Title

A Common Neoliberal Trajectory: The Transformation Of Industrial Relations In Advanced Capitalism

Abstract

Based on quantitative indicators for fifteen advanced countries between 1974 and 2005, and case studies of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Ireland, this article analyzes the trajectory of institutional change in the industrial relations systems of advanced capitalist societies, with a focus on Western Europe. In contrast to current comparative political economy scholarship, which emphasizes the resilience of national institutions to common challenges and trends, it argues that despite a surface resilience of distinct national sets, all countries have been transformed in a neoliberal direction. Neoliberal transformation manifests itself not just as institutional deregulation but also as institutional conversion, as the functions associated with existing institutional forms change in a convergent direction. A key example is the institution of centralized bargaining, once the linchpin of an alternative, redistributive and egalitarian, model of negotiated capitalism, which has been reshaped in the past twenty years to fit the common imperative of liberalization.

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Publication Date

12-1-2011

Publication Title

Politics & Society

Department

Politics

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1177/0032329211420082

Keywords

Industrial relations, Neoliberalism, Convergence, Institutions, Comparative political economy

Language

English

Format

text

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