Axel van der Berg's main empirical research deals with the question whether and how different configurations of social protection and labour market policy undermine or strengthen economic efficiency. His theoretical interests range from the debates about the status of rational choice theory and its cultural-institutional alternatives within the social sciences, flawed attempts to integrate ‘agency’ and ‘structure’ in social science explanatory models, and fads and fashions in contemporary, especially self-declared ‘critical’ social theory.
Current position(s), Institution
Professor, Department of Sociology, McGill University
Research Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, for “Shifting Interactions Between Employment and Social Policies: New Welfare Regimes in OECD Countries and Canadian Provinces?,” with Paul Bernard (Université de Montréal), 2008-2011, $110,000.
Research Grant, Ministère du développement économique, de l’innovation et de l’exportation du Québec, Direction des collaborations internationales, for “L’évolution des régimes sociaux et d’emploi au Québec et au Canada dans une perspective comparative,” with Paul Bernard (Université de Montréal), 2009-2012, $126,500.
Both of these are closely linked to:
Member, Collaborative Project, European Union 7th Framework Program, “Analysing, Comparing and Evaluating the Various Societal Models in A Medium to Long-term Perspective” (GUSTO), 2009-2012.
Publications related to European/EU Studies
“Research in Transitional Labour Markets: Implications for the European Employment Strategy,” Ch. 3 (pp. 63-106) in Ralph Rogowski, ed., 2009. The European Social Model and Transitional Labour Markets: Law and Policy, Ashgate, Axel van den Berg and Erik de Gier.
“From Unemployment to Employment Insurance: Towards Transitional Labour Markets in Canada?”, Ch. 12 (pp. 307-341) in Ruud Muffels, ed., 2008. Flexibility and Work Security in Europe: Labour Markets in Transition, Edward Elgar, Axel van den Berg, Claus-Henning von Restorff, Daniel Parent and Anthony C. Masi.
Managing Social Risks through Transitional Labour Markets: towards an enriched European Employment Strategy, Erik de Gier and Axel van den Berg, Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis/Transaction Publishers, 2006.
“Responses to Down-Sizing under Different Adjustment Regimes: A Two-Country Comparison,” Chapter 9 (pp. 155-186) in Job Insecurity, Union Involvement and Union Activism, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005, Hans de Witte, ed., Axel van den Berg and Anthony C. Masi.
“Conflict Theories in Political Sociology,” Chapter 3 (pp. 72-95) in Thomas Janoski, Robert Alford, Alexander M. Hicks and Mildred A. Schwartz, eds. The Handbook of Political Sociology: States, Civil Societies and Globalization, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, Axel van den Berg and Thomas Janoski.
“Can Security Enhance Efficiency? Testing a Little-Noted Assumption of the Rehn-Meidner Model,”Chapter 6 (pp. 101-116) in Henry Milner and Eskil Wadensjö, eds., Gösta Rehn, the Swedish Model and Labour Market Policies, International and National Perspectives, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001.
Open to media contact
McGill University, Department of Sociology
McGill University, Department of Sociology, Stephen Leacock Building, 855 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2T7
The Immanent Utopia: From Marxism on the State to the State of Marxism. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1988. Republished, with a new introduction, by Transaction Publishers, Brunswick, NJ, 2003.
Labour market Regimes and Patterns of Flexibility: A Sweden-Canada Comparison, Lund: Arkiv. 1997. Axel van den Berg, Bengt Furåker and Leif Johansson.
The Social Sciences and Rationality: Promise, Limits and Problems, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2004. Axel van den Berg and Hudson Meadwell, eds.
“Out of Habit: Notes Toward a General Theory of Deliberate Action,” Amsterdams Sociologisch Tijdschrift, Vol. 25, No.3, October 1998: 429-463.
“Is Sociological Theory Too Grand for Social Mechanisms?” in Peter Hedström and Richard Swedberg, eds., Social Mechanisms: An Analytical Approach to Social Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, pp. 204-237.
Education and professional achievements
PhD, McGill University, 1985
1999-present, Member, Executive Council, Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics
2004-2005, Marie Curie Incoming International Fellow, SISWO/Social Policy Research and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS).
Undergraduate Courses: SOCI-304 Sociology of the Welfare State SOCI 312 Industrial Sociology SOCI 470 Topics in Economic Sociology
Graduate Seminar:• SOCI 652 Current Sociological Theory