Social concertation in Europe during the Great Recession: A fsQCA-study of social partner involvement
The Great Recession, following the financial market crash of 2008, has been a major challenge not only to governments dealing with the crisis but also for state-society relations between government and social partners across Europe. This chapter addresses the question of why some governments engage in tripartite social concertation between governments, employer organizations and trade unions as part of crisis management, while others choose to unilaterally pursue their agendas. Drawing on an extensive dataset of 29 European countries (EU-27 plus Norway and Switzerland), we use fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to assess which factors can be identified as necessary or sufficient conditions for concertation efforts during the first five years since the crash. Specifically, the analysis studies whether economic pressure, governmental desire for political legitimacy, interest groups’ power resources, institutional context and corporatist legacy promote or prevent tripartite interest mediation. The main findings indicate that labour relations and political factors seem to dominate the overall pattern of including social partners in crisis management since 2008.
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