YOUNEX - Youth, Unemployment, and Exclusion in Europe

Project Description

This research aims to advance knowledge on the causes, processes, and perspectives for change related to the social and political exclusion of unemployed youth. It has three main objectives: (1) to generate a new body of data on young unemployed (in particular, young long-term unemployed), but also precarious youth; (2) to advance theory and extend knowledge on the social and political exclusion of young unemployed; and (3) to provide practical insights into the potential paths for the social and political integration of young unemployed. The overall design of the research has three main components: (1) a multidimensional theoretical framework that combines macro-level, meso-level, and micro-level explanatory factors while taking into account various dimensions of exclusion (social and political exclusion, individual well-being); (2) a cross-national comparative design that includes European countries with different institutional approaches to unemployment (France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland); (3) an integrated methodological approach based on multiple sources and methods (analysis of state and EU policies and practices towards unemployment, a survey of organizations active in the field, a survey of young long-term unemployed and precarious youth, in-depth interviews with young long-term unemployed, and focus groups with stakeholders). Three important features of the proposed research underscore its innovative impact: (1) its comparative approach allowing for bench-marking and best-practice analysis; (2) its multidimensional approach allowing to consider the mediating impact of (European, national, or local) public policy on the way people cope with their situation of unemployed; (3) its interactive research process spurring policy-learning by bringing together different expertise and knowledge, and allowing at the same time for the transfer of scientific findings into policy recommendations.

To know more: Executive Summary Report, Final Integrated Research Report

Project website:


Consortium Information

Project Coordinator: Université de Genève, Marco Giugni


  • Université de Genève, Marco Giugni
  • Universität Siegen, Christian Lahusen
  • Bocconi University, Simon Baglioni
  • Sciences Po, Manlio Cinalli
  • Karlstad University, Birgitta Eriksson
  • Polish Sociological Association, Slawomir Nowotny

Asssociated Partner:

  • Technical University of Lisbon, Maria Vitoria Mourao



Dataset 1:  Institutional Analysis

Information on state policies and practices towards unemployment. Macro-level data allowing to ascertain the impact of the institutional context on the integration of young unemployed. We gathered a systematic set of cross-national indicators using secondary sources such as policy documents concerning state measures to fight unemployment and social exclusion (e.g. governmental reports, legislation and jurisprudence). In addition, we made a number of semi-structured interviews with key informants (civil members of the public administration working in state agencies dealing with unemployment, practitioners active in non-profit and civil society organizations). We looked at both the national and the local level. The data collection and analysis were carried in each country based on common guidelines. The information thus gathered was first summarized in national reports and then assembled in an integrated dataset allowing for cross-national comparative analyses.

Spatial Coverage: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland

Time Method: Cross-sectional

Anlaysis Unit: Standardized scores based on content analysis of policy documents and practices

Universe: Not applicable

Mode of Data Collection: Compilation / Synthesis

Sampling Description: Not applicable

Data Collection Instruments: Indicators of Political Opportunities

Further Documentation: Integrated Report on Institutional Analysis

How to get the Data?  To access the dataset, click here

How to Cite?  YOUNEX - Youth, Unemployment, and Exclusion in Europe: Institutional Analysis [Dataset]. Distributed by FORS, Lausanne, 2020.


Dataset 2: Organizational Survey

Information on activities and networks of organizations. Meso-level data allowing to ascertain the impact of organizational networks and social capital on integration. The organizational survey was done in two stages. In a first stage, we mapped all the organizations of unemployed as well as all the welfare organizations of the civil society dealing with unemployment and youth in the selected cities. This mapping enabled us to obtain a broad picture of the organizational structure of the unemployment field and, hence, of its social capital. The second stage involved a face-to-face survey with a sample of the organizations.

Spatial coverage: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland

Time Method: Cross-section

Analysis Unit: Organizations

Universe: Civil society organizations in each country

Mode of Data Collection: Face-to-face interviews

Sampling Description: A two-step approach was adopted in the general design of the study of local organizations. First, we made an inventory of all associations active in the field of unemployment, youth unemployment and related welfare sectors. Second, we carried out face-to-face interviews based on a common questionnaire with those associations that accepted to be interviewed (some resulted having ceased their activities although they were included in the original mapping, few others refused the interview).

Data Collection Instruments: Organizational Questionnaire

Further Documentation:  Integrated Report on Organizational Analysis

How to get the Data? To access the dataset, click here

How to Cite?  YOUNEX - Youth, Unemployment, and Exclusion in Europe: Organizational Survey [Dataset]. Distributed by FORS, Lausanne, 2020.


Dataset 3: Individual Survey

Information on various degrees of integration as well as individual characteristics of unemployed.  Micro-level data allowing to ascertain the impact of individual characteristics of young unemployed (ethnicity, gender, age, participation in organizations, etc.) on integration. We conducted a survey on a representative sample of young unemployed in each city. In order to allow for the inclusion both of respondents who have entered the labor market early in their life-cycle and respondents who have done higher studies (university), we defined a young unemployed as being between 18 and 34 years. In addition, we stratified the samples so as to cover two social categories of interest: long-term unemployed youth and precarious youth. This allowed us to compare two categories of youth at risk of social and political exclusion. Young long-term unemployed are defined as having been without a paid job for at least one year. Precarious youth are defined as going back and forth from having a paid job.

Spatial coverage: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland

Time Method: Cross-section

Analysis Unit: Individuals

Universe:Long-term unemployed, precarious, and regularly employed youth (18-34)

Mode of Data Collection: Telephone interviews

Sampling Description: Random sample of long-term unemployed, precarious, and regularly employed youth (18-34). See the survey specification files for a more detailed description.

Data Collection Instruments:  Questionnaire

Further DocumentationSurvey specification files: All countries, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland. Final Integrated Report on Individual Survey

How to Get the Data? To access the dataset, click here

How to Cite?  YOUNEX - Youth, Unemployment, and Exclusion in Europe: Individual Survey [Dataset]. Distributed by FORS, Lausanne, 2020.


Selected Publications

Baglioni, Simone; Giugni, Marco (eds.). 2014. Civil Society, Unemployment, and Precarity in Europe: Between Service and Policy. Houndmills: Palgrave.
Cinalli, Manlio; Giugni, Marco; Graziano, Paolo Roberto (eds.). 2013. "Mini-Symposium." International Journal of Social Welfare 22 (3).
Giugni, Marco; Lorenzini, Jasmine. 2017. Jobless Citizens: Political Engagement of Unemployed Youth. Houndmills: Palgrave.
Giugni, Marco, Jasmine Lorenzini, Manlio Cinalli, Christian Lahusen, and Simone Baglioni. Forthcoming. Young People and Long-Term Unemployment: Personal, Social, and Political Effects. London: Routledge.
Lahusen, Christian; Giugni, Marco (eds.). 2016. Experiencing Long-Term Unemployment in Europe: Youth on the EdgeHoundmills: Palgrave.