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Changing Liaisons

The Dynamics of Social Partnership in Twentieth Century West-European Democracies


Karel Davids, Greta Devos and Patrick Pasture

This book aims at deepening our understanding of concrete, topical developments in the growth of social partnership economies. Inspired by the theory of ‘policy learning’, it discusses the impact of potential triggers, such as wars and economic crises, on the development of consultative arrangements, questioning how policy adjustments came about and what exactly made them possible. What is the space for policy learning in institutional environments that are notorious for immobility and path-dependency? Different national case studies analyse the origins and development of different social practices and relations between the state and social partners with regard to the organisation of the economy and the labour market within Western Europe. Special emphasis is given to Belgium, the «quintessential European state», and to the Netherlands, the home of the illustrious «polder model» in the 1990s. Several studies highlight the role of social pacts and planning as expressions of effective social partnerships.
Contents: Patrick Pasture/Karel Davids/Greta Devos: «Changing Liaisons». The Dynamics of Social Partnership in 20th Century West-European Democracies – Anton Hemerijck: Corporatist Governance, the Welfare State, and European Integration – Claude Didry: Thoughts on France’s Industrial Relations System. From Strike Action to Representative Democracy? – Gregory Vercauteren: Fixed by Law. The Significance of the Legislation on Collective Labour Agreements in Belgium and the Netherlands (1945-1980) – Peter Berger: The Dynamics of Consultative Arrangements in 20th Century Europe: The Case of Austria (1945-2000) – Jan Peter van den Toren: Dancing with Economics. Dutch Politicians, Policies and Institutions Reacting to Economic Turnarounds (1973-2004) – Doreen Arnoldus: The Wassenaar Agreement (1982), the Timing of a Social Pact – Ruggero Ranieri: Industrial Policy in Italy after 1945 and the Role of Tripartite Agreements – Ivan Wijnens: Between Planning and Muddling Through. Institutional Change and Economic Growth in Belgium (1945-1961).