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Work, politics, nature, and health in the contemporary United States

Life in America has been transformed over the past thirty-five years. Using a historical materialist framework, the authors argue that what appear today as fragmented social, economic, environmental, and political problems are all manifestations of neoliberalism – a class-based political project to position capital more favourably in its struggle to preserve the conditions for accumulation. This project reaches deeply into the weave of biological, ecological, and social life. It involves both the increasing role of money and markets in the determination of life chances, and the systematic push of corporations into previously protected spheres of life.

Emphasizing Martha Nussbaum’s question “What does a life worthy of human dignity require?”, each chapter of this book (covering work, the environment, health, education, and politics) analyses a cornerstone of human development that had previously been, to varying degrees, protected from the logic of the capitalist market. This book examines how US business successfully increased control over, privatized, or commodified each of these areas, amounting to a neoliberal transformation of lived experience. Neoliberalism has far-reaching and troubling consequences for the potential of people in the US to live a full and flourishing life. The final chapter provides an evaluation of the claim that the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency represents a rupture in neoliberal politics.

Polish migrants in the Irish labour market
Torben Krings, Elaine Moriarty, James Wickham, Alicja Bobek, and Justyna Salamońska

3 From ‘boom to bust’: Polish migrants in the Irish labour market This chapter locates mass migration from Poland in the broader Irish labour market context at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It shows how an unprecedented economic boom in conjunction with an open labour market policy in 2004 triggered large-scale migration from Poland and elsewhere. We first outline how in the later boom years, Ireland had a goldrush labour market in which an apparently infinite demand for labour was met by an apparently infinite supply of labour. We then demonstrate

in New mobilities in Europe
Migrant aspirations and employer strategies
Torben Krings, Elaine Moriarty, James Wickham, Alicja Bobek, and Justyna Salamońska

QPS found employment relatively quickly. On the employer side, we examine how Ireland’s open labour market policy transformed the recruitment strategies of Irish firms: EU enlargement provided management with a readily accessible pool of qualified labour at their own doorstep at a time when labour and skill shortages were particularly acute. As the final section shows, recruitment focused above all on migrants’ presumed good attitude and positive work ethic. Since these were attributes which migrants themselves believed they possessed, Ireland’s goldrush labour

in New mobilities in Europe
Armando Barrientos and Martin Powell

democracy’. These are full employment for men and women, attention to new risks for the welfare state, an ‘intelligent’ welfare state, a revalorising of active labour market policies, subsidising low-skilled labour as a new redistribution target, preventing poverty traps, developing a competitive private service sector, finding non-dogmatic approaches to a fair distribution of

in The Third Way and beyond
Social policy in the strong society
Jenny Andersson

social policy and the public sector occupied a central place in the Labour movement’s economic discourse. As the Rehn-Meidner model was drawn up in the economic policy programmes of the SAP and the trade union federation, the LO, in the 1950s and 1960s, social policy was given a specific role, alongside active labour market policies, to target labour reserves and include ‘remaining groups’ outside the

in Between growth and security
Maria Karamessini and Damian Grimshaw

of course, since it must not constrain employer profitability in this perspective; similar to flexicurity packages of reforms post-crisis, states pare back protections while sustaining full respect for the imperative of business flexibility (Heyes, 2013). Moreover, it may also be complemented by deregulatory labour market policies that provide employers with ‘exit options’, by strengthening employer discretion to adjust other employment conditions (Jaehrling and Méhaut, 2013). We describe a third more positive policy frame as ‘participative distribution’, inspired

in Making work more equal
Active internationalism and ‘credible neutrality’
Christine Agius

Keynesian demand-management programme (Wigforss’ theoretical model) and an active labour market policy (the Rehn-Meidner model); welfare provisions based on social solidarity, egalitarianism and universal coverage; and the ‘solidaristic’ wage policy, introduced through collective bargaining that aimed to reduce wage differentials (Wilks, 1996 : 94). It must first be pointed out that the Swedish Model has

in The social construction of Swedish neutrality
Annamaria Simonazzi

generous subsidy for permanent hiring. Firstly, a broad-ranging enabling law (the so-called Jobs Act) involved the regulation governing dismissals, simplification of contracts and labour law procedures, reformed unemployment 272 Making work more equal benefits and active and passive labour market policies, and improved reconciliation between work and family life. The Jobs Act abolished workers’ reinstatement rights in case of dismissal (except for discriminatory reasons), replacing it with a monetary compensation (amounting to two months’ pay per year of work

in Making work more equal
Abstract only
Torben Krings, Elaine Moriarty, James Wickham, Alicja Bobek, and Justyna Salamońska

how Ireland’s open labour market policy in 2004 transformed the recruitment strategies of firms. Whereas pre-2004 employers were more likely to recruit migrants from outside of the EU, enlargement provided management with a readily accessible pool of qualified labour at their own doorstep. Chapter five addresses the workplace experiences of Polish migrants. We show how the migrant experience in less-skilled occupations has been one of informality and casual employment. However, such ‘bad jobs’ were not necessarily experienced as such, in particular when comparisons

in New mobilities in Europe
Louise Amoore

). There is an underlying assumption that welfare and active labour market policies must be limited in order that there may be no disincentives to take on ‘flexible’ work: ‘To ensure that most participants are poor and to maintain incentives for workers to move on to regular work when it becomes available, programs should pay no more than the average wage for unskilled labor’ (World Bank, 2001: 156). This example, drawn from the World Bank’s ‘principles of successful workfare programmes’, demonstrates the market-centred logic of the flexibility discourse. Taken to its

in Globalisation contested