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Governing of young people ‘at risk’ with the alliance of employability and precariousness in the EU youth policy steering

Mertanen, Katariina, Pashby, Karen ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9967-8262 and Brunila, Kristiina (2020) Governing of young people ‘at risk’ with the alliance of employability and precariousness in the EU youth policy steering. Policy Futures in Education, 18 (2). pp. 240-260. ISSN 1478-2103

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Abstract

This article focuses on neoliberal governing by the European Union of cross-sectoral youth policies directed at young people ‘at risk’. The aim is to show how the alliance of discourses of employability and precariousness in these policies has emerged and how these discourses operate in policy. In the article, we analyse European Council and European Commission policy documents from 2000 to 2016 by drawing on the idea of discourses and governing with neoliberal political rationality. Our results show that the financial crisis and policy initiatives launched to mitigate its consequences made it possible to mainstream the neoliberal rationality of individual competition and flexibility as an inseparable part of youth policy steering.

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