labor markets; welfare states; dualization; insider/outsider; political parties; representation
Häusermann Silja, Kurer Thomas, Schwander Hanna (2016), Sharing the risk? Households, labor market vulnerability and social policy preferences in Western Europe, in Journal of Politics
, 78(4), 1045-1060.
Häusermann Silja, Kurer Thomas, Schwander Hanna (2014), High-skilled outsiders? Labor market vulnerability, education and welfare state preferences, in Socio-Economic Review
, 13(2), 235-258.
Schwander Hanna, Haeusermann Silja (2013), Who is in and who is out? A risk-based conceptualization of insiders and outsiders, in JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN SOCIAL POLICY
, 23(3), 248-269.
Häusermann Silja, Schwander Hanna (2012), Varieties of Dualization? Labor market segmentation and insider-outsider divides across regimes, in Emmenegger Patrick (ed.), 27-51.
Häusermann Silja, Schwander Hanna (2011), Who are the outsiders and what do they want? Explaining welfare preferences in dualized societies, in Les Cahiers europeens de Sciences Po
, 1, 1.
Kurer Thomas, The potential for cross-class coalitions: Assessing socio-economic status, labor market risk and welfare state support
Inequality is on the rise in almost all Western European countries for the first time in more than five decades (OECD 2009). To scholars of comparative political economy, this does not come as a surprise, since both the flexibilization of labor markets as well as welfare state retrenchment have been major trends in the policy development of these countries since the 1980s. These reforms, in combination with de-industrialization and sluggish economic growth have led to an increasing division of the working class into labor market insiders and outsiders (Rueda 2005, 2006). Labor market insiders hold standard, protected and stable jobs, while outsiders are marginally or atypically employed, and more likely to be unemployed. This divide of the working class in people with “good jobs” and people with “bad jobs” is referred to as dualization (Berger and Piore 1980, Palier and Thelen 2010), and it is a major source of growing inequality. The determinants, structure and outcomes of dualization are increasingly well researched. However, we know almost nothing about the extent of dualization across countries, and about the politics of dualization. This is where this project finds its motivation and starting point. We want to investigate how deep the divide between insiders and outsiders has become in different European countries, and whether this divide impacts on the democratic process. Thereby, we focus on electoral politics: do we see differences in the levels of participation and party choices of insiders and outsiders? What are the policy preferences of these groups? Under what conditions do social democratic parties fail to bridge the gap between the heterogeneous preferences of different working class segments? Are outsiders mobilized by radical right-wing or left-wing parties? We contend that the electoral implications of dualization depend on the configuration of party competition. The presence or absence of a radical right- or left-wing rival to moderate left parties explains whether outsiders are mobilized and represented, or ignored. In order to answer our questions and test this hypothesis, we will proceed in two steps. On the basis of micro-level data, we will first develop a measure of dualization, based on the proportion of outsiders and their relative economic deprivation for all west European countries. Second, we will analyze the electoral dynamics of dualization. We will start by analyzing voting behavior and party constituencies in 12 European democracies based on survey data, before investigating more closely the match between constituency preferences and party positions in six countries, on the basis of survey data and coded party positions in electoral campaigns. The project will provide the first comparative empirical analysis of how labor market dualization affects representation in Western democracies.