Neoliberal Corporatism

The national basis of economic regulation was weakened and the legitimacy of major components of the mode of regulation, like corporatism, undermined. Through our imprint ECPR Press and via the OUP Comparative Politics book series, we publish research by, and for the political science community. This illuminating book considers the roles of social partners in regulating work and welfare through corporatist arrangements in three countries – all of which have strong traditions for social partner involvement. Businesses that adopt a social justice agenda risk being perceived as incompetent – since they cannot live up to lofty goals that often require political collective action – and often face accusations of being cynical and hypocritical.

In the comparative study of Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria, Mikkel Mailand illustrates how the frequency of tripartite agreements has either been stable or has increased since the Great Recession of 2008, in spite of challenges from trade unions’ loss of power and political developments. He therefore demonstrates that social partners are still strong enough to be included in corporatist arrangements. Moreover, the book posits that economic crisis in a 30 year perspective appears a stronger explanatory factor for corporatist development than social partner strength, government strength and government ideology. The ensuing changes in the world economy have been described as being part of the “new international division of labour”. Essentially, technological changes offered the possibility production occurring around the globe without the constraints of time and space. Consequently regions and localities attempted to develop a relative autonomy from the central state in making themselves attractive as sites across which international economic transactions would flow.

AbstractThis paper summarises the institutional arrangements and prerequisites for a new social partnership, necessary for the successful completion of labour market reform in western Germany. It does this by drawing on key policies and proposals highlighted and explored in the papers of this special issue. The paper elaborates further on these issues by outlining the importance of the labour market and its institutions in the German social market economy before turning to the case for reform.

Therefore, the logic of these circumstances leads to the argument that decentralisation is a form of corporatism. This paper argues that Russia’s choice of economic organisation, which is based on the renewed role of the state, is a response to the existence of severe transaction costs, and subsequent mitigation of contractual incompleteness in the absence of a strong property rights system. Ill-defined property rights have historically hampered formation of business classes in Russia, reducing the necessity for appropriate market infrastructure. This working paper analyses the shift from corporatist to liberal economic policy regimes in Zimbabwe that led to the crisis of the late 1990s. It outlines the rationale for both regimes, the reasons for their introduction and major achievements and failures, and how they contributed to the subsequent adoption of the dysfunctional policies of the late 1990s.

It must avoid continuing to crowd out private sector activity, propping up unproductive ‘zombie companies’, and encouraging subsidy entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, this crisis – combined with the public’s declining faith in both governments and corporations – could be hijacked in a form of Disaster to reshape society in an unconstructive manner. By bringing together a number of both established and new voices from across the field, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of fascism, dictatorship and modern European politics.

Inspired by Harbour House, our HQ which provides a literal and metaphorical ‘home’ for the ECPR family, this series seeks to open doors to some of the most pressing issues and challenges in the discipline.