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  Challenging Varieties of Capitalism's Account of Business Interests: Neoliberal Think-Tanks, Discourse as a Power Resource and Employers' Quest for Liberalization in Germany and Sweden

Kinderman, D. (2016). Challenging Varieties of Capitalism's Account of Business Interests: Neoliberal Think-Tanks, Discourse as a Power Resource and Employers' Quest for Liberalization in Germany and Sweden. Socio-Economic Review, (published online December 30). doi:10.1093/ser/mww040.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-3507-F Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-3508-D
Genre: Journal Article

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http://doi.org/10.1093/ser/mww040 (Publisher version)
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 Creators:
Kinderman, Daniel1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Projekte von Gastwissenschaftlern und Postdoc-Stipendiaten, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society, ou_1214554              
2Department of Political Science & International Relations, University of Delaware, USA, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: employers; institutional change; neoliberalism; preferences; varieties of capitalism; welfare state
 Abstract: This article contributes to the debate on employer preferences. It challenges varieties of capitalism’s argument that manufacturing employers in Coordinated Market Economies (CMEs) will tend to defend non-liberal institutions because of the comparative institutional advantage that they provide. It examines Germany and Sweden, two critical cases in this debate. It is based on interviews with key officials and an in-depth examination of the Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft (INSM) and Timbro, think-tanks sponsored by German and Swedish employers to shape public opinion. In line with power resource theory, I find that both German and Swedish employers have a strong preference for liberalization. In both cases, they responded to left-wing threats, institutional constraints and situations of ‘crisis’ by launching a counteroffensive and promoting welfare state reform, labor market flexibility and deregulation. Employers have used discourse as a power resource to pursue an aggressive liberalizing agenda and to attack institutions that required active deregulation on the part of the state. Whether employers in CMEs seek to dismantle existing institutions altogether or soften and reengineer these institutions from within, one thing is clear: their use of radical neoliberal discourse is incompatible with the claim that they defend traditional institutions in any meaningful sense.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2015-05-052016-12-30
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: 20
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1093/ser/mww040
 Degree: -

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Title: Socio-Economic Review
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: (published online December 30) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1475-1461
ISSN: 1475-147X