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Precarious Employment in Perspective

Old and New Challenges to Working Conditions in Sweden


Annette Thörnquist and Åsa-Karin Engstrand

In recent scholarship, the notion of precarious employment has become increasingly important when exploring challenges to working conditions in various contexts. Both scholars and stakeholders have highlighted the multifaceted character of this phenomenon in different countries, regions and labour markets.
This book explores the emergence of precariousness in Sweden, a country that has traditionally been held up as an example when it comes to the advantages of powerful pro-labour parties and employment security.
The essays provide historical and international perspectives on the issue, as well as multi-disciplinary approaches to explaining the problem. By examining the development of precarious employment in recent decades in different settings, ranging from industrial relations and employment relationships to consideration of regulation, policy and actual working conditions in different sectors, the authors, writing from different disciplinary perspectives, provide a rich and varied analysis of precarious employment. They suggest that the best tool for understanding the phenomenon is a power relations approach based on class, gender and ethnicity.
Contents: Annette Thörnquist/Åsa-Karin Engstrand: Introduction. Precarious Employment in Perspective – Christer Thörnqvist: The Most Powerful Industrial Relations in the World? Pros and Cons of the Swedish Collective Bargaining System in the Light of the Laval Conflict – Anders Kjellberg: Trade Unions and Collective Agreements in a Changing World – Annette Thörnquist: False Self-Employment. A Topical but Old Labour Market Problem – Catharina Calleman: Precarious Employment in Sweden? Care Work and Domestic Work in a Twilight Zone between Public Law and Private Law – Monica Andersson Bäck: Who Cares about the Carer? New Public Management in Sweden - the Case of Health Call Centres – Åsa-Karin Engstrand: Justifying Precarious Employment? The Struggle over Shop Opening Hours – Malin Junestav: Promoting Employment or Employability? The Move from Active Labour Market Policy to Workfare – Paulina de los Reyes: Structural Discrimination and Causalised Work. An Intersectional Approach to (un)Equal Conditions in Swedish Working Life – Ali Osman/Per Andersson: Precarious Accreditation? Inclusion of Immigrants in Precarious Labour Market Positions – Steve Jefferys: How Dark are the Clouds over Sweden? – Annette Thörnquist/Åsa-Karin Engstrand: To Conclude.