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 Regime = a particular pattern of politics, institutions, and policies  Politics: the way people compete for political power through social movements,

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Presentation on theme: " Regime = a particular pattern of politics, institutions, and policies  Politics: the way people compete for political power through social movements,"— Presentation transcript:

1  Regime = a particular pattern of politics, institutions, and policies  Politics: the way people compete for political power through social movements, interest groups, and political parties  Organized along cleavage lines  Number, nature, intensity of cleavages varies  Institutions: create rules of the game that structure the way political actors compete for political power  Policies: outcome of political conflict filtered through institutions  Different policy choices among regimes  Regime types among rich democracies  Social democratic (Denmark, Norway, Sweden)  Conservative (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands)  Christian democratic (Canada, Ireland, United States)

2  Best exemplified in Scandinavian countries  Gradual, smooth process of democratization  Far-left parties never gained traction  Absence of linguistic, ethnic, and religious cleavages  Did not weaken, compete with class basis of political loyalty)  Unique set of alliances  Disunity among opponents; forged alliances with groups beyond working class (farmers and workers; later, white-collar workers, middle-class voters)  Disunity among opponents, social homogeneity, strong working-class attachments, appeal to middle-class voters beyond working-class base

3  Capitalist economic systems (vibrant businesses generates tax revenue for social democratic policies)  Big government  High rates of state expenditures and government revenues as percent of GDP (Table 5.1, 122)  High percentage of public sector employees (Table 5.2, 123)  Social democratic welfare state  Universal: available to all citizens (health care, day care, pensions, etc. provided to rich and poor alike)  Key to binding middle-class welfare state  Resources and risks pooled in the welfare state creating a convergence of interest)  Comprehensive: cradle-to-grave protection (day care to home help for the elderly)  Generous: replacement rates for income lost due to pregnancy, sickness, injury, unemployment high (around 75% of former earnings)  Quality of life detached from performance in labor market (wages and benefits; standard of living does not depend on pay check)  Certain goods taken out of the market  Provided as a right of citizenship  Service intensive: range of services delivered by the state is extensive  Redistributive: benefits provided to most of the population, and these tend to be equal (which ironically has greater redistributive effect than those regimes that target the poor)

4  Critics charge welfare state reduces incentives to work  Scandinavian style welfare state has contributed to economic efficiency and productivity, has actually supported the economy  High labor force participation rates  range of services provided to relieve burden of care that previously required women to stay at home  Contributes to dynamism and competitiveness of economies  Home markets are small, have to export what they produce  Need to adjust continually, adopt new technologies, allocate resources to new sectors depending on shifts in international markets  “Creative destruction” poses threats to workers who risk loosing their livelihood when plants close, industries become uncompetitive  Welfare state alleviates threats by socializing costs of economic change (they do not fall on workers themselves)  Security provided by welfare state reduces opposition to new, labor-saving technologies and demands to maintain uncompetitive firms (think GM)  Moderates workers’ wage demands  Active labor market policies: retraining, job placement, and relocation assistance to unemployed workers assist in making transition; promotes increasing skill levels among workers  Result: Highly competitive capitalist economies and large, redistributive welfare states

5  Centralized political systems  Parliamentary democracies  Party discipline (strong parties)  Governments govern through support of disciplined majorities; potential conflict, stalemate of competing legislative and executive branches avoided (fused executive-legislative)  Unitary: power concentrated at national level  Judicial review authority generally weak  Unicameralism, weak federalism, absence of judicial review, parliamentary government give dissenting groups few opportunities to block legislation majority prefers  Large and powerful labor movement  High percentage of unionized workers (high union density)  Unions and party closely allied  Corporatist interest groups  Unions and employers engage in centralized bargaining with encouragement of state (somewhat in decline)

6  Production of goods and services left almost wholly to the market; marginal state intervention/regulation  Weakness of left-wing parties  Either completely absent (e.g., U.S.), or outsiders  Class-voting low: class position does not determine how voters vote to the same degree  Class cleavages less intense; other sources of conflict (e.g., in U.S., race, gender, religion cross-cut and weaken class identification)  Business politically dominant  Interest group advantage (organization, lobbying, campaign contributions)  Low voter turnout; lowest among working class (class divide subdued)  Politicians deliver policies that appeal to wealthy voters who are most likely to vote and ignore demands of working-class voters less likely to vote  Business interests identified with interests of society as a whole (“What’s good for GM…is good for America”)

7  Good at creating new jobs and increasing economic growth (Table 5.4, 130)  Lower payroll taxes and wages reduces labor costs for employers, allowing them to hire more workers  Small public sector (does not require high taxes)  Low state spending and revenues as proportion of GDP  Regulatory hand of the state constrained (gives way to managerial authority) when it comes to business activity  Low in terms of welfare effort (proportion of GDP devoted to social spending; Table 5.6, 132)  Not designed to create broad equality  Creates a floor under which poor cannot fall  Private to public spending devoted to welfare high (citizens pay larger proportion of cost of day care, health care, retirement)  Low levels of public spending on welfare (lesser benefits distributed to poor)  Circumstances of those who are not poor determined through private sector (by their fortunes in the labor market rather than shared fate as citizens)  Wealthy find policies suitable because small costs of welfare state limits their taxes, and they can afford to purchase privately (through the market) a level of services that fits their income

8  Great variety of forms  Some federal; others unitary  Parliamentary and presidential  Bicameral (but significant differences in power of second chamber)  Different electoral systems (PR and plurality)  Differences in judicial review  Differences in centralization (from highly centralized to least centralized, U.S.)  E.g., U.S.: strong federalism, bicameralism, independent Congress, weak parties, judicial review make it easy for minorities to capture part of state and thwart will of majority  Similar interest group structures: pluralist; smaller union movements

9  Organized around both class and church-state cleavages (although more recently both are less prominent than in the past with emergence of new parties and political issues)  Tend to be centrist in orientation (catch-all parties): able to attract cross-section of workers, farmers, shopkeepers, business executives  Able to more right or left in seeking coalition partners  All use PR electoral systems

10  Big government (not as big as social democratic regimes)  Relatively high government expenditures, total tax revenue as proportion of GDP (between Social Democratic and Conservative Regimes)  High levels of welfare expenditures (proportion of GDP devoted to public expenditures) closer to social democratic than conservative regimes  Above average in spending on health and pensions  Below average on poverty and social services  Medium on replacement rates for income lost due to retirement or unemployment  Different kind of collective services than social democratic regimes  Provide generous transfer payments and cash benefits to citizens  Public sector employment lower than average for conservative regimes  State sector ambiguous: large fiscal presence (high taxes and expenditures), but small social presence  Goal of social policy: reinforce traditional family values (income security for families so women can remain in traditional domestic role); mitigate effects of inequality  Welfare programs managed by union and employer representatives for each sector of the economy  Benefits preserve differentials among occupations (more to more highly valued occupations)  Social programs do not bind citizens; segment citizens by occupation; reinforce class differences

11  Parliamentary democracies  Bicameral, but differences in power of upper/lower houses  Differences in judicial review  Differences in unitary-federal forms  Corporatist interest groups  Limited number of hierarchically structured associations recognized by the state and participate in policy-making process  State of corporatism varies across regimes

12  Physical well-being  Social democratic regimes perform best in providing for physical needs of citizens (Absolute poverty rates, Table 5.7, 141)  Conservative regimes have highest rate of absolute poverty  Informed decision-making  Social democratic regimes have best literacy scores, conservative regimes the worst (using IALS data; Table 5.8, 143)  Safety  Social democratic regimes perform best in providing safe environment for citizens (using homicide rates; Table 5.9, 144)  Civil and political rights/quality of democracy  No noteworthy differences in press freedom, political rights, civil liberties, competitive elections  Significant differences in “voice and accountability” (using quality of democracy measures, U.N. Human Development Report; Table 5.10, 145)  Social democratic regimes performed better than Christian democratic and Conservative regimes  Also, voter turnout rates highest in Social democratic regimes  Social democratic regimes perform better in meeting the standards of the good society than Conservative or Christian democratic regimes  Quality of democracy higher  Levels of safety and security higher  Citizens more likely to possess skills needed to make informed decisions  Christian democratic regimes do marginally better in meeting physical needs

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