Policy Press

Unwrapping the European social model

Edited by Amparo Serrano Pascual and Maria Jepsen


Jul 12, 2006

Page count

272 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Unwrapping the European social model

The notion of the European Social Model (ESM) has been one of the fastest growing in European political and academic discourse in recent years. It is conventionally used to describe the European experience of simultaneously promoting sustainable economic growth and social cohesion. However, the concept has suffered from a lack of clear definition. And where definitions have been found in the literature, they do not necessarily converge.

This book presents the outcome of a project coordinated by the European Trade Union Institute in which experts from different countries and social scientific disciplines (sociology, political science and economics) were invited to reflect on both the meaning and political status of the concept of the ESM. In addition to analysing the ambiguities and multiple meanings attributed to the concept, the authors unpick the underlying assumptions and make use of a new approach - the ESM as political project - with which European countries can build consensus and share a common understanding.

Offering a new analytical framework and with new empirical evidence, "Unwrapping the European Social Model" is essential reading for all those involved in European social policy research, education, policy and practice.

"Current concerns with achieving the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy together with the recent enlargement and widespread debate on the adoption of a new EU constitution have contributed to renewed interest in the sustainability of the European Social Model. This book offers an up-to-date, wide-ranging and detailed analysis of its impact on member states." Nick Adnett, Faculty of Business and Law, Staffordshire University

Amparo Serrano Pascual is Researcher and Lecturer at the Complutense University, Madrid and formerly Senior Researcher at the European Trade Union Institute.

Maria Jepsen is Senior Researcher at the European Trade Union Institute and lecturer at the Free University of Brussels. 

Introduction ~ Amparo Serrano Pascual and Maria Jepsen; The concept of ESM and supranational legitimacy-building ~ Maria Jepsen and Amparo Serrano Pascual; Taking stock of social Europe: is there such a thing as a community social model? ~ Janine Goetschy; Employment and pay in Europe and the US: food for thought about flexibility and the European Social Model ~ Wiemer Salverda; Activation policies and the European Social Model ~ Joel F. Handler; Has the European Social Model a distinctive activation touch? ~ Jean-Claude Barbier; The European Social Model and gender equality ~ Lilja Mósesdóttir; The European Social Model and enlargement ~ Maarten Keune; Reforming the European Social Model and the politics of indicators: from the unemployment rate to the employment rate in the European Employment Strategy ~ Robert Salais; Assessing the European Social Model against the capability approach ~ Jean-Michel Bonvin; Social dialogue as a regulatory mode of the ESM: some empirical evidence from the new member states ~ Céline Lafoucriere and Roy Green.