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Full Employment in Europe

Managing Labour Market Transitions and Risks Günther Schmid, Director of the Research Unit on Labour Market Policy and Employment, the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) and Professor Emeritus of Political Economics, Free University of Berlin, Germany
Transitional Labour Markets (TLM) – defined as legitimate, negotiated and politically supported sets of various employment options in critical events over the life course – are an essential ingredient of modern full employment strategies. After assessing the European Employment Strategy, this book offers a detailed comparative analysis of employment performance for selected European member states and the United States. It suggests that successful employment systems arise from a new paradigm of flexibility and security (‘flexicurity’) the balance of which varies according to countries’ institutional paths. Whilst there is no ‘best practice’, TLM theory does provide normative and analytical principles that can be generalised for various institutional settings. The book also provides good practice examples for managing critical transitions over the life course – from education to employment, from one job to another, from unemployment to employment, from private activities to gainful work and from employment to retirement – and develops the contours for extending unemployment insurance to work–life insurance.
Extent: 400 pp
Hardback Price: £113.00 Web: £101.70
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84720 520 9
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Labour Economics
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Labour Policy
Transitional Labour Markets (TLM) – defined as legitimate, negotiated and politically supported sets of various employment options in critical events over the life course – are an essential ingredient of modern full employment strategies. After assessing the European Employment Strategy, this book offers a detailed comparative analysis of employment performance for selected European member states and the United States. It suggests that successful employment systems arise from a new paradigm of flexibility and security (‘flexicurity’) the balance of which varies according to countries’ institutional paths. Whilst there is no ‘best practice’, TLM theory does provide normative and analytical principles that can be generalised for various institutional settings. The book also provides good practice examples for managing critical transitions over the life course – from education to employment, from one job to another, from unemployment to employment, from private activities to gainful work and from employment to retirement – and develops the contours for extending unemployment insurance to work–life insurance.

With a fresh and new approach to the question of full employment in modern society, this book will appeal to academic scholars interested in labour market and employment policies, and policy decision makers at local, regional, national and European levels.
‘The book is without doubt a must-read reflection on the notion of full employment and a source of inspiration for the establishing of the knowledge-based economy that is such an aspiration for Europeans.’
– Thomas Bauwens, Agence Europe

‘Every book by Günther Schmid is an event. This one illuminates the current European policy debate on “flexicurity”. It gives fresh analyses of the comparative employment performances of the EU and the USA, and proposes a path-breaking framework for understanding and improving them. Pragmatic and provocative, Schmid’s contribution should be a must for researchers, but also for HR managers, social partners representatives and policymakers interested in the present and future of work and employment.’
– Bernard Gazier, University Paris 1 and a Member of the Institut Universitaire de France
Contents: Preface 1. The European Employment Objective: How ‘Full’ can Full Employment Be? 2. The European Employment Strategy: How Far Away are we from the Lisbon Goals? 3. Comparing the Performance of Employment Systems: Is Jobless Growth on the Horizon? 4. Beyond Employment Performance: Is the Lisbon Strategy on the Right Track? 5. Risky Transitions over the Life Course: Bridges or Traps? 6. Perception and Management of Social Risks: ‘In the Past the Future Always Seems Better’? 7. New Forms of Governance in Labour Market Policy: Are there any Limits to Privatisation? 8. Managing Risks through Transitional Labour Markets: Can Flexibility and Security be Married? Bibliography Index