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Social Partners and the Welfare State: Recalibration, Privatization or Collectivization of Social Risks?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alison Johnston, Andreas Kornelakis, Costanza Rodriguez d'Acri

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-364
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


King's Authors


What has been the extent of welfare state retrenchment? One strand of the comparative political economy literature argues that welfare states have not undergone outright retrenchment, but recalibration. Another strand identifies a shift towards the privatization of risks and increased reliance on the market. Our article seeks to contribute to these debates with an alternative argument: collectivization of social risks. We employ a method of contextualized comparisons, examining three cases of collectivization across diverse contexts: the financing of disability insurance in the Netherlands, training provision for employed and unemployed in Greece, and regulation of atypical contracts in Italy. We conclude by discussing the ensuing political dynamics that the wider relevance of the argument brings to debates in comparative political economy and comparative industrial relations.

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