Europeanization or Party Politics? Explaining Government Choice for Corporatist Concertation

Governance, 2012

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 Last revised: 17 Sep 2012

Date Written: November 23, 2011

Abstract

This paper assesses whether changes in government choice for policy concertation with trade unions and employers are better explained by international or domestic factors. We compare patterns of corporatist governance in a strongly Europeanized policy domain (labour migration policy) and in a weakly Europeanised policy domain (social policy) over the last 20 years in Austria and Switzerland. We show that there is no systematic difference in patterns of concertation between the two policy sectors, and that factors linked to party politics play a bigger role in the choice of governments for concertation. If the base of party support for policies is divided, governments are more prone to resort to corporatist concertation as a way to build compromises for potentially controversial or unpopular policies. By contrast, ideologically cohesive majority coalitions are less prone to resort to concertation because they do not need to build compromises outside their base of party support.

Keywords: Corporatism, Concertation, European Integration, Party politics, Austria, Switzerland

JEL Classification: D70, J58

Suggested Citation

Afonso, Alexandre and Papadopoulos, Ioannis, Europeanization or Party Politics? Explaining Government Choice for Corporatist Concertation (November 23, 2011). Governance, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1963963

Alexandre Afonso (Contact Author)

Leiden University ( email )

Postbus 9500
Leiden, Zuid Holland 2300 RA
Netherlands

Ioannis Papadopoulos

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

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