Work and employment have changed radically in recent decades. New information technologies, economic globalization and the rise of neo-liberalism, the massive workforce participation of women, huge disparities between formal and informal labour markets, labour migration and increasing ethnic diversity, the aging of the labour force, and new values regarding work and career as well as the balance between work life and family life are just a few of the changes sweeping the world of work. As a result, there are numerous labour market configurations, where the best and the worst often operate within the same national space.

These new realities of work and employment are a challenge to most of the state social policies crafted at the zenith of the industrial era, in the mid-20th century. State policies were predicated on a national conception of the welfare state and collective bargaining as the primary instrument for determining working conditions. Paid employment, through the prism of Fordist work organization, provided access to this nexus. Economic efficiency and security could be reconciled through the participation of social actors in institutions with a universalistic vocation in terms of labour force coverage. Now, however, in addition to changes in employment, the role of social actors and the nation-state are weakened as regards their capacity to command renewed public policies for work. There results a fragmented and often episodic social protection that is broken up both during and after the working life (ex: employment insurance, social rights, retirement), unequal support for professional mobility (e.g. training), highly differentiated working conditions (e.g. unionized vs. non-unionized, variations between industries) and considerable difficulty ensuring compliance of fundamental rights at work (e.g. minimum labour standards, constitutionalized rights).

These are some of the questions that the Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT) sought to address at the international Conference on public policies for work and employment in the global era. This site hosts all of the presentations (over 110) delivered at the conference, that is over 50 hours of video content. Presentations are grouped by plenaries (in video) and workshops (some in video, most in audio). To access the content, click on the links below.

Conference program
Plenary sessions