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The Wage under Attack

Employment Policies in Europe

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Bernadette Clasquin and Bernard Friot

Challenging the widespread view of the continental model of social protection as a «corporatist-conservative» system, this book stresses the creative thrust of the two major institutions of the Bismarckian tradition: the social contribution that finances the socialised wage, and the qualification system that liberates workers from the labour market. These institutions have come under attack over the past two decades via European Employment Strategy policies aimed at imposing the Beveridgean model. And the European Union is using the current economic crisis to justify stepping up this reform process.
The conceptual framework proposed in this volume provides the basis for a critical examination of the interrelated developments in European integration and national policies on employment and social protection. As well as contributing to a sociology of monetary resources, it highlights the emancipatory potential of the continental tradition of the socialised wage, and demonstrates the negative implications of the European Union-led reforms.

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PART I. EMPLOYMENT, THE WAGE AND SOCIAL PROTECTION

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PART I EMPLOYMENT, THE WAGE AND SOCIAL PROTECTION 29 Reconsidering the Linkage between Employment and Social Protection The Resource Regime Framework Andreana KHRISTOVA Associate researcher, Laboratoire Lorrain de Sciences Sociales, Université de Lorraine, Nancy Nathalie MONCEL Researcher, Centre d’études et de recherches sur les qualifications (Céreq), Marseille Bernard FRIOT Emeritus Professor, University of Paris Ouest Nanterre; member of the Institut Européen du Salariat The past 20 years have seen an acceleration of employment and so- cial protection reforms in all the European countries. The changes introduced by these reforms have rightly raised a number of questions for researchers and citizens alike regarding their effective impact, their explicit and implicit goals, and their underlying logic. And these are indeed understandable questions, inasmuch as it can be considered that employment, and more generally, work, still constitute the dominant mode of social integration, and that social protection reveals the degree of integration in a network of social and political rights. Employment and social protection are societal constructions that are historically rooted in and determined at the national level. Various typologies and comparative studies have revealed the key role played by national traditions and specificities (Esping-Andersen, 1990; Hall, Soskice, 2001; Amable, 2005; Coriat, Petit, Schméder, 2006, amongst others). Today, however, domestic policies are influenced, framed or co-determined at European level; national actors and policy makers determine their positions with regard to those of their counterparts in the other Member States, which they may draw on, adapt to or diverge from....

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