Social Conditions

Capitalism and socialism: Marx’s bicentenary

Bob Hancké of the LSE explains how Marx was capitalism’s greatest admirer as well as its sharpest critic

Imagine for a moment that Karl Marx had been born in 1806 instead of 1818. The 200th anniversary of his birth would have given rise to triumphant retrospectives in much of the right-wing press of the collapse of the Soviet system in 1989 […]

Is this time different? The social effects of automation

Bob Hancké of the LSE applauds a rare empirical study of the effects of automation on inequality

An interesting blog post here, with a link to a paper by David Hope (Kings College London) and Angelo Martelli (LSE). They examine the inequality effects of the ‘knowledge economy’. There are two important reasons why this is a very relvant piece of […]

Europe needs a pay rise and young Europeans need jobs

Steve Coulter of the European Trade Union Institute cautions that improving growth figures in the European Union mask widening regional disparities in GDP per head and real wages, while many of the jobs that have been created are part time and/or precarious. Action to sustain the modest recovery and share out its spoils should go beyond sustaining demand – […]

Social Partnership in Europe in the face of the future

Steve Coulter of the LSE examines the state of workplace cooperation in Europe and finds some cracks, as well as some shards of light, in the edifice of social partnership

Social partnership – or institutionalised co-operation between business and labour, sometimes overseen by governments – has been a feature of most European economies since the Second World War. Many informed […]

The Politics of Universal Basic Income (UBI)

Tim Vlandas of Reading University examines potential political support for a Universal Basic Income (UBI) – an idea with a long lineage that cuts across ideological lines. He concludes that a UBI could potentially find backing from a coalition between centrist and left-leaning individuals, ideally with additional support from trade unions

Universal Basic Income (UBI) has a long history. The idea […]

Working the phones – undercover in a call centre

Jamie Woodcock of the LSE recalls  his experience of working undercover in a UK call centre, which provides a window into a workplace dictated by control and surveillance

For the purpose of  my new book, Working the Phones, I spent six months  undercover in a UK call centre . The focus of the research was to understand questions of control […]

Europe, Brexit, Skills and Immigration

Steve Coulter argues that failures in the UK’s training system, coupled with employers’ demand for low-wage labour from Europe, produced the toxic fissures in society that fueled the vote for Brexit. These fissures will not go away after the UK leaves the EU and will have to be addressed someday

The UK’s vote for ‘Brexit’ from the European Union last […]

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    The European Pillar of Social Rights: Bridging the gaps or falling short?

The European Pillar of Social Rights: Bridging the gaps or falling short?

Zane Rasnača of the the European Trade Union Institute, in the second of our blog posts on the Social Pillar, suggests a few ways in which the EPSR could move beyond soft law to become something more hard-hitting and effective

The events surrounding the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) are approaching a conclusion, with an agreement in the Council […]

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    The European Pillar of Social Rights in historical perspective

The European Pillar of Social Rights in historical perspective

Philippe Pochet of the European Trade Union Institute has some advice for the European Union as it mounts one of its periodic attempts to recast the Social Union. He urges the EU to rebalance social and economic concerns by mounting an ambitious social programme The ambition and the potential role of the European Pillar of Social Rights in the development […]

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    The results of Italy’s 2012 labour-market reforms – no solution to unemployment

The results of Italy’s 2012 labour-market reforms – no solution to unemployment

Gabriele Piazza and Martin Myant of the European Trade Union Institute criticise recent labour market reforms in Italy which aim to tackle unemployment by cutting protection for workers on permanent contracts. There is no evidence that this works, and Italy would be better off addressing structural problems in the Italian economy

In June 2012 Italy introduced a package of labour-market […]