Economic Interests and Political Representation: Coordination and Distributive Conflict in Historical Perspective
Torben Iversen and David Soskice
This article begins by explaining the positive relationship between distributional equality and redistribution. It proposes in the second section that the correlation is indirect: two factors, the electoral system and the degree of economic coordination, each impact on both distribution and redistribution. Proportional representation (PR) promotes both distributive equality and especially redistribution; so does coordinated capitalism with an even greater impact on distribution. PR promotes center-left coalitions; and coordinated capitalism, by encouraging investment in co-specific skills, reinforces both median voter and business support for wage compression and strong welfare state insurance. The positive correlation between distributional equality and redistribution is in turn explained by a positive correlation between PR and coordinated capitalism.
This Epilogue argues that progress in comparative institutional analysis will require a return from a static to a dynamic perspective. It addresses the challenge of placing individual institutions and their comparative analysis into a broader systemic context by locating them in a structured historical process. It asks whether our theories and methods have the capacity to detect regularities in the continuous transformation of social institutions, or whether our justified suspicion of teleological accounts of history as unidirectional ‘development’, with the various implications that have been attached to them in the past, requires us to overlook the forest, if there be one, and recognize only single trees. The Epilogue then revisits the old issue of historical direction and ‘progress’ that dominated nineteenth-century social science and continued to be present until the 1960s, when it was finally abandoned. Third and finally, a suggestion is made that capturing the inevitably dynamic nature of social institutions—and of social order in general—will make it necessary to move beyond the universal and timeless concepts that much of social science still believes are required for scientific respectability to an analytical framework that is adapted to the historical specificities of concrete social formations.
Laurence E. Lynn Jr.
This article views public management broadly as encompassing the organizational structures, managerial practices, and institutionalized values by which officials enact the will of sovereign authority, whether that authority is prince, parliament, or civil society. Public management, in other words, is regarded as synonymous with public administration. As for whether or not there is a distinctive public management, there is widespread professional acknowledgement that constitutions, collective goods production, and electoral institutions create distinctive managerial challenges that justify a separate field. Thus defined, the field of public management is surely of older vintage than American scholars have been wont to assert and is arguably even older than the popular starting point for administrative histories.