Journal Article

The politics of employment-friendly welfare reforms in post-industrial economies

Silja Häusermann and Bruno Palier

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 6, issue 3, pages 559-586
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online May 2008 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwn011
The politics of employment-friendly welfare reforms in post-industrial economies

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  • Moral Philosophy
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The transition to post-industrialism has generated a range of new tensions between welfare arrangements and labour market performance, which confront today's welfare states with new challenges for employment-friendly recalibration, such as flexicurity, activation and work-care conciliation. Hence, the question of whether, how and to what extent current welfare states are able to adapt to the conditions and needs of post-industrial labour markets has become a major issue in recent welfare state research. This article identifies and discusses key debates in this literature on the politics of employment-friendly reforms. It first focuses on the general capacity for reform in mature welfare states and then discusses regime-specific reform politics, since post-industrialism confronts different welfare regimes with very different challenges. For each regime, the article proposes a range of research frontiers and open debates which we consider particularly relevant and fruitful avenues for future theorizing and research.

Keywords: institutional change; labor markets; public policy; welfare state; I31 general welfare; I38 government policy; provision and effects of welfare programs; J50 general labor–management relations; trade unions; collective bargaining

Journal Article.  10283 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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