Political parties and non-standard employment (2014)

DSPI Principal Investigator: George Picot

Project funded by: John Fell OUP Fund

Completed: 2014

Although non-standard work has become a major research topic for scholars of labour markets, social policy and political economy, our knowledge of how political parties address the issue is extremely limited even at a descriptive level. Do they, and if so, which parties do explicitly broach the issue? When they do, how do they frame it and what policies do they propose? By taking up these questions, this study linked two currently distinct fields of research: (1) the aforementioned scholarly literature on non-standard employment and, in particular, its political implications; (2) the political parties literature on issue competition and agenda-setting. Four states with a high share of non-standard work were analysed: Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. The main method was a thematically focused content analysis of party manifestos for general elections in the 2000s. While the results were valid by themselves for these four countries, the research aimed to develop a theory for explaining party positions on non-standard employment and to prepare the ground for a more extended data collection across developed countries.