Revisiting the Party Paradox of Finance Capitalism: Evidence from Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands
The 'party paradox' thesis claims that centre-left parties have a genuine interest in pro-shareholder corporate governance reforms, while centre-right parties oppose such reforms. Based on case studies of Switzerland, Sweden, and the Netherlands, I test the accuracy of this thesis and find that it does not apply to either of these cases: in Switzerland pro-shareholder reforms were made possible by centre-right not centre-left support; In Sweden and the Netherlands pro-shareholder reforms were marginal, because a broad coalition uniting centre-right and centre-left opposed them. My findings show therefore that the 'party paradox' is not a universal phenomenon and that most micro-level explanations of this phenomenon are inaccurate. In order to explain in which cases a party paradox will emerge, we need to add the nature of relations between employees and employers (cooperative vs. confrontational) as a determinant of centre-left preferences.
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