Reforming the Ideal(ised) Model(s) of Danish Labour Market Policies

Magnus Paulsen Hansen, Janine Leschke

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Globally, Denmark stands out in terms of achieving high employment rates, containing unemployment and providing a labour market model combining flexibility, security and activation with a strong role for the social partners. The Danish labour market institutions and policies are seen as the catalyst for the transformation from industrial economy to a globalised, post-industrial and knowledge-based economy in which socio-economic equality and workforce security go hand in hand with competitiveness and the adaptability of business. In the 2000s, this mutual relationship came to be known as the Danish flexicurity model. Meanwhile, as a policy blueprint, ‘flexicurity’ has never really influenced Danish politics, and the reforms implemented since the 2000s have deviated from the premises of the model. This paper critically assesses the Danish model and its institutional components. It tracks the emergence of the Danish collective bargaining model as well as the flexicurity model. It scrutinises the challenges and performance of the current Danish labour market institutions and policies in a comparative perspective and discusses the extent to which the Danish experiences can and should be imitated abroad.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublic Governance in Denmark : Meeting the Global Mega-challenges of the 21st Century?
EditorsAndreas Hagedorn Krogh, Annika Agger, Peter Triantafillou
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)9781800437135
ISBN (Electronic)9781800437128, 9781800437142
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Flexicurity
  • Activation
  • Social partners
  • Unemployment benefits
  • The Danish model
  • Active labour market policies

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