The Handbook of West European Pension Politics by Immergut E.M. (ed.), Anderson K.M. (ed.), Schulze I. (ed.)

By Immergut E.M. (ed.), Anderson K.M. (ed.), Schulze I. (ed.)

The instruction manual of West eu Pension Politics offers students, policy-makers and scholars with an entire evaluation of the political and coverage concerns eager about pension coverage, in addition to case reviews of latest pension politics (1980 to give) in sixteen nations: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, eire, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the united kingdom. The instruction manual is acceptable as a textual content for classes in comparative politics, eu reports, social coverage, comparative public coverage and public management. every one bankruptcy is written by way of knowledgeable on pension politics and is gifted in a standardized layout with standardized tables and figures that describe: political associations; executive coalitions, parliamentary and electoral majorities; the get together procedure; the pension process; proposed and enacted pension reforms.

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As we will elaborate, our main argument is that theories of political institutions fail to explain variations in the capacity of European governments to reform their public pension programs, because they neglect the variable of political competition. By ‘‘political competition,’’ we mean the strategy and intensity with which politicians compete for votes. Depending upon the formal electoral system, but also on the distribution of voter preferences, and the party system, the total pattern and intensity of political competition varies across political systems and, indeed, within a given political 4 dynamics of pension politics system, even over time.

Ellen m. immergut and karen m. anderson 7 Veto points and veto players Veto points and veto players theory attempts to remedy these shortcomings by conceptualizing political systems as integrated wholes and leaving more scope for the role of political preferences. Both perspectives are particularly relevant for understanding the dynamics of pension reform because they emphasize the ways in which political institutions obstruct policy-making. Veto point theory views the legislative process as a chain of political decisions taken in a series of political arenas (Immergut 1990; 1992a; 1992b).

More generally, Ferrera and Rhodes (2000) have pointed to the resurgence of ‘‘corporatism’’ in 14 dynamics of pension politics Southern Europe, with intensiWed union–government–employer cooperation through ‘‘social pacts’’ (see also Regini 2000; Regini and Regalia 1997; Rhodes 2001; Visser and Hemerijck 1997). The implication of these arguments about the centrality of labor for the politics of welfare state reform is clear. In the corporatist political economies of Western Europe, organized labor is still a major actor in the politics of welfare state reform, not least because of the eVects of policy legacies.

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