The Public Accountability of Privatized Activation - The Case of Israel

Avishai Benish*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The study explores the accountability implications of the increasingly privatized and marketized models of welfare governance. Privatization of public services radically destabilizes our concepts of accountability. While on the one hand, accountability deficits are created as traditional public accountability systems become less relevant; on the other hand, new market and results-based forms of accountability emerge. In order to examine how accountability is safeguarded under privatized activation, the study provides an in-depth look at private contractors' accountability in the case of activation in Israel. It finds that results-based accountability mechanisms were perceived as insufficient to legitimize contractors' discretion; and sometimes they even intensified accountability concerns. In practice, significant traditional public accountability requirements were extended to the private contractors, creating a hybrid public-private model of accountability. The article discusses the contradictory dynamics leading to the development of this hybrid accountability model and the tensions and instabilities it produces. It closes by stressing the need for more research into activation accountability regimes and their complexity.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationContracting-Out Welfare Services
Subtitle of host publicationComparing National Policy Designs for Unemployment Assistance
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781119016458
ISBN (Print)9781119016496
StatePublished - 13 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Accountability
  • Activation
  • Contracting-out
  • Public service values
  • Regulation
  • Social services


Dive into the research topics of 'The Public Accountability of Privatized Activation - The Case of Israel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this