Moral Economy. The Employment of People with Disability and the Shifting Responsibilities for the Social
06 - Präsentation
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Social scientists describe the radical transformation of welfare states in the past decades as a neoliberal economization of the political and the social. The economic logic of the market has become the dominant regulatory principle of all societal spheres with respect to both means and ends. Most often these processes are portrayed as unidirectional: it is the economic logic that colonises the social, political and personal spheres. In this paper the perspective is reversed. Drawing on Ronen Shamir’s thesis of “market-embedded morality” and on the theoretical framework of the sociology of conventions the occupational integration of people with disabilities is analysed as an example of the shifting responsibilities for the social. The focus is on the interactions of the Swiss invalidity insurance (IV) and businesses with respect to the employment of the disabled. The recent revisions of the invalidity insurance in Switzerland have introduced more financial incentives and support for employers, without establishing corresponding legal obligations. In this context the cantonal IV offices resort to moral and normative means instead, while at the same time still ‘arguing the business case’ for the social commitment of employers.