Introduction: Think Tanks in Austria, Switzerland and Germany - a Recalibration of Corporatist Policy Making?
German Policy Studies 2006, Fall, 3, 3
German Policy Studies
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The German-speaking countries share a multitude of commonalities which separate Germany, Austria and Switzerland from other developed democracies. One prominent commonality of the German-speaking "family of nations" (Castles 1993, 2004; cf. Armingeon/Freitag 1997) is the broad integration of interest organizations into the process of policy deliberation, policy decision-making and policy implementation (Katzenstein 1987). The dominant role of interest organizations in public policy making is, however, not mirrored in standard attempts to measure the integration of interest-groups or, as it is called, neo-corporatism. While Austria ranks very high in most of the various empirical investigations (cf. Lehmbruch 1984, Siaroff 1999, Traxler/Blaschke/Kittel 2001), Germany usually is positioned in the middle of the range. Switzerland ranks low in most cases or is perceived as representing a very specific form of corporatism. As Isabelle Steffen and Wolf Linder (in this volume) argue, core institutional features classically associated with corporatism, such as strong trade unions or centralized wage bargaining patterns, are missing in Switzerland. Nevertheless, there are some "functional structures equivalent to neo-corporatist arrangements" (Kriesi 1995: p. 342), such as the institutionalized consultation procedure in policy deliberations ("Vernehmlassung"), which together with other institutional arrangements fosters and stabilizes the crucial influence of interest groups on policy decisions in Switzerland.
- Category: Law
- Published: Sep 22, 2006
- Publisher: Southern Public Administration Education Foundation, Inc.
- Seller: The Gale Group, Inc.
- Print Length: 13 Pages
- Language: English