Fritz W. Scharpf and Vivien A. Schmidt

in Welfare and Work in the Open Economy Volume I: From Vulnerability to Competitiveness in Comparative Perspective

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780199240883
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600173 | DOI:

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The conclusion emphasizes more general patterns that were identified in the comparative analyses. If due account is taken of the specifics of economic changes and national policy legacies, the variation among the responses of individual countries is far from random. In each of the periods covered by the study, there were distinct groups of countries facing similar policy challenges that would have called for similar responses. And even though the increasing internationalization of the economic environment has narrowed the range of economically viable national policy choices, we are able to show that in each of these groups, one or more countries did in fact have the institutional capabilities and the policy discourses that allowed them to move “from vulnerability to competitiveness” without abandoning their normative aspirations or jeopardizing the democratic legitimacy of their governments.

Keywords: competition; democracy; economic challenges; economic viability; institutional capability; legitimacy; policy discourse; policy legacy

Chapter.  11170 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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