CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The article takes a fresh look at the role of local regions in French employment policies, focusing on the activity of local labor market intermediaries. It explores the relationship between such intermediaries and local regions, analysing the contacts between two major stakeholder categories, municipal structures and local Pôle Emploi job centers. It draws on data from a qualitative survey of two areas to demonstrate that local regions are at the same time sites where macro, meso, and micro stakeholders apply employment policies, bases for economic, political, and administrative understandings of territoriality, and geographical spaces with their own economic and social dynamics that partly determine the relevant scale of intervention. The range of approaches raises the issue of the best coordinating bodies to oversee the multiplicity of ways of understanding the territory as a variable. Each area surveyed revealed a convergence of interventions by intermediaries, albeit on distinct geographical scales reflecting local specificities. The synchronization of interventions is at times thrown off kilter by employment policy reforms that stoke competition locally.


  • territories
  • labor market intermediaries
  • employment policy
  • reform
  • scale of intervention
  • regulation of public policies
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