Pension Politics : Consensus and Social Conflict in Ageing by Patrik Marier

By Patrik Marier

Population ageing and slower fiscal development have raised critical questions about the willingness and skill of governments to take care of present social regulations. inside of this new fact, discussions at the way forward for public pensions were important in political debates throughout Europe.

This publication explains why definite international locations were in a position to greatly remodel their pension approach whereas others have easily altered parameters. to respond to this question an intensive comparative research, together with greater than 60 interviews, was once performed in Belgium, France, Sweden and the united kingdom. This empirical facts offers an enticing distinction among reforms. Parametric reforms have stemmed from the production of pension administrations open air the conventional country equipment in France and Belgium and the ensuing inclusion of social companions; whereas the country administrations of Sweden and the united kingdom the place debates were internalised have ended in programmatic reforms. debatable findings of this publication contain an evidence for the shortcoming of effect at the a part of the labour flow within the 1994/98 Swedish reform and a rejection of arguments claiming that coverage switch could be minimum with coalition governments. ultimately the belief seeks to increase the applicability of the version to different industrialized countries.

This booklet should be of curiosity to scholars and students of public coverage, in particular social coverage, political economic system, the welfare nation and comparative politics.

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Extra info for Pension Politics : Consensus and Social Conflict in Ageing Societies

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As a result, most strikes are very political, and unions seek to protect themselves via the introduction of laws rather than through negotiation (Birnbaum 1988: 124). This is the foremost reason unions sought to build social insurance ‘outside the state’ (Ashford 1986). It is worth pointing out that the institutionalization of unions in France has not diminished their propensity for mobilization. Sweden represents a totally different situation. The central reason unions did not oppose the integration of unions with the state was because their power was ‘lagom’, a Swedish term meaning ‘just about right’ (Rothstein 1991).

The main union confederation (LO) was a strong advocate of earnings-related pensions (ATP). These were obtained only after a long political battle and represent the golden trophy of Sweden’s Social Democrats (Pontusson 1993). Those involved with the implementation of this policy were sympathetic to its goals and remained committed to the programme when pension reform first appeared on the political agenda (Marier 2005). France represents a direct contrast, given its highly independent, centralized and elitist bureaucracy.

The philosophy and the basic organizational structure of the system are not threatened by the changes. This argument is supported by Bonoli’s analysis of pension reforms in France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, wherein he states that only non-concerted efforts successfully affected the politics of the pension system, while concerted efforts ‘did not significantly alter the political equilibria’ (Bonoli 2000: 168). This hypothesis also contributes to the ‘veto debate’. Rational-choice theorists are proponents of a rigid conception of political parties as veto players (Tsebelis 2002) within parliaments.

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