Institutionalising market society in times of systemic change: The construction and reform of social and labour market policies in Poland in a comparative perspective (1989-2004)
Title: Institutionalising market society in times of systemic change: The construction and reform of social and labour market policies in Poland in a comparative perspective (1989-2004)
Author: SPIESER, Catherine
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2009
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
In the face of an exogenous economic crisis or systemic political and economic transformations leading to multiple pressures for adaptation, social and labour market policies are the cornerstone of employment adjustment. Because they can pool and redistribute individual risks, these policies are likely to embody or facilitate a change of paradigm or economic system. However, the orientation of policies is also a matter of negotiation between the government and various interest groups. This is well illustrated in Poland, where post- 1989 transformations involved a redefinition of the relationship between the state and the community of citizens and provide an opportunity to observe the dynamics of large-scale change over a relatively condensed period. The thesis investigates three issues in this context: the nature of the emerging welfare system; the factors accounting for policy change, and the existence of a new socio-political compromise underlying the emerging work and welfare nexus. The analysis builds on a conceptual framework drawing on two streams of literature: the comparative studies of the welfare state in Western Europe and theories of public policy making. The first leads to a set of hypothesis that seek to explain change in the perspective of ‘regime politics’ while the second suggests on the contrary that conflicts and compromises are arising in different arenas defined by a configurations of actors and power relationships that are specific to each policy domain (employment regulation, labour market policies and pensions). The thesis uses original and secondary empirical material to assesses, on one hand, the validity of theories of the welfare state based on power resources, class cleavages and institutional pathdependence to explain the orientation of social policies in the post-communist context, and on the other, the idea that the representation of interests and the actors involved in the decisionmaking process are being shaped by the nature of the policy at stake. The analysis considers especially the role of pre-existing institutions, trade unions, employers associations and government, as well as specific categories of beneficiaries.
LC Subject Heading: Labor market -- Poland; Manpower policy -- Poland; Labor policy -- Poland -- 1989-; Poland -- Social policy -- 1989-
Defense Date: 13/11/2009; Examining Board: Colin Crouch (University of Warwick, formerly EUI) (Supervisor), Virginie Guiraudon (CERAPS-CNRS), Francois Bafoil (CERI-Sciences-Po, External Co-Supervisor), Maurizio Ferrera (University of Milan)
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