Laurens Deprez

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Laurens Deprez - Early Stage Researcher
Host Organisation: Université d'Évry-Val-d'Essonne
Project: Work rationalisation and intellectual work of engineers in high performance work organisations
Supervisor(s): Prof Stephen Bouquin

Laurens finished his master's degree in 19th and 20th century economic and political history of Europe in 2008 at the university of Leuven.

His MA dissertation set out to research under what economic circumstances the socio-economic and labor
market policies of the post 1945 Belgian and later Flemish socialist party became more “left”, more “radical” in response to economic and labor crises. Before this could be done however, there was a need to synthesize the Belgian economic history of that period while developing an understanding of the Belgian economic structure. He quickly found this more interesting than any of his history courses up until that point: researching and combining numbers and statistics regarding unemployment, vacancies, job security and precarity, economic growth and investment, strikes, poverty, and last but not least, the shift from an industrial based economy to a more service orientated economy. To properly understand all this he started reading some works both on laborsociology as well as economics and so it was during this stage that his sociological interests grew.

Research interests
If his research interest could be summarised into one question it would be this: what will we as society do once we reach “overproduction” capacity of highly trained and educated workers, especially in this day and age of the Great Recession?

The combination of high educational levels in Europe, the emergence of thousands upon thousands of college graduates and engineers in the BRIC countries and the shifting of investments towards low wage countries may very well result in the same process of declining work conditions for the traditional white collar worker as happened to the traditional blue collar factory worker. This process was one of rising levels of precarious jobs, a downward pressure on wage levels, ever increasing pressures to be competitive and efficient or even mass closure of high tech factories.

These long term trends no doubt have been accelerated by the onset of the global economic crisis since 2008: what consequences does this have for the labor market, industrial relations in Europe, and the human cost both from an individual and collective point of view? Especially the shifts concerning government labor market policies as well as the impact on the lives and outlook of young people this long term labor market restructuring has are of special interest to him.

Find out what Laurens has been doing in our recent eNewsletter (No 8)


Kubisa, Julia., Mendonca, Pedro., Deprez, Laurens and Strauss-Raats, Pille., (2016) The quality of jobs: the role of job security and broader institutional context in European comparative case studies. Changing Employment ITN Research Paper Series 2016/04

Mendonca, Pedro., Deprez, Laurens., and Strauss-Raats, Pille.., (2015) The quality of jobs: the role of job security and broader institutional context in European comparative case studies. Conference Institutional Change and Experimentation: Shaping the Future of Work and Employment HEC Montréal, Canada, 21-23 May 2015

Deprez, Laurens., (2015) The sharing economy: hypercapitalism or sustainable alternative?. Changing Employment Blog

Deprez, Laurens., (2015) Agile software development and team autonomy in the IT sector. Conference Stream "WORK PRACTICES AND QUALITY OF WORK", Second International Interdisciplinary Conference on Research on Work ‘New Meanings of Work', hosted by University of Turku, 19-21 August 2015

Deprez, Laurens., (2015) Speaking about PhD - Work rationalisation and intellectual work of engineers in high performance work organisations. Changing Employment YouTube channel

Deprez, Laurens., (2014) Tools of rationalisation in the IT sector.. Social Boundaries of Work – International Conference in University of Wroclaw, Poland, 14-15 November 2014

Deprez, Laurens., (2014) Book review: The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. Changing Employment Blog

Deprez, Laurens., (2014) Work rationalisation and intellectual work of IT-workers. 14 èmes Journées Internationales de Sociologie du Travail, Lille, France, 17-19 June 2014

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