Policy Analysis by The Labour Movement: A Comparative Analysis of Labour Market Policy in Germany, Denmark and The United States

Authored by: Michaela Schulze , Wolfgang Schroeder

Routledge Handbook of Comparative Policy Analysis

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138959774
eBook ISBN: 9781315660561
Adobe ISBN:


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Among the union movement’s aims and achievements are high social standards and benefits. As such, unions have always been involved in the policy process and tried to shape labour market policy in the different phases of the policy cycle (e.g., Bonoli & Palier, 2000). Since the 1990s, several policy reforms at the interface of social and labour market policy in various welfare states have been passed. The most important aim is to reconfigure social rights, benefits and obligations. As a result, work (in order to get benefits), obligations and sanctions have been a pivotal part of social policy (Lødemel & Moreira, 2014). Activation, workfare or welfare-to-work are the terms that have prevailed to describe these policy reforms. As the welfare state has retrenched, the position of labour unions in the political arena has shifted, and unions have had to define their roles and policy goals according to these new challenges. Union research institutions might help to develop political claims in times of welfare state retrenchment.

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