote the potential for greater integration.

  • 2015. Tomas Korpi, Olof Bäckman, Renate Minas.

    De nordiska ländernas ekonomiska utbyte med omvärlden har ökat dramatiskt. I debatten har globaliseringens förespråkare sett internationellt utbyte som en förutsättning för fortsatt välstånd, medan kritikerna varnat för arbetslöshet och ojämlikhet. Utvecklingen av inkomstfluktuationer och -skillnader kan emellertid inte förklaras av globaliseringen. Internationell handel, kapitalrörlighet och migration har således inte lett till ökad osäkerhet och ojämlikhet så som befarats – alternativt så har länderna varit framgångsrika i försöken att möta globaliseringen. De nordiska länderna har alla sökt bemöta utmaningarna genom reformer av utbildnings- och aktiveringspolitiken. Medan reformerna av yrkesutbildningen och arbetsmarknadspolitiken generellt inte har motverkat risken för social exkludering har däremot expansionen av utbildningssystemen tenderat att minska inkomstskillnaderna i Norden.

  • Article One-stop shops
    2014. Renate Minas. International Journal of Social Welfare 23, S40-S53

    The fragmentation of social security systems hasemerged as a policy problem in Western Europe, result-ing in the emergence of integrated service models, forexample so-called one-stop shops. Bridging severalpolicy domains, integrated services can be assumed toaffect the institutional structure of benefits and ser-vices, such as entitlement criteria, target groups orgovernance processes. This article focuses on inte-grated service models that provide benefits and ser-vices to unemployed people who are receiving eithersocial assistance or unemployment compensation.Recent reforms in Denmark, Finland, Germany, theNetherlands, Norway and the UK are analysed fromboth an organisational and a labour market perspec-tive. The analysis shows that integrated service provi-sion entails the risk of introducing stricter workconditionality for broad and vulnerable groups withoutfulfilling the promises of seamless services.

  • 2014. Renate Minas (et al.). Social policy review 26, 239-258

    Social assistance and other means tested benefits are the last resort in national social protection systems and variation in benefit receipt are in part a direct consequence of differences in means and needs. Variation may however also be related to local discretion over implementation of national legislation, implying inequality unintended by legislators. Such discretion is generally believed to have increased following decentralizing reforms in the 1990s, an international trend frequently referred to as devolution. More recent reforms have instead often implied recentralization and/or involved institutional cooperation of welfare agencies located at different vertical levels. Little is however known regarding the extent to which shifting divisions of power influences benefit receipt. Using individual level register data, multi-level modelling and a difference-in-difference approach we attempt to link changes in legislation to changes in inter-municipal differences in social assistance payments in the Nordic countries during the period 1990 to 2010. Somewhat simplified, the assumption is that the more detailed the regulation the less variation is possible and vice versa. The results show the changes in inequality in the wake of the reforms to be heterogeneous, both in accordance with and contradictory to the starting hypothesis. Although some of the unexpected results are difficult to account for, others may be explained by the character or implementation of the reforms.

  • 2014. Renate Minas (et al.).
  • 2013. Åke Bergmark, Olof Bäckman, Renate Minas.
  • 2012. Renate Minas, Sharon Wright, Rik van Berkel. International journal of sociology and social policy 32 (5/6), 286-298

    Purpose – The purpose of this article is to examine the governance of activation in relation to the decentralization and centralization of activation for social assistance recipients in Sweden, The Netherlands and the UK.

    Design/methodology/approach – This paper outlines broad trends in the governance of activation policies in Europe, focusing on processes of decentralization and centralization in Sweden (characterized by a context of shifting national and local level governance of policies, cultivated within a strong tradition of active labour market policies); The Netherlands (where there has been a deliberate shift in governance towards the local level); and the UK (typified by highly centralized decision making in policy design but local variation in delivery).

    Findings – The comparison identified different paths of decentralization and examines how these processes interact and overlap with modes of centralization/coordination of policies. Finally, the paper demonstrates the interface between the modes of decentralization and centralization.

    Originality/value – The investigation of vertical changes in the governance of activation in three country case studies provides an original in-depth analysis of types and paths of decentralization and centralization.

  • 2012. Renate Minas.
  • 2011. Renate Minas. The governance of active welfare states in Europe, 195-215
  • 2011. Renate Minas. Utanförskap, 325-349
  • 2010. Renate Minas.

    Decentralization has been for many years a widespread trend in health care sectors throughout Europe. Yet, more recently, a new host of reforms is observable implying an ambition of some states to regain lost control. What is the general trend of (re)centralisation about and what happens when reforms promoting (re)centralisation are translated in different national contexts; e.g. in what way contextual factors modify a general trend? The establishment of regional health authorities in Norway and regional hospital agencies in France will be used as examples to analyze the spreading and transformation of (re)centralisation.

  • 2010. Åke Bergmark, Renate Minas. Rescaling of Social Welfare Policies in Europe, 241-274
  • 2010. Renate Minas. International Journal of Social Welfare 19 (2), 215-224

    This study examines the connection between organisational factors and local social assistance expenditures in Swedish municipalities. The organisation of social assistance units, particularly those for the intake of social assistance inquirers, and the possible implications for local social assistance costs are highlighted. The study is based on interview data from medium-sized Swedish municipalities combined with register data covering the years from 1997 to 2001. The results show that socioeconomic factors have an overall dominant effect, but also that organisational factors co-vary with local social assistance expenditures. The results show a cost-reducing effect for special intake units: firstly, when these units are analysed together with other forms of specialisation and secondly, when staff resources are taken into account. Thus, specialised intake organisation by itself does not play a cost-reducing role, but does so in combination with certain other factors that characterise the internal organisation of the social welfare office.

  • 2010. Renate Minas.
  • 2010. Renate Minas, Einar Overby. Rescaling of social welfare policies, 203-240
  • 2009. Joakim Palme (et al.).
  • 2009. Renate Minas.
  • 2008. Renate Minas. Socialtjänsten i blickfånget: organisation, resurser och insatser
  • 2008. Åke Bergmark, Renate Minas. Framtiden 4
  • 2008. Renate Minas. Tidsskrift for velferdsforskning (4)
  • 2008. Åke Bergmark (et al.).

    Socialtjänstens individ- och familjeomsorg (IFO) är en central del av den svenska välfärdsmodellen. De insatser som förmedlas där svarar mot behov som andra trygghetssystem inte förmår möta, och till stor del handlar arbetet om att erbjuda hjälp till utsatta grupper i samhället.

    Författarna har studerat tre områden inom socialtjänsten i 100 svenska kommuner: barn och ungdom, försörjningsstöd och missbruk. De försöker identifiera trender och rörelser i socialt arbete. Framför allt är det resurser och organisering som stått i centrum för intresset och hur dessa faktorer påverkar insatserna.  Boken har både ett beskrivande och ett analytiskt anslag och vill fungera som utgångspunkt för diskussioner inom socialtjänsten om dess fortsatta utveckling och kopplingen till de socialpolitiska sammanhangen. Den vänder sig både till studerande vid socionomutbildningen och till yrkesverksamma inom socialtjänstens IFO.

  • 2007. Åke Bergmark, Renate Minas. Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift (2-3), 220-241
  • 2006. Renate Minas. International Journal of Social Welfare 15 (1), 63-74
  • 2005. Renate Minas. European Journal of Social Work 8 (2), 145-164

    In Sweden, the initial contact between help-seeking people and a social welfare office normally takes place over the telephone, with designated intake officers handling those aiming to apply for social assistance. Citizens seeking help are here sorted according to various eligibility criteria as well as according to different intake routines. The outcome of the sorting process is that some receive an appointment for a further assessment while others are sent away. This article describes and classifies the degree of selection at seven telephone intakes, discusses relations between the degrees of selection and reasons for selection and distinguishes several selection strategies.

Show all publications by Renate Minas at Stockholm University

Last updated: May 30, 2018

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