The University of Edinburgh -

Working Papers on the Reconciliation of Work and Welfare in Europe

REC-WP 02 / 09

The Ins and Outs of Dualisation: A Literature Review

Johan Davidsson and Marek Naczyk

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Outsiders, the underclass, the working poor, the socially excluded, the dis-advantaged are all terms that point to what is deemed to be a key characteristic of post-industrial societies, i.e. increasing inequalities and the growth of a group of people who are at risk of finding themselves at a permanent disadvantage in the labour market and in other spheres of social activity. This article aims at providing a systematic overview of the empirical and theoretical literature on the growth of a population of outsiders in European societies and in America, a development that has been labelled dualisation. Throughout the paper, we will study three potential dimensions of exclusion. First, we look at individuals position in the labour market. Second, we study individuals status in terms of social protection and, finally, we examine which effect the first two dimensions may have on individuals political behaviour, attitudes and capacity to be represented by political organisations.


Dualisation; Segmentation; Inequality; Labour Market Reform; Welfare States; Political representation.