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7 August 2018

New issue of Transfer on "work and employment grey zones" out now

transfer cover august 2018

The August 2018 edition of Transfer, the European Review of Labour and Research, has just been published with a focus on ‘work and employment grey zones: new ways to apprehend emerging labour market norms.’

The journal issue proposes a new approach to analysing work practices in global labour markets. In place of what they call outdated mid-20th Century ‘dualistic’ categories, two of the issue's authors, Marie-Christine Bureau and Patrick Dieuaide, argue in the introductory article that work and employment now increasingly represent ‘grey zones’ as the boundaries between wage labour and independent work have become blurred. This has resulted in growing legal ‘voids’, which affect the strategies of labour market actors and undermine national authorities and regulators. One result of this confusion has been that employers and workers alike have attempted to undermine or circumvent norms and regulations. Employment norms also increasingly fuel competition between the global North and the global South, in an ‘unequally globalizing economy’.

Other articles in the issue explore these ideas through a range of national and sectoral case studies. These include a study by Marie-Christine Bureau and Antonella Corsani of workplaces in France which are experimenting with non-hierarchical forms of decision-making and coordination; and an investigation into the proliferation of many different categories of work in Germany by Olivier Giraud and Arnaud Lechevalier.

The distinction between a de facto employer and a de jure employer is also explored through a study by Patrick Dieuaide of the human resources policies of Western transnational corporations operating in Central and Eastern Europe. Here, the unequal power relationship and estrangement from national industrial relations systems combines to see workers subordinated to their employers. In the final article, Cinara Rosenfield offers ‘self-entrepreneurship’ in Brazil as an example of how the informal sector has come to play a major role in public policy.         

You can download for free the article by the editors here. The table of contents is available here and the other free article by Marie-Christine Bureau and Antonella Corsani is available here.

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