Pension Politics: Consensus and social conflict in ageing societies
Title: Pension Politics: Consensus and social conflict in ageing societies
Author: MARIER, Patrik
Publisher: London/New York, Routledge
Citation: London/New York, Routledge, 2008, Routledge/EUI studies in the political economy of the welfare state, 11
This book explains why certain countries have been able to radically transform their pension system while others have simply altered parameters. To answer this question an extensive comparative analysis, including more than 60 interviews, was conducted in Belgium, France, Sweden and the UK. This empirical data provides an interesting contrast between reforms. Parametric reforms have stemmed from the creation of pension administrations outside the traditional state apparatus in France and Belgium and the resulting inclusion of social partners; while the state administrations of Sweden and the UK where debates have been internalised have led to programmatic reforms. Two controversial findings of this book include an explanation for the lack of influence on the part of the labour movement in the 1994/98 Swedish reform and a rejection of arguments claiming that policy change will be minimal with coalition governments. Finally the conclusion seeks to extend the applicability of the model to other industrialized countries.