In the last decade, developed welfare states have witnessed a pendulum swing away from unconditional entitlement to social assistance, towards greater emphasis on obligations and conditions tied to the receipt of financial aid. Through administrative reforms, conditions of entitlement have been narrowed. With the introduction of compulsory work for recipients the contract between the state and uninsured unemployed people is changing.The product of research funded by the European Union, this book compares 'work-for-welfare' - or workfare - programmes objectively for the first time. It considers well publicised schemes from the United States alongside more overlooked examples of workfare programmes from six European countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Britain. It is the first time that details of workfare programmes have been collated in such an easily accessible format.'An offer you can't refuse' provides an analysis of the ideological debates that surround compulsory work programmes and gives a detailed overview of the programmes implemented in each country, including their political and policy contexts and the forces that have combined to facilitate their implementation. Similarities and differences between programmes are explored. Explanations for differences and lessons for policy makers are discussed.