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The state and class discipline: European labour market policy after the financial crisis

The state and class discipline: European labour market policy after the financial crisis

Umney, Charles, Greer, Ian, Onaran, Özlem ORCID: 0000-0002-6345-9922 and Symon, Graham (2015) The state and class discipline: European labour market policy after the financial crisis. [Working Paper]

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Abstract

This paper looks at two related labour market policies that have persisted and even proliferated across Europe both before and after the financial crisis: wage restraint, and punitive workfare programmes. It asks why these policies, despite their weak empirical records, have been so durable. Moving beyond comparative-institutionalist explanations which emphasise institutional stickiness, it draws on Marxist and Kaleckian ideas to argue that, under financialisation, the state has been pushed to adopt disciplinary and destabilising policies which target the working class, as a means of bolstering the ‘confidence’ of capitalists in the short term. Wage restraint and punitive active labour market policies are two examples of such measures. We argue that this process is not embedded in existing institutions, but actively disrupts or subverts them.

Item Type: Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: wage share; wage-led growth; minimum wage; living wage; public investment; pre-distribution; redistribution; collective bargaining;
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre (GPERC)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 15:08
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/14120

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