Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

From Corporatism to Partisan Politics. Social Policy Making under Strain in Switzerland


Häusermann, Silja; Mach, A; Papadopoulos, Y (2004). From Corporatism to Partisan Politics. Social Policy Making under Strain in Switzerland. Swiss Political Science Review, 10(2):33-59.

Abstract

The literature on neo-corporatist agreements in social and labor market policy in the 1990s points to a decline of concertation in European countries with a long-standing tradition of corporatist negotiation. This article identifies a similar trend in Switzerland and argues that three destabilizing factors account for it: 1) retrenchment pressure and ideological polarization prevent compromises; 2) the emergence of new social demands and interests challenges the homogeneity and legitimacy of peak organizations and thus their bargaining power; 3) increasing media coverage tends to open up the traditionally confidential and selective sphere of corporatist negotiation and weakens the social partners’ ability to reach agreements. The impact of these factors on neo-corporatist bargaining is tested in Switzerland, a case where corporatist negotiations used to be particularly decisive in social policy making. Empirical evidence comes from a cross-time comparison of two major social policies: Unemployment insurance and pension reforms in the 1970s and in the 1990s. In the last decade, the main locus of decision-making shifted from the sphere of interest groups to partisan politics. In parliament, the political parties were able to draft bills enjoying wide acceptance thanks to compensations offered to groups particularly vulnerable to new social risks.

Abstract

The literature on neo-corporatist agreements in social and labor market policy in the 1990s points to a decline of concertation in European countries with a long-standing tradition of corporatist negotiation. This article identifies a similar trend in Switzerland and argues that three destabilizing factors account for it: 1) retrenchment pressure and ideological polarization prevent compromises; 2) the emergence of new social demands and interests challenges the homogeneity and legitimacy of peak organizations and thus their bargaining power; 3) increasing media coverage tends to open up the traditionally confidential and selective sphere of corporatist negotiation and weakens the social partners’ ability to reach agreements. The impact of these factors on neo-corporatist bargaining is tested in Switzerland, a case where corporatist negotiations used to be particularly decisive in social policy making. Empirical evidence comes from a cross-time comparison of two major social policies: Unemployment insurance and pension reforms in the 1970s and in the 1990s. In the last decade, the main locus of decision-making shifted from the sphere of interest groups to partisan politics. In parliament, the political parties were able to draft bills enjoying wide acceptance thanks to compensations offered to groups particularly vulnerable to new social risks.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

45 citations in Scopus®
108 citations in Microsoft Academic
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

387 downloads since deposited on 24 Mar 2009
49 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Language:English
Date:2004
Deposited On:24 Mar 2009 12:18
Last Modified:25 Feb 2020 10:25
Publisher:Swiss Political Science Association
ISSN:1424-7755
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1662-6370.2004.tb00021.x

Download

Green Open Access

Download PDF  'From Corporatism to Partisan Politics. Social Policy Making under Strain in Switzerland'.
Preview
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB
View at publisher