The Challenges of Self-Employment in Europe


The Challenges of Self-Employment in Europe

Status, Social Protection and Collective Representation

9781788118446 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Renata Semenza, Professor of Economic Sociology, University of Milan, Italy and François Pichault, Professor of Human Resource Management, University of Liege, Belgium
Publication Date: 2019 ISBN: 978 1 78811 844 6 Extent: 256 pp
This book aims at explaining the variance in legal status, working conditions, social protection and collective representation of self-employed professionals across Europe. Despite considerable diversity, the authors observe three strategic models of mobilisation: the provision of services; advocacy, lobbying and the political role; and the extension of collective bargaining. They highlight the new urgent challenges that have emerged including the implementation of universal social protection schemes, active labour market policies likely to support sustainable self-employment, and the renewal of social dialogue through bottom-up organisations to extend the collective representation of project-based professionals.

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In recent decades, due to unprecedented technological advancements, Europe has seen a move towards on-demand service economies. This has allowed the growth of self-employed professionals who are able to satisfy an increasing demand for flexible and high-skilled work. This book explores the need for reform of regulations in Europe, studying the variance in legal status, working conditions, social protection and collective representation of self-employed professionals. It provides insights into ways that policy could address these important challenges.

Presenting the results of a wide-reaching European survey, this book highlights key issues being faced across Europe: the implementation of universal social protection schemes; active labour market policies to support sustainable self-employment and the renewal of social dialogue through bottom-up organisations to extend the collective representation of self-employed professionals. With its theoretically-informed, empirical and interdisciplinary comparative analysis, this book identifies and explains key strategies to resolve these challenges.

This book will be of great benefit to both advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students of labour and economic sociology, political science, industrial relations, human resource management and social law. It will also appeal to scholars, practitioners and policymakers concerned with the labour market and self-employment in the European context.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book can be warmly recommended as a worthwhile read for those who wish to understand the challenges of self-employed professionals in general, as well as for those who are researching a specific topic in the broader debate on self-employment. Moreover, it could also be useful for scholars and students of various disciplines from sociology, to industrial relations, and to legal studies and all areas of economic and social research. The book provides an important tool for all policy-makers at both the European and the national levels, and is an indispensable read for trade unions and other representative organizations, in addition to its definite contribution to the academic debate on the issues covered.’
– Sara Bagari, European Journal of Social Security

‘This book has no rival in its field. It is by a long shot the most comprehensive, informative, and in-depth treatment of how different European nations adapt to, provide social support for, and legally regulate the burgeoning class of highly qualified self-employed professionals. This volume highlights one of the many challenges facing the new post-industrial order, and it does so with aplomb.’
– Gøsta Esping-Andersen, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain and Bocconi University, Italy

Contributors: L. Beuker, P. Borghi, M.-C. Bureau, A. Corsani, B. Gazier, A. Godino, B. Koene, M.S. Lodovici, A. Martín-Artiles, O. Molina, A. Mori, F. Naedenoen, M. Norbäck, F. Pichault, R. Semenza, E. Sinibaldi, K. Širok, A. Soru, M. Stanic, L. Walter, C. Zanni


Foreword David Marsden
1. Introduction: self-employed professionals in a comparative perspective
François Pichault and Renata Semenza

2. New self-employment as a theoretical matter
Renata Semenza and Anna Mori

3. Working conditions and needs: results of a European survey
Anna Soru, Elena Sinibaldi and Cristina Zanni

4. The place of self-employment in the European context. Evidence from nine country case studies: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom
Laura Beuker, Paolo Borghi, Marie-Christine Bureau, Antonella Corsani, Bernard Gazier, Alejandro Godino, Bas Koene, Antonio Martín-Artiles, Oscar Molina, Anna Mori, Frédéric Naedenoen, Maria Norbäck, Klemen Širok, Maylin Stanic and Lars Walter

5. Comparing the national contexts
Laura Beuker, François Pichault and Frédéric Naedenoen

6. Continuity and discontinuity in collective representation
Anna Mori and Bas Koene

7. Conclusions: perspectives on self-employment in Europe
Manuela Samek Lodovici, François Pichault and Renata Semenza

Afterword: conditions for a new social dialogue in Europe
Bernard Gazier

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