This chapter presents an overview of some of the key obstacles to the realization of a ‘Social Europe’ policy agenda that has long been the declared goal of European social democrats within the institutions of the European Union. It argues that there are a number of institutional, political and social obstacles which impede the ‘Social Europe’ agenda and which have been identified, but that only a critical realist approach has thus far been able to adequately integrate these obstacles into a convincing explanation for the absence of substantive ‘Social Europe’ policy output. The chapter highlights the impact of these obstacles through a discussion of the development of EU social policy during the course of the post-2008 global and European economic crises.
Christian Ahlborn and David Bailey
David Bailey and Roger Sugden
David Peetz and Janis Bailey
Gill Bentley, David Bailey and Daniel Braithwaite
The chapter explores the notion of sectoral resilience in context of the discussion about the resilience of regions. The case study of the automotive industry sector shows that the UK auto industry has the capacity to recover after economic shocks and firms undertake a range of avoidance and adaptive actions in remaking and remodelling themselves in order to survive. It notes, however, that sectoral resilience is a contestable concept; being seen as the outcome of the actions of individual firms in the sector is not sectoral resilience per se. It suggests that sectoral resilience needs to be conceptualized rather in terms of the complexities in the interactions in the development of multi-scalar patterns of relational geographies of production in industrial sectors and that it is this that shapes regional resilience. It requires a policy response to match this complexity: a holistic approach to regional and industrial policy.