‘Financial’ Crises in Europe: Multilevel Analysis of Youth, Employment and the Economy of Wellbeing from 2007 to 2012

Veilahti, Antti V. P.. 2016. ‘Financial’ Crises in Europe: Multilevel Analysis of Youth, Employment and the Economy of Wellbeing from 2007 to 2012. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The economic crisis in Europe is often articulated as a direct consequence of Lehman Brothers’ collapse. Yet it was only in Europe that the real economic crisis was sustained in a peculiar, prolonged way. In this comparative study of the EU-27, I examine the different manifestations of the crisis with an emphasis on employment, marginalisation and inequality.


How to locate the crisis and the people the most affected by it; how can different policy responses (stimulation, social investment, active labour market policies) be viewed in connection with the crisis?


Using multilevel methods I analyse how individual experiences are linked to and explained by national differences. Multiple correspondence analysis is used to model subjective experiences.


First, there is no correlation between fiscal, financial and welfare-related aspects of the crisis. Therefore, the imbalances of the public economy do not straightforwardly justify the recent cuts to social protection.

Second, and coincidently, in countries where expenditure on social protection has been maintaned, economic difficulties have been less emphatic. Non-social stimulation bears no similar benefits.

Third, in the so-called post-Fordist, education-intensive economies the subjective effects of the crisis are systematically stronger. These effects are the most emphatic among the young, indicating vast sustained consequences into adulthood.

However, the attitudes of young adults are straying further. The unemployed young and those working in fixed-term contracts relate differently to insecurity, lacking shared, generation-wide experiences and representations of conflict.


Qualitative changes in the conditions of work make the crisis present everywhere in Europe, including Protestant countries where the effects of the banking crisis were limited. As a possible alternative explanation my thesis then frames the crisis as a crisis of ‘post-Fordist’ work, asking whether it is primarily ‘financial’ except as a rhetorical construct. I then discuss its broad implications to welfare and inter-generational equity.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):



Financial crisis, economic crisis, debt crisis, youth unemployment, flexicurisation, inequality, social policy, welfare, wellbeing, EU

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



31 August 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Sep 2016 15:56

Last Modified:

12 Sep 2022 11:11



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