This book provides the first detailed analysis of the political regulation of dismissal protection and temporary employment in Western Europe from the establishment of freedom of contract in the 19th century until the heyday of two-tier labour market reforms in the 2000s.
Poverty, increased inequality, and social exclusion are back on the political agenda, not only as a consequence of the Great Recession of 2008, but also because of a seemingly structural trend towards increased inequality in advanced industrial societies that has persisted since the 1970s. Policies in labor markets, social policy, and political representation are strongly linked in the creation, widening, and deepening of insider-outsider divides--a process known as dualization. While it is certainly not the only driver of increasing inequality, its development across multiple domains makes dualization one of the most important current trends affecting developed societies.
The comparative perspective of this book provides insights into why Nordic countries witness lower levels of insider-outsider divides, whereas in continental, liberal and southern welfare states, they are more likely to constitute a core characteristic of the political economy. Most importantly, the comparisons presented in this book point to the crucial importance of politics and political choice in driving and shaping the social outcomes of deindustrialization. While increased structural labor market divides can be found across all countries, governments have a strong responsibility in shaping the distributive consequences of these labor market changes. Insider-outsider divides are ultimately the result of political choice.
A landmark publication, this volume is geared for faculty and graduate students of economics, political science, social policy, and sociology, as well as policymakers concerned with increasing inequality in a period of deep economic and social crisis.
The European Social Model is at a crossroad. Although from the 1990s onwards, the threat of an imminent crisis shaped much of the rhetoric surrounding the future of the welfare state, disagreement within the academic community remains. What is however increasingly clear is that with the global financial crisis and the Euro crisis that followed it, the challenges the European Social Model faces have become more acute and demand action. This volume launches a multifaceted inquiry into these challenges. Each contribution, written by renowned scholars in their fields, represents an in-depth exploration of issues that cut to the core of current political, economic and social processes. They are an invitation to the seasoned scholars as well as to the beginning students of social sciences, public administration or journalism to engage with, by now, a large body of scholarship, to accompany the authors in their endeavours to seek an explanation to burning questions and start their own inquiries.