The Political Construction of Business Interests: Coordination, Growth, and Equality (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics)
Many societies use labor market coordination to maximize economic growth and equality, yet employers' willing cooperation with government and labor is something of a mystery. The Political Construction of Business Interests recounts employers' struggles to define their collective social identities at turning points in capitalist development. Employers are most likely to support social investments in countries with strong peak business associations, that help members form collective preferences and realize policy goals in labor market negotiations. Politicians, with incentives shaped by governmental structures, took the initiative in association-building and those that created the strongest associations were motivated to evade labor radicalism and to preempt parliamentary democratization. Sweeping in its historical and cross-national reach, the book builds on original archival data, interviews, and cross-national quantitative analyses. The research has important implications for the construction of business as a social class and powerful ramifications for equality, welfare state restructuring and social solidarity.
at critical junctures establish paths with increasing returns.19 The strategic interventions of government bureaucrats and party leaders have great significance at these moments (when both the range and impacts of possible outcomes 16 17 Streeck 1992; Martin 1995; 2000; Swank and Martin 2001; Visser and Hermerijck 1997; Trampusch 2010. Berger 1981; Katzenstein 1985; Crouch 1993; Rothstein 2000; Bernhagen 2007; Offe 2003. Schmitter 1981; Goldthorpe 1984; Streeck 2009; Martin and Thelen
harder to sustain.36 But industrial restructuring has also enhanced the need for coordination because this can help to reallocate productive resources for the new trajectories of capitalist development. Thus, we also explore the mechanisms by which institutions are reworked at a second critical juncture, the transition to the postindustrial services economy, and the requirements for survival of highly organized associations (if, indeed, they can survive). At issue is how countries can best
associations suggests that electoral/party systems, union mobilization, traditions of coordination, and (perhaps) economic development largely explain why some nations experienced extensive organization of employers. Macrocorporatism. A complimentary analysis of the inception of macrocorporatist coordination is presented in the third and fourth columns of Table 2.4. Proportionality is significantly and positively associated with macrocoordination: The substantive impact of moving from
coordination. Quantitative Findings and Historical National Experiences Industrialization These quantitative findings gain added salience when considered in light of the historical case analyses of the formation of peak employers’ associations in Denmark, Britain, the United States, and Germany (presented in greater detail in Chapters 3 through 6). First, industrial development was clearly the fundamental motivation for employer organization at the national level, as employers everywhere wanted
with a vigorous defense of industrial self-regulation, pointing out that employers generally enjoyed an excellent relationship with government and that self-regulation was necessary for international competitiveness. The conflict became more muted due to more pressing postwar concerns and to the party’s deeply pragmatic goals which were focused on seeking to join ruling coalitions and (in words of its official history) “driven more by tactical considerations than by ideas.”61 Despite the