Globalization and Policy Concertation Essay

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Introduction My argument in this paper is that globalization is not leading to a decline in the incidence of policy concertation in Western Europe between governments, employers and trade unions, contrary to much accepted wisdom, and that this persistence of policy concertation can be best understood in terms of a configurational model of policy concertation in which the main variables are perceived problems, the degree of agreement on economic policy among the relevant political actors, and the perceived implementation capacity of these actors. I take my definition of ‘globalisation’ from that devised by David Held and his colleagues: A process (or set of processes) which embodies a transformation in the spatial organisation of…show more content…
2 Policy concertation thus defined is significant because it affects the content of public policy and therefore the shape of the society we live in. Because decisions are taken by agreement, each participant has a power of veto and is therefore guaranteed influence over the decision. This rules out policy decisions that are unacceptable to employers and/or trade unions. It also leads governments to introduce policies that they would not otherwise have introduced, in exchange for concessions from employers and unions, and in certain cases policy options not previously open to the government are rendered feasible, such as expansionary economic policies dependent on wage restraint. The paper is divided into five sections. First, the main arguments that globalisation is eroding policy concertation are reviewed. Second, evidence is produced to show that in fact policy concertation is not in decline. Third, reasons put forward by various analysts to explain the persistence of policy concertation are sketched out. Fourth, my configurational model of policy concertation is set out and its explanatory power illustrated. Finally, globalisation-related causal factors are fitted into this model by showing how they affect its three proximate causal variables. How globalisation is supposed to be eroding policy concertation According to the political economy literature, the main reasons for the development of policy concertation were the desire of postwar
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