Social Concertation in Times of Austerity
Social Concertation in Times of Austerity
European Integration and the Politics of Labour Market Reforms in Austria and Switzerland
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15.6 x 23.4 cm
Table of Contents
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Social concertation in times of austerity - 2 Table of Contents - 6 List of Tables and Figures - 8 List of Abbreviations - 10 Acknowledgements - 14 1 The Strange Survival of Social Concertation in Times of Austerity - 16 2 Social Concertation as a Political Strategy - 26 3 European Integration, Domestic Politicsnd Social Concertation - 54 4 Methods and Cases - 76 5 The Context of Social Concertation in Switzerland and Austria - 92 6 Social Concertation and Cross-Border Labour Mobility - 112 7 Social Concertation and Unemployment Policy Reforms - 156 8 Synthesis and Comparative Outlook - 196 List of Interviews - 216 Notes - 218 References - 224 Index - 254

Reviews and Features

Afonso’s interesting comparison of labor mobility (an EU issue) and unemployment policy (a domestic issue) sheds light on why governments sometimes fall back on corporatist institutions, even in the current economic climate. And that reason is, in a word, political: because governments need the cover of such bargaining when they face electoral risks.
Prof. Pepper Culpepper, European University Institute, Florence

Not so long ago social concertation arrangements were considered an industrial relations phenomenon which was functionally linked either to the institutional endowment of particular countries or to the problem load they faced. Through an analysis of labor market reforms in Austria and Switzerland, Afonso’s book shows that social concertation is an eminently political phenomenon. In so doing this interesting book contributes to move comparative political economy research away from rationalistic accounts of optimal designs and to bring it closer to an historically-contingent and actor-centered reconstruction of institutional trajectories.
Prof. Lucio Baccaro, University of Geneva

Alexandre Afonso

Social Concertation in Times of Austerity

European Integration and the Politics of Labour Market Reforms in Austria and Switzerland

Why do governments still negotiate with trade unions and employers in the design of labour market and welfare reforms despite the steady decline of trade union membership almost everywhere in Europe? Social Concertation in Times of Austerity investigates the political underpinnings of social concertation in this new context with a focus on the regulation of labour mobility and unemployment protection in Austria and Switzerland. It shows that the involvement of organised interests in policymaking is a strategy of compromise-building used by governments when they are faced with party-political divisions, or when unpopular reforms are likely to have risky electoral consequences.

Alexandre Afonso

Alexandre Afonso is lecturer in the department of Political Economy at King's College London