Do workers on temporary contracts differ in their political preferences from workers on permanent contracts? In many European countries temporary work has been deregulated over the past decades and now around 14 % of the employees in the EU work on contracts with a limited duration. For affected workers, this implies the constant risk of job loss and recurrent spells of unemployment may be the consequence. At the same time political protests, the emergence of populist parties and other signs of disenchantment with mainstream politics have raised public concerns about the political integration of citizens with weak labour market attachments, particularly among the young. The project addresses these concerns by studying the political integration of temporary workers. Research across academic disciplines has documented detrimental effects of temporary employment on a range of socio-economic and psychological outcomes, but we still know strikingly little about its effects on political attitudes and behaviour.
The project will combine insights from psychology, political behaviour and labour market research in innovative ways to enhance our knowledge about the political effects of temporary work. The main research questions are: do temporary workers blame political parties for their perceived disadvantage and, if yes, how does that affect upon their party preferences and voting behaviour? Do such workers turn toward anti-system parties (such as the radical right) or to the populist left? Or do they tend to abstain from voting?