Quality work and the moral economy of European employment policy

Sharon Bolton, Knut Laaser , Darren McGuire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Following a decade of radical economic and workplace restructuring, it is important to understand how state employment policies support or deny human flourishing. This article utilizes a realist document analysis approach and reviews European employment policy through a moral economy lens. It fuses different moral economy approaches, drawing together the work of Karl Polanyi and Andrew Sayer a multi-layered conceptual lens is offered that explores the tensions between a commodification of labour and human needs. A dominant market ideology is revealed, highlighting how quality work has been subsumed by the flexicurity agenda in the EU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-599
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number3
Early online date27 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2016


  • flexicurity
  • quality work
  • moral economy
  • European employment policy
  • dignity
  • employment

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