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Varieties of cross-class coalitions in the politics of dualization: Insights from the case of vocational training in Germany


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  • Busemeyer, Marius R.
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    The literature notes an increasing trend towards labor market stratification and dualization in coordinated market economies such as Germany. Labor market insiders and insider-oriented cross-class coalitions are usually identified as the driving forces behind these developments. This paper adds to this perspective by identifying different varieties of cross-class coalitions. On the basis of three case studies from the field of vocational training policy in Germany, two kinds of coalitions are identified: a conservative cross-class coalition of unions and employers that is against state intrusion into the domain of firm-based training, and a segmentalist cross-class coalition of social democratic government actors and business that is promoting an incremental flexibilization of the system against union opposition. In an alternating manner, both coalitions block the large-scale change that would be the most effective in countering dualization. Hence, they tacitly support dualization by drift. -- Die einschlägige Literatur befindet, dass in koordinierten Marktwirtschaften wie zum Beispiel Deutschland die Stratifizierung und Dualisierung von Arbeitsmärkten zunimmt. Als Triebkräfte hinter diesen Prozessen werden häufig Arbeitsmarkt-'Insider' und auf die Interessen dieser Insider hin orientierte klassenübergreifende Koalitionen aus Arbeitgebern und Arbeitnehmern identifiziert. Dieses Papier entwickelt eine neue Perspektive auf diesen Zusammenhang, indem es zeigt, dass es unterschiedliche Variationen von klassenübergreifenden Koalitionen gibt. Auf der Grundlage von drei Fallstudien aus der deutschen Berufsbildungspolitik werden zwei Koalitionstypen identifiziert: (1) eine konservative Koalition aus Arbeitgebern und Gewerkschaften, die gegen das Eindringen des Staates und für die Bewahrung der Eigenständigkeit der betrieblichen Ausbildung eintritt; (2) eine segmentalistische Koalition aus Teilen der Arbeitgeberschaft und sozialdemokratischen Regierungsmitgliedern, die gegen den Widerstand der Gewerkschaften eine inkrementelle Flexibilisierung und Modernisierung des Systems betreibt. In wechselseitiger Weise verhindern beide Koalitionen die Durchsetzung großer Systemänderungen, obwohl diese am effektivsten wären, um dem Trend zur Dualisierung entgegenzuwirken.

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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Discussion Paper with number 11/13.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:1113

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    1. Eichhorst, Werner & Marx, Paul, 2010. "Whatever Works: Dualisation and the Service Economy in Bismarckian Welfare States," IZA Discussion Papers 5035, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Busemeyer, Marius R., 2009. "Wandel trotz Reformstau: Die Politik der beruflichen Bildung seit 1970," Schriften aus dem Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung Köln, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, volume 65, number 65.
    3. А. Radygin., 2004. "Russia in 2000-2004: Heading towards State Capitalism?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    4. Busemeyer, Marius R. & Trampusch, Christine (ed.), 2011. "The Political Economy of Collective Skill Formation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199599431, October.
    5. Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2008. "Apprenticeship Training – What for? Investment in Human Capital or Substitute for Cheap Labour?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) 0017, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
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