Self-employment as atypical or autonomous work: diverging effects on political orientations

Giedo Jansen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


It is often held that the self-employed are an economically conservative, political right-wing class. Previous studies, however, have primarily dealt with self-employed workers as a relatively monolithic social class with shared interests as entrepreneurs and (potential) employers. But, with its recent rise, self-employment has developed into a heterogeneous employment type, with a growing number of dependent and precarious self-employed. In this article, the political preferences of people in selfemployment are compared to the preferences of employees on temporary contracts. In doing so, hypotheses are tested from both classic theories on class voting, as well as theories on job precariousness and labor market vulnerabilities. For this purpose, European Social Survey Round 4 (ESS-4) data on eight West European countries are analyzed. The findings suggest that particular segments of selfemployment share the characteristics of other forms of ‘atypical’ work, not only with respect to labor market insecurities, but also regarding the political orientations associated with such insecurities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages27
JournalSocio-economic review
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 15 Sep 2016


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