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Social Pacts and Reform Partnerships Jelle Visser Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies AIAS University of Amsterdam NewGov Practitioners Forum,

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Presentation on theme: "Social Pacts and Reform Partnerships Jelle Visser Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies AIAS University of Amsterdam NewGov Practitioners Forum,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Pacts and Reform Partnerships Jelle Visser Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies AIAS University of Amsterdam NewGov Practitioners Forum, LSE, 30 March Joint work with Sabina Avdagic (MPIfG, Cologne) and Martin Rhodes (EUI and Denver) in NewGov, and Anton Hemerijck (WRR, The Hague) and Jonathan Zeitlin (Madison-Wisc.) in Governance as Learning

2 Definition of Social Pacts/Partnership Social Pacts: “Forms of concertation between governments and organized interests negotiating, coordinating and implementing policies across one or more policy areas and levels” (NewGov project) Partnership: “a way of finding solutions of mutual advantage to different stakeholders by balancing concessions and advantages in the fields of competitiveness, employment, social protection and other relevant policies” (Kok Report, 2003:

3 Why? Benefits of Pacts Broad packages that encompass several measures, while balancing benefits and costs, tend to be more successful in terms of actually adopting reform than one-off measures or big bang solutions (Reform literature). Including opposing interests lowers risk of reform reversal (but may slow down speed) Including interests that affect implementation in design of reform lower risk of various forms of implementation failure (motivation; knowledge; govervance – related to “wicked problems”)

4 Puzzling and Powering I. Powering about puzzling Selecting problems for political attention IV. Powering Mobilizing political support for selected solution(s) and implement reform II. Puzzling Learning that: learning about possible solutions, side effects and consequences III. Puzzling about powering Learning how: learning about how to ‘sequence’ reform, create reform coalitions and overcome resistance to change

5 Classification of Social Pacts Type of issues/number of policy areas LowHigh Levels of governance /degrees of articulation Low I – narrow/exclusive weakly integrated (shadow pacts) II – wide/inclusive weakly integrated (headline social pacts) High III – narrow/exclusive highly integrated (incomes policies) IV – wide inclusive highly integrated (neo-corporatist concertation)

6 Empirical Cases of Social Pacts Type of issues/number of policy areas LowHigh Levels of governance /degrees of articulation Low Italy, 1983, 1992 Spain, * Portugal,1984*, 1986* (shadow pacts) Ireland, 1987 bis Portugal,1995*, 2000 Poland, 1993 Italy, 2002* (headline social pacts) High Italy, 1993; 1998 Netherl., 1982, 1993 Slovenia, 1994 (incomes policies) Netherlands, 2004 Slovenia, 1995, 2003 (neo-corporatist concertation)

7 The Emergence of Social Pacts Exogenous shocks/ adjustment needs (impulse/catalyst) Shared understanding (pre-condition) Social pacts Prevalent view in empirical studies: Problems: How is shared understanding built? Why failing in some cases? Impulses and preconditions important, but mechanisms of institutional creation left underspecified Why not (more) diffusion/learning form others?

8 Departing from usual “problem- solving” approaches: Facing a crisis important, but pacts signed only if actors can define them as relatively beneficial – in whatever way – to their own interest 1. interests are not necessarily only material, but can include concerns about legitimacy and public standing 2. interests are not necessarily narrowly defined and short-term, but may involve longer-term considerations about the functioning of the economy (indirect gains for encompassing organizations: organizational, institutional, leadership)

9 A heuristic bargaining model Aim: To derive hypotheses about (a) actors’ behaviour in nego- tiating social pacts, and (b) about the outcomes of negotiations Negotiations: 1.Two leading players: rounds of offers and counteroffers 2.They enter game withpower resources  (=breakdown value) 3.Perceptions of relative power may change in interaction,  tn+1 ≠  tn;  tn+1 =  tn + ε, where ε is a correction factor 4.If ε positive (actors perceive relative power as increasing), actors are likely to persist in pressing demands and continue negotiations until favourable outcome even at cost of breakdown. If ε is negative, they go for quick, but less favourable solution 5.Time preferences: high discount rate means that actor prefers to reach an agreement soon

10 Predictions of negotiation outcomes: Player B ε > 0ε < 0 Player A ε > 0 Potential for failure; external threat or enforcement needed Outcome favours A ε < 0 Outcome favours B Potential for failure; both opt for fast agreement, but potential implementation problems

11 Pacts that were signed UNIONS ε > 0ε < 0 GOV’Ts (EMPL) ε > 0 Netherlands 1993 Slovenia 2003 external threat or enforcement needed Italy1983; 2002* Portugal 1987* Spain 1984* Netherlands 1982 Outcome favours govt. (empl) ε < 0 Netherlands 2004 Poland 1993 Slovenia outcome favours unions Italy 1992, 1993, 1998 Spain 1982; Ireland 1987 Portugal 1984*, 1986* implementation problems?

12 Pacts that were not signed UNIONS ε > 0ε < 0 GOV’Ts (EMPL) ε > 0 external threat or enforcement needed Netherlands Portugal 2001 Spain 1983 Outcome favours govt. (empl) ε < 0 Portugal outcome favours unions Netherlands 1979 Italy 1984 Poland 2003 Slovenia 1992 implementation problems?


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