Chapter

One Third Way or Several?

Giuliano Bonoli and Martin Powell

in Welfare State Change

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780199266722
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601941 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199266727.003.0003
One Third Way or Several?

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The chapter discusses the role of the Third Way discourse in legitimizing labour market policy reform in Britain, France, and Germany. It argues that only in Britain can a convincing causal link be drawn between the Third Way discourse and the successful implementation of supply-side reforms. In France, societal interests institutionalized in the governance of social protection continue to act as a ‘pre-political’ bulwark against state intervention in existing arrangements. In Germany, somewhat similarly, institutional factors severely limit the potential for the centre-left to either develop a single structuring discourse or to fuse historically separate policy domains, as much of the current activation agenda supposes. To the extent that efforts have advanced in this latter respect, ad hoc exploitation of contingencies and crises has proved more effective than a Third Way discourse.

Keywords: activation; comparative analysis; discourse; France; Germany; governance of social policy; new labour; unemployment protection; welfare reform; welfare state institutions

Chapter.  8542 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy

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