Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The New Politics of the Welfare State$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul Pierson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297567

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198297564.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 August 2020

Labour Market Regimes Under Threat? Sources of Continuity in Germany, Britain, and Sweden

Labour Market Regimes Under Threat? Sources of Continuity in Germany, Britain, and Sweden

(p.368) 12 Labour Market Regimes Under Threat? Sources of Continuity in Germany, Britain, and Sweden
The New Politics of the Welfare State

Stewart Wood

Oxford University Press

In this third of three chapters on the distinctive policy dynamics of particular areas of social provision, Wood looks at labour market regimes in Germany, Britain, and Sweden. The theoretical starting point of the chapter is an examination of path dependence, perhaps the most popular contemporary approach to explaining the persistence of institutions and policies over time. In principle, this offers an enticing explanation of the resilience of national policy trajectories, although the outcomes it explains have a tendency to be overdetermined, and not all mechanisms generating a bias towards the status quo are path‐dependent ones. The theoretical work of this chapter, therefore, lies in deriving alternative (though not mutually exclusive) micro‐level sources of policy continuity over time, and evaluating their relative contributions to the evolution of labour market policy in Germany, Britain, and Sweden. Divided into four substantive sections: Section 1 discusses the theory of path‐dependent institutional and policy trajectories in politics; Sect. 2 presents three distinct sources of policy continuity (employer‐centred, constitutional, and electoral) that are often bundled together as ‘lock‐in mechanisms’ in path‐dependent accounts; Sect. 3 sketches the changing context of labour market policy in Western Europe by looking at national responses to unemployment from 1980 onwards in each of the three country case studies, and providing accounts of labour market policies, employers’ preferences in relation to labour market policies, and constitutional factors and electoral constraints in relation to labour market reform; Sect. 4 is a conclusion and discusses the thesis offered by the chapter — that the trajectory of labour market policy can be accounted for by an employer‐centred theory of preferences.

Keywords:   Britain, constitutional factors, electoral constraints, employer‐centred factors, employers’ preferences, Germany, institutional trajectories, labour market policy, labour market reform, labour market regimes, national policy trajectories, path dependence, policy continuity, policy dynamics, policy trajectories, social provision, Sweden, unemployment, welfare state, welfare state reform

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .