'Crouch's new book offers an empirically based up-to-date theory relating governance, egalitarianism, and labor market security in contemporary post-industrial societies. It provides a highly sophisticated, original assessment of modes of governance in Europe in terms of their social and economic performance, drawing on extensive comparison of European countries including the new Eastern democracies. Contrasting in particular neoliberalism and social democracy, Crouch shows that the social-democratic model of state and associational intervention in markets performs much better than its neoliberal opponent, raising the question why it is the latter rather than the former that has become the leading model for the post-crisis capitalist political economy.'
- Wolfgang Streeck, Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Societies, Germany
How can a capitalist system reconcile its need to combine workers on uncertain incomes and conditions with consumers confident that they can spend? The approaches of different national economies to this conundrum have had varying degrees of success, as well as diverse implications for social inequality. Through the study of European societies, and comparisons with experience from the rest of the world, Colin Crouch scrutinizes this diversity, and looks at how the 2008 global financial crisis has impacted it.
Crouch identifies three broad approaches that countries adopt in response to this central dilemma of a capitalist economy, and examines these across three different contexts: time, place, and the role of inclusion and exclusion. This primarily statistical study embraces all except the smallest European countries, with comparative material on Japan, Russia and the United States. Countries are grouped according to differences found in them in the roles of governance by market, state, and community.
This important book will appeal to academics, policy makers and others interested in comparative employment relations, European political economy and social policy. Undergraduate and postgraduate students alike will also find this a compelling, jargon-free insight into social policy and the 2008 global financial crisis in Europe.
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