© 2016

EU Labor Market Policy

Ideas, Thought Communities, and Policy Change


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Alexander Schellinger
    Pages 1-15
  3. Alexander Schellinger
    Pages 16-29
  4. Alexander Schellinger
    Pages 30-52
  5. Alexander Schellinger
    Pages 53-81
  6. Alexander Schellinger
    Pages 82-107
  7. Alexander Schellinger
    Pages 108-141
  8. Alexander Schellinger
    Pages 142-156
  9. Alexander Schellinger
    Pages 157-172
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 173-212

About this book


The EU's 'social dimension' today is a product of the ideology of the 1990s. Its employment field is directed to increase the employability of workers and the adaptability of labor market regimes. The book argues that this social-liberal approach is best explained with a set of ideas strategically advanced by 'thought communities' in the policy process. It traces the success of this new approach in the debates among academic experts and policy-makers in the mid-1990s, the decisions leading to the adoption of the Treaty of Amsterdam, and the establishment of the approach in the policy field between 1997-2007. The author explores the processes through which ideas came to matter in the policy process. At every stage, the claim that ideas played a predominant role is strengthened by addressing the most viable alternative explanations such as institutional constraints set by Economic and Monetary Union and the preferences of political leaders.


economics employment European Union European Union (EU) labor labor market Policy political science politics public policy social care social policy social science welfare

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Friedrich-Ebert-StiftungGermany

About the authors

Alexander Schellinger studied at Columbia University, USA, and the London School of Economics, and obtained his PhD from the University of Bremen, Germany. He took up his first position at the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. He is currently a policy analyst on European economic and social policy at the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation in Berlin.

Bibliographic information

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