Journal Article

Flexicurity and welfare reform: a review

Elke Viebrock and Jochen Clasen

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 7, issue 2, pages 305-331
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwp001
Flexicurity and welfare reform: a review

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  • Moral Philosophy
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Welfare Economics
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The notion of ‘flexicurity’ has recently become a buzzword in European labour market reform. It promises to deliver a magic formula to overcome the tensions between labour market flexibility on the one hand and social security on the other hand by offering ‘the best of both worlds’. This article gives a state-of-the-art review on flexicurity. The development of the concept is set against the background of changed economic circumstances in the last two decades. The components of flexicurity are presented in more detail, followed by a review of ‘real worlds of flexicurity’ in selected European countries, with Denmark and the Netherlands as the most prominent examples. The third section considers the transferability of flexicurity policies across borders. Finally, we concentrate on collective actors involved in promoting the idea of flexicurity at European, supra-national and national levels. We conclude with a discussion of some tensions within and criticisms of the concept.

Keywords: employment; Europe; flexibility; labor markets; social security; J08 labor economics policies; J50 labor–management relations, trade unions, and collective bargaining; J65 unemployment insurance, severance pay, plant closings

Journal Article.  10390 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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