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Labour Markets, Gender and Institutional Change

Essays in Honour of Günther Schmid

Edited by Hugh Mosley and Jacqueline O’Reilly

The original essays in this book have been written by a number of leading international experts in the field of labour market studies to honour the intellectual contribution and lifetime achievement of Günther Schmid.
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Chapter 5: Implementation structures for cooperative labour market policy: a bargaining theory approach

Birgitta Rabe


5. Implementation structures for cooperative labour market policy: a bargaining theory approach Birgitta Rabe Actor constellations in the political systems of modern societies are increasingly complex and fragmented (Chubb, 1985; Grande, 1995; Scharpf et al., 1978). The number of political actors has risen partly because of increased government intervention due to the development of the welfare state, the creation of cross-national institutions such as the European Union, and the simultaneous growth in the importance of local political institutions as a result of trends towards decentralization and privatization. In many European countries the formulation and implementation of active labour market policy, for example, now takes place between actors at the local, regional, national and European level, whereas it used to be organized primarily at the national level. Frequently, such developments are accompanied by increasing differentiation and functional interdependence between actors. Hence complex policy problems often affect more than one organization, and cooperative formulation and implementation of labour market programmes can lead to more successful outcomes than independent action can. Efforts have been made to integrate theories and analytical tools for explaining, predicting and measuring cooperation in interorganizational policy making. Most of these approaches centre on the concept of the policy network as a unit of analysis for describing structural relationships, interdependencies and dynamics between actors (Hanf and O’Toole, 1992, p. 168). Different theoretical frameworks are employed to describe the logic of interorganizational networks (Mayntz, 1992; Scharpf, 1993). In this chapter we analyse interorganizational policy processes using bargaining theory. In bargaining theory...

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