- Flexicurity: a conceptual critique
- Number of pages
- [Coventry]: GUSTO
- GUSTO work package 2. Paper
- Volume | Edition (Serie)
- Document type
- Working paper
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Hugo Sinzheimer Instituut (HSI)
In recent years 'flexicurity' has become an influential concept in academic and political discourse, in particular since the European Commission placed it at the core of the European Employment Strategy. However, both as an academic concept and as a policy concept flexicurity is underdeveloped and suffers from a number of serious shortcomings. In this paper we critically review the flexicurity concept and discuss a number of its problematic features. In particular, we focus on four aspects: the concept’s ambiguity and openness to political capture; its failure to problematise the creation of institutional complementarities; its lack of attention to conflicts of interest and to the heterogeneity of the labour market; and its reductionist view of the sources of flexibility and security. We illustrate this discussion with a series of empirical examples. Finally, we conclude that the flexicurity approach should or be abandoned, or substantially improved. We also provide a number of suggestions on how to strengthen the flexicurity approach.
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