Labour Markets in Transition - erosion of the German labour model?
|FRANZ STEINER VERLAG GMBH
As part of larger societal restructuring, the German labour market and labour relations are currently undergoing profound and complex changes which can potentially lead to the erosion of the German labour model. While fulltime employment with full social security and traditional corporative institutions are becoming less important, other more flexible forms of labour and regulation are gaining in importance. Following an empirical analysis of the flexibilization of labour as well as its causes and consequences, the article explores three theoretical approaches which help to explain the recent changes, namely (1) segmentation theory, (2) social-science conceptualizations of precarious work and life, and (3) comparative capitalism research, particularly the ``varieties of capitalism'' debate. After providing a brief introduction to these approaches we discuss how they can benefit from scale-sensitive perspectives and the challenges and opportunities for a geography of labour that takes up these approaches. A review of the remaining articles in this issue substantiates our claim that geography can make valuable contributions to better understanding the complexity of changes in labour markets and labour relations.
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