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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Crouch examines changes in state policies impacting employment relations, including macroeconomic policy as it impacts the labour market; the state’s relation to employees’ individual rights; and the state’s policies on the role of collective actors in the labour market. The most consistent evidence of a turn to neo-liberalism across all the countries examined is found in the decline of employment protection laws. A second clear inference is that in countries where unions’ industrial strength is weak and there is a strong neoliberal ideology, governments have made little effort to sustain social partnership institutions, though they have typically avoided complete liberalization of labour markets by imposing statutory minimum wages. Third, a clear turn towards neo-liberal policies only occurred in the mid-1990s. In sum, the turn towards neo-liberalism is substantiated in all of the countries, but the timing, extent, and dimensions of that turn vary quite substantially.

Keywords: social democracy, neo-liberal era, macroeconomic policy, state, collective labour rights, individual labour rights

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