Neither "Petty Bourgeois" Nor "Outsiders": Self-Employment Heterogeneity and Political Alignments

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 10:06
Location: Hörsaal 16 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Giedo JANSEN, University of Twente, Netherlands
This study aims to provide theoretical and empirical clarity on whether people in "new" and precarious self-employment support the same political parties as those in traditional forms. Theoretical clarity is needed as the voting literature predominantly perceives self-employment in terms of class-based theories or insider/outsider theories, i.e.: as a privileged grouping with shared interests as (potential) employers. Alternative perspectives, looking into the heterogeneity of self-employment, and focusing on self-employed "outsiders", have received far less attention. Empirically, quantitative data is needed: Previous voting studies have not been able to differentiate the self-employed, either due to the lack of relevant indicators or because of low-N problems. Focusing on the Netherlands, this study addresses these shortcomings by collecting and analyzing unique survey data among over 800 self-employed without employees, using the Solo Self-Employment Panel. The Netherlands are an important case as the recent rise in solo self-employment is among the strongest in Europe.