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Abstract

The research programme was concerned to make a comparative assessment of the processes that link labour market precarity and social exclusion. It examined both the factors that contribute to an insecure labour market position and the impact of labour market insecurity on income deprivation, social networks and social values. It focused on eight countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy and Sweden. The countries were selected to provide major contrasts with respect to labour market institutions and welfare provisions. One of the principle objectives of the programme was to try to assess whether such institutional differences are a significant factor mediating the relationship between labour market precarity and social exclusion.
The research examined a number of factors that could affect the severity of the effects of unemployment on people�s lives. It explored the implications of the characteristics of the welfare institutions for the unemployed. It looked at the wider societal pattern of family life and sociability, which, although possibly influenced by the nature of the welfare institutions, also related to much longer-standing cultural traditions. Finally it considered the impact of the specific economic conditions that societies confronted, as a result of their level of economic development and the rapidity of economic restructuring.

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