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Working in the Context of Austerity: Challenges and Struggles

Donna Baines and Ian Cunningham


Austerity was presented as the antidote to sluggish economies, but it has had far-reaching effects on jobs and employment conditions. This book goes beyond a sole focus on public sector work and uniquely covers the impact of austerity on work across the private, public and voluntary spheres. The book begins with an introduction to some of the major debates concerning austerity, neoliberalism, and work. Austerity is viewed as a set of interwoven policies aimed at reducing public debt and expenditure, increasing consumer taxes and purportedly stimulating economic wellbeing through corporate tax ... More

Keywords: austerity, public sector work, neoliberalism, private sector, voluntary sector, jobs, employment

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9781529208672
Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781529208672.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Donna Baines, editor
University of British Columbia

Ian Cunningham, editor
University of Strathclyde

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Part I Introduction

Part II Trends and Themes

Part III Case Studies of Austerity in the Private, Public and Nonprofit Sectors

Part IV Alternatives and Resistance

13 Legislation: A Double‑Edged Sword in Union Resistance to Zero-Hours Work – The Case of Ireland

Juliette MacMahon, Lorraine Ryan, Michelle O’Sullivan, Jonathan Lavelle, Caroline Murphy, Mike O’Brien, Tom Turner and Patrick Gunnigle

15 Austerity, Resistance and the Labour Movement

Helen Blakely and Steve Davies

End Matter