The Academic and Policy Roots of Flexicurity and Its Pathways

Sonja Bekker, Janine Leschke

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This chapter provides an account of the academic and policy roots of the concept of flexicurity. Flexicurity denotes a combination of different forms of labour market flexibility and security that transcends the simple trade-off between flexibility and security. The chapter outlines the foundational ideas behind the concept and how it has been translated into the EU policy sphere. It also discusses criticisms of the concept including its ambiguity and proneness to political capture, neglect of collective bargaining and lack of focus on more vulnerable groups. We show that while the economic and financial crisis and the subsequent emphasis on austerity measures limited options for the further advancement of the concept, it never fully disappeared from the EU agenda as visible in the content of the 2017 European Pillar of Social Rights.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Labour Market Policy in Advanced Democracies
EditorsDaniel Clegg, Niccolo Durazzi
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)9781800880870
ISBN (Electronic)9781800880887
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Atypical workers
  • Flexicurity
  • Flexibility
  • European pillar of social rights
  • Security
  • Transitional labour markets (TLM)

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