New challenges for the welfare state: The emergence of youth unemployment regimes in Europe?


  • Results presented in this article were obtained from the project ‘Youth, Unemployment, and Exclusion in Europe: A Multidimensional Approach to Understanding the Conditions and Prospects for Social and Political Integration of Young Unemployed’ (YOUNEX).

Marco Giugni, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Geneva, Uni-Mail, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland



In this article we discuss the emergence of ‘youth unemployment regimes’ in Europe, that is, a set of coherent measures and policies aimed at providing state responses to the problem of unemployment and, more specifically, youth unemployment. We classify these measures and policies along two main dimensions: unemployment regulations and labour market regulations. Using original data, we show how seven European countries locate on these two dimensions as well as within the conceptual space resulting from the combination of the two dimensions. Our findings show cross-national variations that do not fit the traditional typologies of comparative welfare studies. At the same time, however, the findings allow for reflecting upon possible patterns of convergence across European countries. In particular, we show some important similarities in terms of flexible labour market regulations. In this regard, the recent years have witnessed a trend towards a flexibilisation of the labour market, regardless of the prevailing welfare regime.