Europeanization or Party Politics? Explaining Government Choice for Corporatist Concertation.

(2013) Governance 26(1): 5-29 (with Yannis Papadopoulos).

This paper assesses whether changes in government choice for policy concertation with trade unions and employers are better explained by international or domestic factors. We compare patterns of corporatist governance in a strongly Europeanized policy domain (labour migration policy) and in a weakly Europeanised policy domain (social policy) over the last 20 years in Austria and Switzerland. We show that there is no systematic difference in patterns of concertation between the two policy sectors, and that factors linked to party politics play a bigger role in the choice of governments for concertation than Europeanization. If the base of party support for policies is divided, governments are more prone to resort to corporatist concertation as a way to build compromises for potentially controversial or unpopular policies. By contrast, ideologically cohesive majority coalitions are less prone to resort to concertation because they do not need to build compromises outside their base of party support.

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