Comparing Employment Policies in a Globalising World: New Challenges and New Methods

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 8:45 AM
Room: Booth 51
Oral Presentation
Olivier GIRAUD , Lise CNAM CNRS, Paris, France
Frédéric REY , CNRS-CNAM, France
Globalisation is an overwhelming phenomenon that transforms individual identities and social affiliations as well as it destabilizes the three basic policy-making functions traditionally associated with the nation and the nation-state: public problem formulation, public problem resolution and the definition of citizenship both as a form of social inclusion and political participation as well as a key symbolic resource (Giraud, 2005). As such, globalisation undermines the validity of the basic assumptions of the comparative method as we have known it so far.

In the paper, we will elaborate on three complementary methodological solutions to address the formulated dilemmas, and will test and discuss them in the case of self-entrepreneurship as an unemployment policy in two countries: France and Brazil. In the first place, we will consider the comparative method in terms of most different cases (for example: Gerring, 2007, Tarrow, 2010). By confronting the basic characteristics of the object to be compared in very contrasted national settings, this methodology sheds new light on the functions of the object of comparison as well as it reveals its boundaries and its significance. Second, we will focus on the scalar dimension of the policy under scrutiny, i.e. on the logics of power relations at the various relevant policy levels and on the vertical bounds linking those various policy scales (Scarpa 2009, Andersson, Ostrom 2008, Mahon, 2006). Finally, the focus on the transnational character of comparison shows a third dimension of the objects to be compared (Walby 2005, Dobbin, Simmons, Garrett, 2007, Hassenteufel 2005, Kettunen, Petersen, 2011, Gilardi, 2010, 2011). It demonstrates the exchanges and mutual influences between cases as well as the way specific cases integrate supranational or global recommendations, such as the ones formulated by the OECD or the ILO in the case of self-entrepreneurship as an unemployment policy.