23 September 2020

Tripartite relations since the Great Recession – Three countries compared

Trade unions and their ability to influence policy regulation are in social sciences often seen to have weakened further after the Great Recession starting in 2008. In this book, the role of social partners in regulating work and welfare through corporatist (tripartite) arrangements are analyzed in three small countries with strong traditions for social partner involvement. Although reductions in trade unions’ power resources show in these countries as elsewhere, the frequency of tripartite agreements has not decreased since the Great Recession. Hence, the social partners are still strong enough to be involved by governments. Nevertheless, the weakening of trade unions has coursed trouble for corporatism in the Netherlands, whereas it in Austria primarily is the political development that have challenged corporatism. In Denmark, corporatism is less troubled. Focusing on the last 30 years, economic crisis seems on average a stronger explanatory factor for corporatist developments than social partner strength, government strength and government ideology.  

‘Corporatism since the Great Recession - Challenges to Tripartite Relations in Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria’, by Mikkel Mailand can be bought at the publisher Edward Elgar.