Spain: From Tripartite to Bipartite Pacts

Oscar Molina and Martin Rhodes

in Social Pacts in Europe

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199590742
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728891 | DOI:
Spain: From Tripartite to Bipartite Pacts

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This chapter on Spain follows the general argument of the book in rejecting the explanatory capacity of single-variable analyses. The history of social pacts in Spain is one of early success in the 1980s, when broad or encompassing tripartite social pacts were abandoned, failures in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and a gradual institutional consolidation of peak concertation and bipartite pacting after 1997. This irregular pattern poses numerous challenges to scholars interested in social pact emergence and institutionalization. In explaining the Spanish experience, political and organizational factors—including government weakness and relations between and within the unions—are critical for explaining the timing and character of Spain's social pact responses to the problem loads of unemployment and inflation, while utilitarian and power-distributive arguments are best suited for understanding the fluctuation of pacting over time and the more recent period of partial institutionalization.

Keywords: social pacts; Spain; problem loads; peak concertation; bipartite agreements; institutionalization

Chapter.  12617 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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