Crisis Corporatism or Corporatism in Crisis? Social Concertation and Social Pacts in Europe

Research question/goal: 

Labour relations in Germany and several other European countries have been marked by longstanding social partnership. This, however, has been challenged in recent decades with uncertain consequences for political economies and organized interests. Accordingly, this project seeks to disentangle analytical and political debates about the viability of organized capitalism. First, the project explores the question if, and if so how and why, the recent economic crisis has altered Germany’s labour relations and the social partners’ relations with the government. Second, it analyses the cross-national variation in the involvement of the social partners in governmental crisis politics in Europe, and it also investigates the subsequent effects on policy contents and organized interests for selected countries. Both project parts rely on an innovative mix of research methods and generate valuable empirical findings that will contribute to evaluating debates on institutional and organizational change of labour relations and welfare states.

Current stage: 

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has granted project funding for a period of three years starting from August 2016. In collaboration with the University of Goettingen, the MZES team is currently reviewing the state of research and collecting basic statistical data on labour relations and economic development. In particular, this involves the collection of existing political economy datasets, the updating and expansion of relevant macro variables, and the recalibration of these variables with fuzzy set scores. The first task in this context will be to code the outcome variable: what is a social pact, how are pacts operationalized, and when are social pacts considered as “successful”—when put into practice or already upon signature?

Fact sheet

2014 to 2019
Data Sources: 
interviews, primary text analyses, quantitative indicators
Geographic Space: 
Germany in European comparison