Sylvie Contrepois


Reader, European Employment Relations

Member of the research laboratory CRESPPA-CSU (CNRS-Paris)


  • PhD Sociology (Evry University, France)
  • MA Sociology of work (Paris VII University, France)
  • BA Economy, labour law and sociology (Paris VII University, France)
  • Professional qualification in journalism (two years training), Centre de Perfectionnement des journalistes de Paris


Sylvie began her academic career in France in the mid 1990s, progressively shifting away from her professional activities in journalism and institutional communication to concentrate on scholarship.

From 1995 to 2006, she held a half-time lectureship at Evry University. She also delivered lectures and seminars at Paris X Universities and at the ISG International Business School of Paris. She taught theories and methods in sociology; sociology of work; social policies and labour law.

She was awarded her PhD on 'Today’s trade union practices and strategies', in 2001. It was published as a book, Syndicats, la nouvelle donne, in 2003. She then obtained a post-doctoral full time fellowship from the regional council of Paris in 2006 in order to conduct research in France on ‘Women and collective bargaining’ (January 2006 - June 2007).

Sylvie was first appointed at London Metropolitan University in 2002. She became a full-time member of staff of the Working Lives Research Institute in 2007 before joining the School of social sciences in 2014. Her research activity is based in France, at the CRESPPA-CSU CNRS research laboratory.

Research interests and expertise

Industrial relations and collective identities are Sylvie’s main areas of expertise. Working in these fields, she is especially interested in examining the notions of institutions, institutionalisation, democracy, representation, collective action and direct action. Her research is at the cross road of sociology of work, social history, labour law and employment policies. 

Project coordination

  • Industrial Relations in Multilingual environment at work (IR-MultiLing), European Union DG Employment and Social Affairs, 2014-2016.
  • Internships, work placements, volunteering: stages on the road to decent work or to insecurity? (INTERNSTAGE), European Union DG Employment and Social Affairs, 2013 – 2015.
  • How transferable is the French social model? French multinational companies and their influence on the evolution of industrial relations in Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland. French Ministry of Labour (DARES), 2005 – 2009.
  • European observatory of Teleworking (OSPRACT), European Union DG Research, Adapt, 1999 - 2001

Partnerships in European project

 The concept of representativeness at national and EU level, EUROFOUND, 2014 – 2015

  • Precarious work amongst students in Europe (PRECSTUDE), European Union DG Employment and Social Affairs, 2011 – 2013
  • Space, Place and the Historical and contemporary articulations of regional, national and European identities through work and community in areas undergoing economic REstructuring and regeneration (SPHERE), European Union DG Research, FP7 2008 – 2011
  • Social Dialogue and the Changing Role of Conciliation, Arbitration and Mediation Services in Europe (CAMS), DG Employment and Social affairs, 2008 – 2010
  • Women’s social reintegration after prison (MIP), European Union DG Research, FP5, 2004 – 2005
  • Representation and voice in Small and Medium-sized European enterprises: monitoring Actors, Labour organisations and Legal frameworks (SMALL), European Union DG Research, FP5, 2002 - 2005

PhD Supervision

  • Berbatovci Vlora, « The influence of employment skills support and inequalities at work in the incentives to migrate - the case study of Kosovo », Londonmet VC Scholarship. Current.
  • Courtnage Sylvia, « Trade unions responses to outsourcing and offshoring in the publishing sector », Professional Doctorate « Researching Work », London Metropolitan University. Current.
  • Rogalewski Adam, « British and Swiss trade unions inclusion of migrants from the new EU member states : comparing unison and Unia efforts to include polish migrant workers », Professional Doctorate « Researching Work », London MetropolitanUniversity. Current.
  • Sharples Luke Joseph, « From Guitar Makers to Surf Board Shapers: A Biographical Study of the Artisans in 21st Century Great Britain ». Londonmet VC Scholarship. Current.
  • Wilson David « Trade union renewal in the face of privatisation », », Professional Doctorate « Researching Work », London MetropolitanUniversity. Current.



Andolfatto Dominique, S. Contrepois (eds) (2016), Syndicats et dialogue social, les modèles occidentaux à l’épreuve, Peterlang, Forthcoming.

Kirk John, S. Contrepois and S. Jefferys (eds) (2011), Changing Work and Community Identities in European Regions: Perspectives on the Past and Present, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 272 pages.

Contrepois Sylvie, V. Delteil, P. Dieuaide and S. Jefferys (eds) (2010), Globalizing Employment Relations: Multinational Firms and Central and Eastern European Transitions, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 251 pages.

Contrepois, Sylvie (2003), Syndicats, la nouvelle donne. Enquête sociologique au cœur d’un bassin industriel, Paris : Syllepse.

Articles in peer reviewed academic journals

Contrepois Sylvie (2015), « Students workers, an invisible proletariat? Evidences from the French case », Forum Socjologiczne.

Contrepois Sylvie (2014), « La démocratie, une question de genre ? La participation des femmes à la négociation collective », Politiques de communication (PUG), n°2 Printemps 2014.

Contrepois Sylvie, N. Clark, S. Jefferys (2012), ‘Collective and individual alternative dispute resolution in France and the UK’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 23, No. 3, February 2012.

Contrepois Sylvie (2012), ‘Labour struggles against mass redundancies in France: understanding direct action’, Employee Relations, 33:6, pp. 642-653.

Contrepois Sylvie (2011), ‘Identités collectives, territoires et mémoires. De l’usage de la mémoire locale dans l’analyse des transformations du travail et des identités sociales’, Travail et mémoire, Conserveries mémorielles, N°11.

Contrepois Sylvie (2010), ‘Internationalisation des entreprises et représentation des salariés. Le cas des multinatinales françaises des services dans les pays de l’Est’, Travail et Emploi, n°123, juillet-septembre 2010, p 27-38.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys (2009), ‘European Works Councils in Central and Eastern Europe: the social transfers of French service sector multinationals’, Industrial Relations Journal 41:6, 584-602.

Rigby Mike, S. Contrepois et F. O Briens Smith (2009), « The Establishment of Enterprise Works Councils ; Process and Problems », European journal of Industrial Relations, 15:1, pp. 71-90.

Contrepois Sylvie (2006), « France : Un accès encore inégal et partiel aux différentes sphères de la représentation syndicale », Recherches féministes, vol. 19, n° 1, pp. 25-45.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys (2006), « French Governement pay Interventions and Income Policy 1945-1981 », Historical Studies in Industrial Relations, n° 21, spring 2006, pp. 1-33.

Contrepois Sylvie (2005), « Trade unionism: Roads to renewal », Labor History, Vol. 46, n° 3, 2005, pp. 362-368.

Contrepois Sylvie, Steve Jefferys (2005), « Trade unionism under challenge from offshoring and globalisation », with Steve jefferys, Transfer, vol 11, n°4, winter 2005, pp. 549 – 568.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys (2004), « Founding values or instrumentalism ? Comparing bank sector trade union activism in France and Britain », Industrielle Beziehungen, jg.11, Heft 1+2 / 2004, pp. 112-128.

Contrepois Sylvie (1997), « Temps partagé : une nouvelle forme de prolétarisation ? L’exemple des pigistes de la presse », La Pensée, n° 311, troisième trimestre 1997, pp. 95-108.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys et C. Thornley (1997), « Trade-unions, restructuring and individualisation in French and British banks », European journal of industrial relations, vol 3 n° 1, mars 1997, pp. 83-105.

Book chapters

Contrepois Sylvie (2016), “The assimilationist model under question” in Marino Stefania, Rinus Penninx, Judith Roosblad, eds (2016), Trade unions, immigration and immigrants in Europe in the 21th century : new approaches under changed conditions, Palgrave, Forthcoming.

Contrepois Sylvie (2016), “L’Européanisation d’un modèle très liberal”, in Andolfatto Dominique, S. Contrepois (eds), Syndicats et dialogue social, les modèles occidentaux à l’épreuve, Peterlang, Forthcoming.

Contrepois Sylvie (2014), “Mobilised but not unionised? Analysis of the relationships between youth and trade unionism in France”, in Kretsos Lefteris, Andy Hodder, Youth and trade unions in Europe, Palgrave Mc Millan.

Contrepois Sylvie (2013), “Direct Action in France: A New Phase in Labour-capital Conflict », in Gall Gregor, New Forms and Expressions of Conflict at Work, Palgrave, 2013.

Contrepois Sylvie (2012), “Transformations of the labour force of the Evry-Corbeil Region (France)” in Kazimiera Wodz and Monika Gnieciak, Restructuring class and gender. Six case studies, Nomos: University of Silesia in Katowice.

Contrepois Sylvie (2011), ‘France : Trade union responses to neo-liberalism’, in (eds.) G. Gall, R. Hurd and A. Wilkinson, International Handbook on Labour Unions: responses to neo-liberalism, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Contrepois Sylvie (2011),  ‘Industrial decline, economic regeneration and identities in the Parisian basin, France’, in (eds.) Kirk et al, Changing Work and Community Identities in European Regions, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 57-90.

Contrepois Sylvie (2010), ‘Internationalizing Firms and Employee Representation: French Multinationals in Central and Eastern Europe’, in (eds.) Contrepois et al, Globalizing Employment Relations: Multinational Firms and Central and Eastern European Transitions, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 201-216.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys (2010), ‘Trade Unions facing uncertainty in Central and Eastern Europe’, in C. Thornley et al (eds.), Globalization and Precarious Forms of Production and Employment: Challenges for Workers and Unions, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 77-97.

Contrepois Sylvie (2008), « Transformations et recomposition du paysage syndical chez les libraires professionnels », in Frédérique Leblanc et Patricia Sorel (dir.), Histoire de la Librairie Française, Paris, Éditions du cercle de la librairie.

Contrepois Sylvie (2007), « Shifting patterns in french trade unionism » (translated by Ruxandra Pavelchievici), in Craig Phelan, Trade Union Revitalisation: Trends and Prospects in 30 Nations, Bern, Peter Lang, pp. 159 - 170.

Contrepois Sylvie, Mary-Portas France-Line (2005), « Current tendencies. Incarcerated women in Europe », in Marta Cruells et Noelia Igareda (dir.), Women, Integration and prison, Barcelone, Aurea Editores.

Contrepois Sylvie (2005), « Travailleurs handicapés : le cercle vicieux des dispositifs d’insertion » In Cours-Salies Pierre, Le bas de l’échelle, La construction sociale des situations subalternes, ERES.

Contrepois Sylvie (2004), « Du syndicalisme ouvrier au syndicalisme de salariés », In Bouffartigue Paul (dir), Classes et inégalités sociales en France, La dispute.

Contrepois Sylvie (2001), « Do workers still join trade unions out of utilitarianism or as an indicator of class? » in Steve Jefferys, Frederik Mispelblom, Christer Thornqvist, European working lives, Edward Elgar, pp. 171 - 183.

Contrepois Sylvie (1999), « Les sociétés de secours mutuels en Essonne de 1830 à 1855 », in Sophie Di Folco (coord), Visages d’une société, L’Essonne au milieu du XIXe siècle, CRHRE, Malesherbes, pp. 121-137.

Contrepois Sylvie (1999), « Division du travail et syndicalisme », in Claude Durand (dir.), La nouvelle division du travail, Paris, Éd. de l’Atelier, pp. 123-140.

Papers in international conferences

Contrepois Sylvie, « Quels registres d’action pour les étudiants qui travaillent ? », 14e Journées internationales de sociologie du travail «  Les marges du travail et de l’emploi, formes, enjeux, processus », Lille, 17 au 19 Juin 2014.

Contrepois Sylvie, « Regeneration and class identities. A case study in the Corbeil-Essonnes – Evry region (France)”, International conference “The Deindustrialisation and Its Aftermath: class, culture and Resistance”, Concordia University, May 1-4, 2014 - Montréal, Québec.

Contrepois Sylvie, « Hybridisation of Industrial relation models and Democracy in companies. Some thoughts from research in eight French multinational companies, based in Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria », International Conference, “Central and Eastern Europe: Work, Employment and Societies between Transition and Change”, Université d'Evry-Val d'Essonne, 21-22 Novembre 2013.

Contrepois Sylvie, ‘French workers collective direct response to redundancy’, 9th European Congress of International Industrial Relations Association, Copenhagen, 28 June-1 July 2010.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys, ‘Between Market, Class and Society: trade union actors and employment regulation in Central and Eastern Europe’, European IIRA Congress, Copenhagen, 28 June- 1 July 2010.

Contrepois Sylvie, ‘Dans quelle mesure le modèle de relations sociales français est-il transférable ? Les multinationales françaises et leur influence sur l’évolution des relations professionnelles en Bulgarie, en Hongrie et en Pologne,’ Les entreprises françaises et les relations professionnelles dans les pays d’Europe centrale et orientale, DARES Conference, Paris. 29 Septembre. 2009

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys, 'Construction européenne et transformation des systèmes de relations professionnelles Quelques éclairages à partir du cas des multinationales françaises s’implantant dans les pays d’Europe centrale et orientale’, Journées internationales de sociologie du travail, Nancy. 25 – 26 juin 2009.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys, ‘Le pouvoir syndical à l’épreuve de l’internationalisation des relations professionnelles. Le cas des multinationales françaises et de leurs implantations dans les pays de l’Est’, Workshop 18 « Relations professionnelles ». Troisième Congrès de l’Association Française de Sociologie, Université Paris Diderot, site des grands moulins, 14 -17 avril 2009.

Contrepois Sylvie, Steve jefferys, « The difficult internationalisation of industrial relations: the case of French service sector multinationals investing in Central and Eastern Europe », Conference « Transnational collective bargaining within a European multi-level system of indusrial relations », Brussels, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 20/21 February 2009.

Contrepois Sylvie, ‘L’impact du modèle français sur les formes de représentation du personnel dans les filiales d’Europe centrale et orientale’, Le rôle des multinationales françaises dans l’exportation du modèle social français dans les pays d’Europe centrale et orientales », Paris : Sciences Po, CEVIPOF, 27 novembre 2008.

Bouchareb Rachid, S. Contrepois, « Esquisse d’une analyse des formes de relations sociales dans le monde des PME. Les stratégies des salariés face à l’isolement et à la répression patronale », XIe journées internationales de sociologie du travail, Atelier 10 : Syndicalisme et mobilisation, Londres, 21-22 juin 2007.

Contrepois Sylvie, « La représentation sociale à l’épreuve de l’égalité : de nouveaux droits à conquérir ? », Congrès de l’AFS 2006, RTF 24 « Genre, Classe, race. Rapports sociaux et construction de l’altérité », Bordeaux, 5-9 septembre 2006.

Contrepois Sylvie, « De la pertinence du concept "d’institution subversive" pour penser le syndicalisme de salariés contemporain », Xe journées de sociologie du travail, Rouen, 24-25 novembre 2005.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys, « Politiques revendicatives et lutte de classe : Le cas du syndicalisme bancaire en France et en Grande-Bretagne », Colloque Renouveau syndical, Innovations pour un accroissement du pouvoir syndical à l'ère de la mondialisation, HEC Montréal, Montréal, Quebec,18-20 novembre 2004.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys, « Globalisation, Relocation and the Challenge to Bank Trade Unions in France and Britain », IIRA. 7th European Congress, Lisbonne, 7-11 september 2004.

Contrepois Sylvie, « La représentation des salariés dans les petites et moyennes entreprises : le cas de l’hôtellerie – restauration », XVIIe Congrès de l’AISLF, Comité de recherche 25, Tours, 5-9 juillet 2004.

Contrepois Sylvie, « Évolution du système de relations professionnelles : la place des syndicats en question. Quelques hypothèses à partir du cas du secteur bancaire », XIe Journées de sociologie du travail, Paris , 27-28 novembre 2003.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys, « The future of activism : continuities and renewal among trade union bank sector workplace activists in France and Britain », IIRA, 13th World Congress, Berlin, 8-12 Septembre 2003.

Contrepois Sylvie, « Decentralisation of negociations and the meaning of trade union action », 6th Europen International Industrial Relations Congress, Oslo, 25-29 juin 2001.

Contrepois Sylvie, « L’employabilité : les limites d’une notion. Le cas des travailleurs handicapés privés d’emploi », VIIIe journées de sociologie du travail, Aix-en-Provence, 21-23 juin 2001.

Contrepois Sylvie, Les syndicats face à la presse locale. Le cas de la Compagnie papetière d’Essonnes. Colloque syndical et scientifique, “ Syndicalisme et communication ”, Montreuil, 26-27 avril 2001.

Contrepois Sylvie, Compte rendu des travaux de l’atelier “ Salaires et Relations professionnelles ”, Colloque international “ Travail, Qualifications et Compétences : débats, perspectives et pratiques sociales ” organisé par l’Iseres, Rennes, 19 au 21 octobre 2000.

Contrepois Sylvie, Les pratiques syndicales à l’épreuve d’une nouvelle organisation temporelle du travail, VIIe journées de sociologie du travail, Bologne, 17 au 19 juin 1999.

Contrepois Sylvie, Les représentants du personnel : de nouveaux animateurs de l’action syndicale en France. IREC spring 1999 conference, Aix-en-Provence, 20-22 mai 1999.

Contrepois Sylvie, Action collective et représentation syndicale : quelle nouvelle articulation ?, Colloque Marx International II, Nanterre, 30 septembre-3 octobre 1998.

Carole Thornley, S. Contrepois, S. Jefferys, Individualism and collectivism among French and British bank workers, Conférence de l’institut supérieur d’études sur le travail de Louvain, “Does class still unite”, 8 et 9 janvier 1998.

Contrepois Sylvie, Syndicalisme et représentation de classe, VIe journées de sociologie du travail, Université libre de Bruxelles, 5 et 6 novembre 1997.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys, C. Thornley, Commitment in the face of insecurity ? Some evidence from the banking sector,12th annual employment research unit conference, Cardiff business school, 11 et 12 septembre 1997.

Research reports

Contrepois Sylvie, Steve jefferys, Peter Kerckhof (2016), The concept of representativeness at national level and at european level – Part 1 The concept of representativeness at national level, CAR Representativeness Report, Eurofound.

Contrepois Sylvie and al (2015), Internships, workplacements, volunteering: stages on the road to decent work or to insecurity?, INTERNSTAGE comparative report, London: School of social sciences, August 2015, 64 pages.

Contrepois Sylvie (2015), Internships in France, Literature review and case studies, INTERNSTAGE National report, London: School of social sciences, May 2015, 40 pages.

Contrepois Sylvie (2013), Student workers precariousness in France, survey data and fieldwork analysis, PRECSTUDE national report, London: WLRI, april 2013, 18 pages.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys, C.Ross (2011), ‘Narrative and Cultural identity: discourses of place and belonging’, London: WLRI, September 2011, 50 pages.

Contrepois Sylvie (2011), ‘Narrative and cultural identities in the Corbeil-Essonnes – Evry Region’, London: WLRI, March 2011, 6 pages.

Contrepois Sylvie (2011), ‘Communities and new collective identities’, London: WLRI, March 2011, 18 pages.

Contrepois Sylvie (2011), ‘Landscape and histories in the Corbeil-Essonnes – Evry Region’, London: WLRI, February 2011, 21 pages.

Contrepois Sylvie (2011), ‘Old and new formations of gender and class. A case study in Evry-Corbeil-Essonnes region’, London: WLRI, February 2011, pp. 27.

Contrepois Sylvie (2010), ‘Changes in Conciliation, Arbitration and Mediation Services used in the Resolution of Labour Disputes in France’, London: WLRI, February 2010, pp. 38.

Contrepois Sylvie (2009), “Corbeil-Essonnes-Evry region under changes. State of the art report », London:WLRI, june 2009, pp. 25.

Contrepois Sylvie, S. Jefferys,  A. Kwiatkiewicz, M. Szabo and Z. Vladimirov (2009), ‘Dans quelle mesure le modèle de relations sociales français est-il transférable? Les multinationales françaises et leur influence sur l'évolution des relations professionnelles en Bulgarie, en Hongrie et en Pologne’, DARES : Mars 2009, pp. 170.

Contrepois Sylvie, E. Lada,K. Nackphouminh (2009), ‘Mise en oeuvre de l’accord pour la mise en oeuvre et l’égalité professionnelle entre les hommes et les femmes à la SNCF. Le cas de la Région Bretagne’, Emergences, Février 2009, pp. 114.

Combessie Philippe, S. Contrepois, N. Duburg (2004), « National report, France », report for EU (5th PCRD, MIP project), December 2004.

Contrepois Sylvie (2004), L’égalité des chances dans les petites et moyennes entreprises en France, Report for EU (5th PCRD, SMALL project), September 2004.

Contrepois Sylvie (2002), EDF et le service public de l’électricité. Les institutions à l’épreuve de la parole des agents et des usagers. Rapport pour la fédération de l’énergie CGT. Août 2002.

Contrepois Sylvie (2000), « Les nouvelles donnes du plein emploi », in Henri Jacot (dir.), Nouveau siècle, enjeux majeurs, rapport sur la situation économique et sociale en 1999, Iseres-VO Editions, 2000, pp. 43-78

Contrepois Sylvie (1999), « Réduction du temps de travail et reconfiguration de la relation salariale », in Henri Jacot (dir.), À la croisée des chemins, Rapport sur la situation économique et sociale en 1998, Iseres, 1999, pp. 37-65.

Other dissemination approach

2012 Exhibition: 'Economic Restructuring and Regional Identities'. A 30-panel (160 x 80) exhibition exploring the evolution of regional, occupational and social class identities in six regions in Germany, Spain, France, the UK, Poland and Turkey that have undergone significant industrial restructuring. This exhibition was based on the work undertaken in the SPHERE research project, was supported by the Regional Council of the Essonne Department and was accompanied by a pedagogic book (70 pages) by Odile Nave. It was translated into English and Spanish. In France (Essonne): 2,500 visitors including 500 school students. In England it is on permanent display in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at London Metropolitan University.

2011 DVD: 'Des industries et des hommes' (FR) and 'Workers and industrial change' (ENGL). A 35- minute documentary in English and French versions analysing industrial restructuring and its effects on class identities in Germany, Spain, France, the UK, Poland and Turkey. This DVD was based on the work undertaken in the SPHERE research project and benefited from support by the Regional Council of the Essonne Department.

2010 Booklet 'Industrial change and urban landscapes. Visiting the Corbeil-Essonnes - Evry region'. A 20-page guide written as part of the SPHERE project, available in French and in English. It retraces the evolution of the urban landscape and the history of the major industries of the region. Five guided tours with about 150 participants were organised between 2010 and 2013 for different organisations - Agglomération d’Evry, Maison de Banlieue et d’Architecture d’Athis-Mons, Conseil général de l’Essonne.

Contact details


* School of social sciences

Tower building, Room BP1-26

Centre de Recherches Sociologiques et Politiques de Paris

Equipe Cultures et sociétés urbaines (CSU)

59 - 61 rue Pouchet
75849 Paris Cedex 17

(+33) 1 40 25 11 52

(+33) 6 84 52 74 42