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Political parties and non-standard employment: an analysis of France, Germany, Italy and Spain

Date: 04/05/2017

Publication: Oxford Academic

Recent research has shown that new labour market divides resulting from the rise of non-standard employment (NSE) are reflected in the political preferences of the workers affected. Yet, our knowledge of the stance of political parties on the issue is extremely limited, even descriptively. Do they address NSE in the context of election campaigns—if so, which parties do? How do they frame non-standard work and what policies do they propose? The article tackles these questions by analysing party programmes in four large Continental and Southern Europe states where NSE is widespread and poorly integrated into the systems of social protection. We find that attention to and criticism of non-standard work follows a left–right distribution, but we also find differences within the left: left-libertarian parties address the issue more specifically, while more traditional left-wing parties often link it to other labour concerns.