Antinomies of flexibilization and atypical employment in Mediterranean Europe: Greek, Italian and Spanish regions during the crisis

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Series Details Vol.23, No.4, October 2016, p716–733
Publication Date October 2016
ISSN 0969-7764
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Until recently, Mediterranean countries were called on by European Union officials to provide for a 'less-rigid' regulatory framework, in order to enhance 'flexicurity'. This paper critically examines post-2008 flexibilization trends by focusing on Spanish, Italian and Greek regions. Starting from a contextualization of atypical employment and security, it then moves in a twofold direction; firstly, it presents the Flexible Contractual Arrangements and Active Labour Market Policies composite indicators, calculated for the NUTS-II regions of 12 member states for 2008 and 2011.

These indicators reveal the changing ranking, especially of the Greek regions, towards higher labour market flexibility and relatively low levels of employability security; secondly, it focuses on the changing forms of atypical labour in the six regions that host the capital and the most important port city of Greece, Italy and Spain, respectively, by offering data on the expansion of flexible arrangements therein. The uneven flexibilization trends found in the study regions are seen as an outcome of the interaction between the general devaluation trends, different backgrounds and regionally specific patterns of labour market adjustment, while employment is found to be neither “rigid” nor 'flexicure'. The paper concludes with some remarks on the relation between post-2008 dismantling of local labour regimes, restructuring and flexicurity.

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