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Flexicurity: how can it be conceptualised and measured in a comparative perspective?

Flexicurity: how can it be conceptualised and measured in a comparative perspective?

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Flexicurity: how can it be conceptualised and measured in a comparative perspective?

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  1. Flexicurity: how can it be conceptualised and measured in a comparative perspective? Ton Wilthagen, Flexicurity Research Programme Ruud Muffels, Department of Sociology Tilburg University, the Netherlands www.tilburguniversity.nl/flexicurity

  2. Flexicurity: high on the policy and academic agenda

  3. The Danish golden triangle – a hit record! ‘Golden triangle' is the latest track released as a single from the album ‘Will see you now‘ by Brighton electro-beats types Caged Baby

  4. Outline of this presentation • Views on flexicurity • Main concerns for policy-makers and academics • Research designs and availability of data • Current research focus on flexicurity • A comparative and longitudinal approach

  5. Views on flexicurity • Normative or empirically-oriented concept? • Flexicurity as a “state of affairs” or as a type of policy? • If “state of affairs” then flexicurity policies are not necessarily in place • If flexicurity policies then “state of affairs” may be reached or not (yet) • Two main strategies: normalization of atypical/flexible work (Netherlands) vs. flexibilization of normal/typical work (Denmark)

  6. Main concerns for researchers and policy-makers • What is flexicurity (exactly)? Definition of concept, operationalization, indicators etc • How can flexicurity be pursued and promoted? What are critical (pre)conditions? Need to change psychological and social contract? • What are the effects of flexicurity policies or systems, flexicurity for whom? Winners and losers. • Can flexicurity policies/models be ‘transplanted’ to other countries, can countries learn from each other? • Are there various roads towards flexicurity, flexicurity for all countries? Country size, impact of economic situation, business cycle, macro economic factors

  7. Research designs and availability of data • Do we have enough data for country-comparisons? Too many countries are insufficiently represented • Longitudinal data, e.g. for life course approach, are only now being collected and developed • Social partners and states are important but research should also focus on markets, firm, networks in contributing to flexicurity • Not enough attention paid to informal systems of flexibility and security.How does informal economy relate to formal economy? • Theories on flexicurity should be further developed: reflexive labour law, actor-centered institutionalism • More attention to relationship between inclusion and exclusion in view of flexicurity systems

  8. Figure: Coordination mechanisms and the provision of flexibility and security

  9. Current research focus on flexicurity TAGC=Tilburg, Amsterdam, Groningen, CARMA team

  10. A grand scheme on flexicurity and its conditions? (too complicated for slide) regimes countries use of coordination mechanisms reliance on forms of flexibility combination with forms of security [basic levels] [econ. tide?] [sense of urgency] [architects]

  11. Flexible labour market Main axis Qualification effect Generous welfare schemes Active labour market policy Motivational effect Danish Golden Triangle

  12. Qualification Activation policies Flexibility Main axis: trust and support Motivation Employment security Social security Active safety net/trampoline Silver Square or Trust Square

  13. What should be the focus of our policies?Flexicurity policies

  14. Make employability work: Stimulate regional cooperation and coordination among companies, schools and labour market intermediairs Facilitate training for workers aimed at job outside own company, sector of industry or profession Improve career guidance structures Proposal: create a “right to career guidance” (cp. suggestion Luc Sels) What should be the focus of our policies? (2)