• Personal Development and the Flexible Contracts: Depoliticized Class Struggles between Highly Skilled Workers and Manual Workers in Cluj

    In the midst of diminishing levels of aggregate demand for jobs at European level and and ”transitional unemployment”, employability promises also in Central Europe the freedom to choose between successive positions and transform them in learning experiences within a career field. The firm becomes increasingly unreliable in providing a stable position or even the prospects of advancement, but may offer the necessary support to enhance one’s” employability. In this paper I aim to better understand the relation between the employee and the firm by putting in doubt the classless imaginary of the employability discourse. Focussing on the employability narrative among highly skilled, skilled and unskilled workers in a middle scale city in Romania, Cluj, a second tire city in the urban hierarchy of Central Europe, I will question the very assumption that the whole issue of the employee-employer relation is a one-to-one relation between a person and the firm, without political consequences for the other employees. In this paper I explore the way employability works in producing new class tensions between the various fractions of the workers, following the classification effects of the self-development, self-bettering and self-education narratives.

  • Welfare State, Social Stratification, Democracy and Emigration Intentions

    According to the ‘new economics’ of migration, social stratification and social protection are important for emigration decisions and behaviour, but there is scarce evidence how welfare programmes independently correlate with emigration. The first part of the project uses the recent UNDP/UNICEF Social Exclusion Survey for two former Soviet republics of Moldova and Ukraine and two former Yugoslav Republics of Macedonia and Serbia and employs multivariate regressions techniques. It finds that social stratification in terms of occupational social class and subjective perception of well-being has statistically significant association with emigration; having social insurance correlates with lower propensity to leave the country, whereas the quality of jobs has significant effect on emigration intentions. The varying results between Balkan and former Soviet states suggest that the effect of welfare provisions depends on the macro context of emigration decisions.

    The second part of the study tries to understand the modes of emigration from the South Caucasian countries and investigates new patterns emerging because of recent developments in the region. Since 2005, South Caucasian countries diverged in their socio-economic models of development, which are reflected in different covariates of emigration intentions in these societies. Using micro-level survey data from the Caucasus Barometer for 2009-2010, this paper looks at how various sets of variables associate with emigration intentions. We test a hypothesis that recent uneven economic and political developments are reflected in individuals’ intentions to leave these societies. Results indicate that, controlling for other covariates, political attitudes have significant associations with emigration intentions and the effect appears to be more important in Azerbaijan, while economic problems seem to be most relevant for emigration intentions from Georgia

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