The currently emerging model of economic production is characterized by a process of constant change and instability. A new political culture and regulatory concept – a concept of self-regulation and greater market flexibility – has emerged. Political intervention has become problematic: the need for intervention in the labour market is more important than ever but there is increasing pressure to reduce the control of the welfare state.
In order to examine what kind of policies can produce a positive relationship between social justice and economic efficiency, this book emphasises the need for a holistic approach, which includes not only labour recognised by the market but also informal labour; not only structural factors which shape behaviour but also individual strategies to negotiate positions in society. The book argues that the concept of employment needs to be reinvented. The different contributions to the book develop this theoretical approach and analyse new ideological maxims, the emergence of multiple institutions with regulatory authority over employment and the role played by individual strategies and institutional factors in determining choices and behaviour.