“I chose to analyze the work in forming a new employment strategy, but in a broader context my dissertation is about the ambition to make policy decisions measurable and transparent. The development of indicators to measure outcomes of employment policy in the EU is part of a global trend prompted by increased demands for accountability, transparency, and control over policy processes. This is called ‘the audit society’ or ‘audit cultures,’” says Renita Thedvall.
In the dissertation bureaucrats are monitored between various EU meetings in the European Commission and the Council of Europe when they formulate, negotiate, and make decisions about a common European employment strategy. Special attention is paid to work with framing, formulating, and specifying the vision of a “Social Europe,” in this case through the idea of “quality in work.” Renita Thedvall studies the bureaucrats’ efforts to define the concept of “quality in work” and how it is operationalized in the form of indicators designed to measure the outcome of the employment policy.
“In the European Union today there is political vision of a ‘Social Europe.’ The vision is fed by the ambition to create a common European employment and social policy. Policy-making, especially in regard to employment and social policy, is a key element in the formation of the European Union. Policies function as channels for the cultural flow of ideas, concepts, and notions and are thus a component of the forming of a European postnational ‘society,’” says Renita Thedvall.
Title of dissertation: Eurocrats at Work: Negotiating Transparency in Postnational Employment Policy
The public defense took place on Friday, February 17, at 1:00 p.m. in Hall 7, Building D, South Pavilion, Frescati. The external examiner was Professor Ullrich Kockel, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland.