093 Imbalanced at the Core: Rethinking the “German Model”

Thursday, March 29, 2018: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM
Holabird (InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile)
This panel assesses the imbalances that have come to characterize Germany after the social democratic century, and offers theoretical insights to explain the dynamics of these imbalances. By tracing the puzzling changes to core institutions of German capitalism over the past two decades, contributors illustrate that institutional change is not the product of shifts from one equilibrium to the next, but instead unfolds through the organizational agency that actors develop and exercise. Political struggles, rather than structural necessity, have altered the pillars of the “German Model,” long considered [confined/resigned?] to unshakeable stability. Employers now comply with labor market institutions only selectively, thus transforming the German workplace, at the same time that state action has altered the long-standing dual system for skill formation, as well as traditional institutions for retirement. Each of these elements highlight the evolving patterns of mediation between capitalism and democracy, which, due to globalization and European integration, involve political conflicts that stretch across national borders. Just as Germany has provided a conceptual prism for understanding the relationship between capitalism and democracy in the past (Gerschenkron, 1952; Gourevitch, 1986; Moore, 1966), this panel relies on Germany to generate lessons for democratic capitalism in the twenty-first century.
Alison L. Johnston
Discussant :
Anke Hassel
Employer Resistance Against Works Councils: Evidence from Surveys Amongst Trade Unions
Martin Behrens, Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI)
High Skills: Understanding the Transformation of the German Skill Formation System
Niccolo Durazzi, London School of Economics and Political Science