Conferences and Seminars
The kick-off symposium of PrecaNord will take place at the University of Helsinki on August 24th-25th, 2023
Critical Perspectives on Precarious and Informal Work symposium (Preliminary conference programme)

Thursday 24th August, 2023 

Place: Forestry building (Metsätalo) University of Helsinki (Metsätalo building)

First plenary session (hall 1)

10.00 Welcome

10.15-11.30 Keynote lecture by Prof Karl Ove Moene (University of Oslo, Norway): Wages, social policies, and globalization -- for the 21st century

Commentary by Prof Markus Jäntti (Stockholm University, Sweden)

11.30-13.00 Workshop session I

13.00-14.00 Lunch at Unicafé


Second plenary session (hall 1)

14.15-15.30 Keynote lecture by Prof Nancy Folbre (University of Massachusetts Armherst, USA): Precarity and the Care Economy

Commentary by Prof. Lena Näre (University of Helsinki, Finland)

15.30-17.00 Workshop session II

Reception TBC

Conference dinner (place TBC)


Friday 25th, August, 2023

9.15-10.45 Workshop session III

Third plenary session (hall 1)

10.45-12.00 Key note lecture by Prof Janine Leschke Copenhagen Business School, Denmark):  Labour market flexibility and the role for social protection

Commentator TBA


12.00-13.00 Lunch at Unicafé

13.00-15.30 Workshop session IV

15.30-16.00 Coffee and closing of the symposium

Useful links for visitors

University's Guide to visitors

Budget accommodation options in Helsinki:

  • Omenahotels
  • Hostel Diana Park
  • The Yard Hostel


Call for abstracts

Call for abstracts is now closed!

We are excited to invite you to submit individual paper proposals to the kick-off symposium of the project Tackling Precarious and Informal Work in the Nordic Countries (Future Challenges in the Nordics programme)  

Critical Perspectives on Precarious and Informal Work

The two-day symposium brings together scholars across different disciplines studying precarious and informal work in the Nordics and beyond. The world of work is being transformed by globalisation, deregulation, digitalisation, robotization, and demographic changes due to population ageing and migration. In addition, frequent shocks such as financial crises, the pandemic, and the current energy crisis impact workers across the Nordics and beyond. The erosion of secure employment is a phenomenon that transcends nation-state borders. We are also witnessing the increase of precarious work especially in, but not limited to, sectors like cleaning, construction, and agriculture and in new modes of organising work such as the platform economy. 

Especially the Nordic social model, characterized by high employment and taxes, low wage and income equality, and comprehensive welfare regimes, has relied on the prevalence of formal employment at reasonable pay. The symposium seeks to tackle the following questions, but not limited to these:  How do welfare states respond to these transformations? What are the effects of the erosion of secure employment on individual workers and communities? In which ways are different labour sectors, labour relations, and labour processes changing? How do intersecting inequalities based on gender, ‘race’, ethnicity, class, migrancy, and so forth structure the everyday of work?  In which novel ways do relations of production and social reproduction intermingle in the contemporary transformations of work? Do the concepts of precarious and informal work capture the changing world of work or should these be re-thought? 

We encourage paper proposals coming from a range of disciplines and welcome submissions from scholars representing various approaches, backgrounds, and scholarly career stages. 

Our keynote speakers include Professor Emeritus Nancy Folbre (University of Massachusetts Armherst, USA) presenting via Zoom, Professor Emeritus Karl Ove Moene (University of Oslo, Norway) and Professor Janine Leschke (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark). 

The symposium is on site and a 50 euro conference fee will cover lunch and refreshments during the conference. Please submit your 250-300 word abstract to by May 15th, 2023. 

For more information: PrecaNord website and PrecaNord at Future Nordics webpage