The Non-Take-Up of Health and Social Benefits: What Implications for Social Citizenship?

Lucas, Barbara; Bonvin, Jean-Michel; Hümbelin, Oliver (2021). The Non-Take-Up of Health and Social Benefits: What Implications for Social Citizenship? Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 47(2), pp. 161-180. Seismo

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Since the 1960s, a specific stream of literature in the field of social welfare has been concerned with the phenomenon of non-take-up, i.e. people who are entitled to social benefits but do not receive them. This issue of non-take-up is becoming increasingly salient and reaching policy agendas, including in Switzerland. It questions both the conditions of access to social benefits and their adequacy or even legitimacy when some people prefer not to claim their rights. What does non-take-up say about the aims of social policies and the way they are perceived by concerned people? What does it say about the underlying norms of those policies and the ways these norms are incorporated or contested by (potential) beneficiaries? What does it say about the public service and its capacity to reach its communities and support them? This special issue starts with an introduction to the topic of non-take-up of health and social benefits, focusing more specifically on the case of Switzerland. Building on this state of the art, the agenda is further developed to explore what non-take-up of social benefits says about the reconfiguration of the relationship between citizens and the state. The five authors of the special issues contribute to this new research agenda in three different ways: by emphasizing the temporal dimension of non-take-up; by supporting a view of recipients as capable and critical actors; and by arguing for a systemic and relational approach to non-take-up.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Social Work > Social Security focus area
School of Social Work > Institute for Social Security and Social Policy


Lucas, Barbara;
Bonvin, Jean-Michel and
Hümbelin, Oliver0000-0002-8983-9958


H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)






Oliver Hümbelin

Date Deposited:

04 Jan 2022 09:33

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2022 21:46

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