Bernhard Ebbinghaus, Noel Whiteside
Shifting responsibilities in Western European pension systems: What future for social models?

Global Social Policy, 2012: 12, Heft 3, S. 266-282

A liberal paradigm shift from state to private responsibility in old age income protection has been a general development across Western Europe. The financial crisis sheds new light on the question of the public–private divide in pension policy. Applying convention theory, the analysis reviews how funded pensions are governed and how states use a range of regulation to control their operations as they seek to convert market-related practices to social policy purposes. The article argues that accruing state regulation consequent on coping with the financial crisis and its aftermath has undermined easy distinctions between public and private schemes, and is generating increasingly technocratic and oligarchic forms of pension governance, to the detriment of democratic debate on pensions.