(2011) in Uwe Becker (ed.) The Changing Political Economies of Small West European Countries. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press (with André Mach): 99-124.
This paper provides an overview of continuity and change in the Swiss and Austrian political economies over the last 20 years. After outlining the different institutional foundations of economic governance in both countries (fragmented state, constrained executive power and bourgeois dominance in Switzerland, centralised state, stronger executive power and strong labour in Austria), the paper assesses general trends in economic policy and economic performance over the last 20 years. In a second section, the paper assesses continuity and change across different spheres of the economy: economic regulation and corporate governance, labour market policy and industrial relations, and welfare state reform. Despite a general trend towards a more market-driven economic model, different patterns of change can be observed both between countries and different spheres of the economy, depending on the respective shares of public intervention in the economy or private interest governance. Whereas the stronger degree of state intervention in the economy has made swifter changes in welfare reform possible in Austria, the combination of stronger private coordination and weak state in Switzerland have allowed more changes in areas such as corporate governance and industrial relations than in welfare reform.