The State in European Employment Regulation

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The aim of the paper is to examine the changing role of the state in employment regulation in an environment that has become more market-driven and Europeanised since the introduction of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and the European Employment Strategy (EES). The point of departure is a general discussion of the role of the state in capitalist development and a review on the recent debate on the spatiality of state regulation. It further suggests different ways in which the state shapes employment relations along the following dimensions: as employer, as legislator, as guarantor of employment rights and procedural regulator, in intermediating neo-corporatist processes, in macro-economic management, and as a welfare state. From this theoretical basis, the paper identifies changes in state strategies within employment regulation by comparing two periods of European integration: the post-war period and the ongoing period after the introduction of the EMU and the EES. In conclusion, the paper asserts that there has been a transition in the ways the state ‘intervenes’ in the economy and shapes the different dimensions of employment relations from a governing and legislating towards a steering and advising mode.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-272
JournalRevue Dintegration Europeenne
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Work


  • Employment
  • European Employment Strategy
  • European Monetary Union
  • State Theory
  • Socio-Economic Regulation
  • State


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