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A.C.J.M. (Ton) Wilthagen


Tilburg Law School
ReflecT, Research Institute for Flexicurity, Labour Market Dynamics and Social Cohesion



My expertise relates to labour markets, labour market and employment policy, labour relatiions, labour law and social security: national, international as well as regional. I am specifically interested in the relationship between on the one hand labour market dynamism and flexibilization and social cohesion, protection and (new) securities on the other. Is a labour market that is both dynamic and inclusive possible at all? What are sustainable labour market policies? One of the key concepts that I developed from this perspective is "flexicurity". Besides research and education I am stronly engaged in knowledge valorisation and social innovation activities.

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Most recent publications

Click here for the extended list of publications



Follow me on Twitter: @wilthagen


Prof.Dr. Ton Wilthagen (1960) studied sociology with an emphasis on law and regulation at Tilburg and Amsterdam University. His 1993 dissertation at the University of Amsterdam (supervised by prof. André Hoekema) dealt with the regulation of the work environment by the Labour Inspectorate.



Current professional position

Professor Ton Wilthagen holds a chair in Institutional and legal aspects of the labour market at Tilburg University, Faculty of Law, the Netherlands. He is also the Director of the multidisciplinary and inter-faculty research Institute ReflecT, which is short for Research Institute for Flexicurity, Labour Market Dynamics and Social Cohesion at Tilburg University, and the Chair of the Department of Labour Law and Social Policy.

Membership of professional bodies

Wilthagen is, among other things, a member of the International Board of the British Journal for Industrial Relations. He is a member of several academic networks and bodies, including the European Flexicurity Network, the network on Reconciling Work and Welfare.

Membership of European expert groups

Wilthagen was first to academically develop the concept of flexicurity. He was a member and the rapporteur of the European Expert Group on Flexicurity, established by the European Commission. He was also a member of the EU working group on self-employment and micro businesses and of the Working Group on the Reconciliation of Labour Market Flexibilization and Social Cohesion, established by the Council of Europe and has acted as an expert to the European Parliament on the modernization of labour law. He has also served as an academic expert giving advice on flexicurity, labour market policy and labour law to many governments, social partner organisations and international bodies such as the International Labour Organisation. Wilthagen was a member of the Working Group on Social Innovation of the Socio-Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) and the Committee for the Future of young people in the labour market of the same Council. Currently Wilthagen is the Chair of the European Policy Centre Taskforce on Youth Unemployment.

During the years 2004-2007 Wilthagen headed a research programme on flexicurity, carried out by Tilburg University, Amsterdam University and Aalborg University (Denmark) and funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research N.W.O. From 2009 to 2012 Wilthagen coordinated large research programme on Employment Security (werkzekerheid), funded by the GAK Foudation (Instituut GAK).

Previously, Wilthagen was affiliated with OSA 0 the Institute for Labour Studies in Tilburg, the Hugo Sinzheimer Institute and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies, the latter two at Amsterdam University, the Netherlands. He has been a frequent visiting researcher at the Social Science Centre Berlin (WZB), where the transitional labour market approached was developed by prof. Guenther Schmid.

Wilthagen's research interest is in labour market and employment regulation, labour law, industrial relations and a variety of labour market issues. His main focus lies on the themes of flexicurity, transitional labour markets and life-course approaches on which has published extensively.


Most recent publications

Click here for the extended list of publications



I teach the course "An Interdisciplinar Approach to Law" within the Research Master in Law Tilburg-Leuven. I also supervise master thesises and give several guest lectures and courses, also outside Tilburg University.

A.C.J.M. (Ton) Wilthagen teaches the following subjects:

Other activities

Chair Taskforce Youth Unemployment European Policy Centre - Brussels

Member of the Taskforce Technology, Education and Labour Market Brainport Development - Eindhoven

Member of the of International Advisory Board Board of the British Journal of Industrial Relations

Member of the advisory board of BESO -  expert centre on inclusive employment

Member of the Board of STePS, the Dutch foundation on the promotion of ePortfolio's

Member of the Advisory Board of the Foundation My Future at Work

Guest professor at the KU Leuven, Belgium.

Contact details
Room M 610
PO Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg 
Phone+31 13 466 2473
Secretary+31 13 466 2181

Tilburg Law School
ReflecT, Research Institute for Flexicurity, Labour Market Dynamics and Social Cohesion

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Last amended: 09 May 2014

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