Three funded projects are currently associated with the Labouring Futures Research Framework:

Employment Activation and the Changing Economy-Society Relation (2015-2017)

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council) Discovery Project DP150101772  AUD$138,133.00

Description: Underemployment and joblessness have emerged as serious social problems in an age of global economic uncertainty. This project focuses on how, across advanced liberal societies, these problems are being redefined via transnational policy models and experiments seeking to ‘activate’ under- and unemployed populations. It posits that these experiments articulate a new dynamic between economy and society and it aims to provide a better understanding of this dynamic. The project does so by delivering: (1) a reconceptualization of under- and unemployment, (2) a new and relevant analysis of policy models, and (3) new empirical insight into the mobilization of activation policies.

Visit the online recruitment site for the project.


Social Science for the C21st + Academy of Finland Distinguished Professorship (FiDiPro) (2015-2019)

Funding body: Academy of Finland €1,600,000.00

Description:  This 5 year project led by Professor Lisa Adkins project considers shifts in the economy-society relation in post-Fordist capitalism. It is concerned in particular with the complex process of economization, that is, with the process of the folding of the economy into society. It takes as its focus employment activation, that is, measures that are designed to encourage the underemployed, the unemployed, the wageless and the jobless to become more active in their efforts to find work and/or improve their employability. It locates such activation measures as devices of economization. In taking this approach Social Science for the C21st breaks with existing ways of understanding activation. These have located activation as a set of techniques which contribute either towards the formatting of the preferred risk-bearing, entrepreneurial subject of neo-liberalism or the provision of a cheap or free source of labour which buttresses the operations of deregulated and highly flexible labour markets. Read more


Rethinking youth employment: Work, policy and the changing welfare state in the Nordic countries (2016-2017)

Funding body: Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences €47,000.00

 Description: Rethinking Youth Employment – Work, Policy and the Changing Welfare State in the Nordic Countries is a funded series of exploratory workshop tackling the question of youth unemployment in the Nordic countries. We know surprisingly little about how the on-going shift from welfare state to workfare state and the changing labour markets affect young people’s lives and how young people themselves experience unemployment and activating labour market policies. The workshops address this gap in research. Particularly comparative research addressing youth in the Nordic countries is lacking, hence research network activities are needed. Three workshops are being organised across 2016 and 2017 through the Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Finland. The first workshop focuses on the comparative welfare state changes in the Nordic countries, activation policies and their everyday effects, as well as preparing Horizon 2020 application. The second workshop focuses on research on young people’s unemployment from an intersectional perspective considering gender, migration, ethnic and ability perspectives. The third workshop focuses on establishing a Nordic Network on Youth, Employment and Society (YES) and on working on publications emerging from the workshops.