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Journal Article

Policy Concertation in Europe: Understanding Government Choice

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Baccaro, L., & Simoni, M. (2008). Policy Concertation in Europe: Understanding Government Choice. Comparative Political Studies, 41(10), 1323-1348. doi:10.1177/0010414008315861.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-D1FF-C
This article focuses on the European governments' decision to involve unions and employers in the design and implementation of public policy. Based on new measures of the phenomenon, the authors argue that between 1974 and 2003, no convergence on a pluralist model of policy formation is visible. They then use these measures to identify and analyze the clearest cases of adoption or demise of concertation, namely, the contrasting responses of the British and Irish governments to wage policy and of the Austrian and Italian governments to pension reform. They argue that governments are willing to share their policy-making prerogatives when they are politically weak and when unions, while still representing a credible threat to policy implementation, have been declining in the recent past. A combination of partisanship and policy learning reinforces the push for change.