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Exploring Inequality in Europe

Diverging Income and Employment Opportunities in the Crisis Edited by Martin Heidenreich, University of Oldenburg, Germany
Europe has become a dominant frame for the generation, regulation and perception of social inequalities. This trend was solidified by the current economic crisis, which is characterized by increasing inequalities between central and peripheral countries and groups. By analysing the double polarization between winners and losers of the crisis, the segmentation of labour markets and the perceived quality of life in Europe, this book contributes to a better understanding of patterns and dynamics of inequality in an integrated Europe.
Extent: 256 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78347 665 7
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • European Politics and Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Labour Policy
Europe has become a dominant frame for the generation, regulation and perception of social inequalities. This trend was solidified by the current economic crisis, which is characterized by increasing inequalities between central and peripheral countries and groups. By analysing the double polarization between winners and losers of the crisis, the segmentation of labour markets and the perceived quality of life in Europe, this book contributes to a better understanding of patterns and dynamics of inequality in an integrated Europe.

The contributions from experts in the field offer a multi-level perspective. They explore links between objective inequalities and subjective perceptions and frames of reference. They combine the analysis of growing inequalities between different social groups and between central and peripheral countries. Analysis of unemployment and income inequality is based on European-wide micro datasets and the editor argues for both European and national frames of reference for analysis of unemployment and income inequality.

Offering new insights on the increasing unemployment and income inequalities in Europe before and during the current financial and Eurozone crisis, this is a vital text. Anyone interested in the challenges of social cohesion in Europe will find this book a rich, innovative resource.
‘This timely book analyses major developments associated with the process of European integration, which may help to better understand the interactions between national inequality, the
Europeanization process and the growing disenchantment with the European Union (EU) institutions and policies, notably the austerity policies to address the impact of the Great Recession, and the
EU’s sovereign debt crisis. This book offers useful food for thought to policy-makers and social actors on the origins and outcomes of the EU integration process that urgently need to be reformed.’
– International Social Security Review

‘Exploring Inequality in Europe marks a major advance in the sociology of European integration. Heidenreich’s research group moves well beyond methodologically nationalist analyses of income inequality, using Eurostat survey data from before and after the recent recession. They demonstrate that EU citizens understand their own economic fortunes (a) in relative comparison to other EU citizens, and (b) as vulnerable to forces of European integration. This important book should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand how the EU has increased economic inequality and reshaped contemporary distributive politics in Europe.’
– Jason Beckfield, Harvard University, US

‘This study marks a major breakthrough in research on European societies. While most of us working in this field still compare a set of national accounts, Martin Heidenreich and his colleagues treat the causes, profiles and consequences of inequality on a Europe-wide basis. This approach enables us to see underlying processes that nationally based projects cannot perceive.’
– Colin Crouch, Vice-president for Social Sciences, British Academy

‘This timely book makes a strong case for analyzing patterns and dynamics of social inequality, both cross-nationally and transnationally. It convincingly demonstrates that a multi-faceted double dualization takes place – between social groups and along territorial lines. Moreover, it evinces that processes of horizontal Europeanization and the sovereign debt crises have reshaped the patterns of social inequality and given rise to new social cleavages and forms of conflict’
– Steffen Mau, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

‘The importance of the book “Exploring Inequality in Europe” is twofold: firstly, the topic discussed and analysed in the book is among the most debatable topics of social sciences. The goal of the welfare state is to eliminate poverty and income inequality, i.e., unequal income distribution. . . The second benefit from reading this book is learning what has been happening with income distribution among EU countries. The recent economic crisis and the application of austerity economic policies by countries subject to Economic Adjustment Programmes has affected the distribution of income and shown significant trends of economic convergence in EU countries.’
– South Eastern Europe Journal of Economics 

‘Overall, this is an interesting and highly policy relevant book, especially in times when policymakers decide upon the increase or reversal of international integration in the EU and more globally. This is also a crucial book in times of heated debates about EU membership in many core member states not to mention the United Kingdom choosing to leave the EU in their national referendum in 2016. Clearly, the volume edited by Heidenreich puts forward a number of crucial questions, and indicates where more research in this area is needed. This book is a good start, and I am sure will inspire other researchers to tackle the questions in the future.’
– European Sociological Review

Contributors: F. Buttler, M. Heidenreich, C. Ingensiep, S. Israel, J. Preunkert, C. Reimann
Contents:

1. Introduction: the Double Dualization of Inequality in Europe
Martin Heidenreich

2. The Europeanization of Income Inequality Before and During the Eurozone Crisis: Inter-, Supra- and Transnational Perspectives
Martin Heidenreich

3. Determinants of Persistent Poverty. Do Institutional Factors Matter?
Cathrin Ingensiep

4. The Segmentation of European Labour Market – The Evolution of Short- and Long-term Unemployment Risks During the Eurozone Crisis
Martin Heidenreich

5. Women as the Relative Winners of the Eurozone Crisis? Female Employment Opportunities between Austerity, Inclusion and Dualization
Martin Heidenreich

6. Temporary Employment and Labour Market Segmentation in Europe 2002–2013
Christian Reimann

7. The Europeanization of Social Determinants and Health in the Great Recession
Sabine Israel

8. Does Europeanization of Daily Life Increase the Life Satisfaction of the Europeans?
Franziska Buttler

9. The European Integration Process and the Social Consequences of the Crisis
Jenny Preunkert

Index