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 focus of our research is the identification of the political, economic and labour conditions under which social concertation in Europe is present or absent. We have presented first results for 29 countries between 2008 and 2012 at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at Oxford University. Several project papers were presented at the Conference of Europeanists in Madrid and the SASE Meeting in New York. Furthermore, a comparative analysis of social pacts of 90 cabinets is in preparation. The project will end in 2020 with the submission of an edited volume and a book launch with stakeholders, scheduled for the first half of the year.

Fact sheet

2014 to 2020
Data Sources: 
interviews, primary text analyses, quantitative indicators
Geographic Space: 
Germany in European comparison