The Comparative Political Economy of Collective Skill SystemsBook Conference
Topic and Goal of the ConferenceThis edited volume aims to explore in greater detail the variety of skill regimes within the group of coordinated market economies. More specifically, we focus on countries with collective skill systems, i.e. Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Building on the distinction between collectivism and segmentalism in the comparative welfare state and political economy literature, we define collectivist systems are vocational education and training (in short: training) regimes which show three peculiarities: employers and their associations are strongly involved in the administration and financing of training; the systems provide portable, certified occupational skills; and, historically, employers’ interest in skills may lead to training regimes which evolve as "dual" schemes. Dual schemes combine school-based learning with company-based training. In general, Germany is the exemplary case of a collective skill system studied in the literature. The cases aside from Germany have received little attention in the English-speaking political science and political economy literature.
Hence, the first contribution of the edited volume is empirical, i.e. the exploration of a number of country cases that have not been studied extensively in the comparative political economy literature. Even in comparative education science and sociology, cross-national comparisons with a historical dimension are nearly absent at the moment. Eventually, of course, the aim of the edited volume is to provide generalizable accounts on the inter-linkages and complementarities between welfare states, skills systems, labor markets and industrial relations that contribute to the further development of the research agenda in comparative political economy. Concerning these theoretical considerations, in particular, we identify two open frontiers that we want to address:
The first question is whether the observable co-variation between different types of capitalism, skill systems, industrial relations, and welfare regimes reflects deeper causal relationships and complementarities and of what kind these complementarities are. The second issue of interest is the exploration of the historical origins of the varieties of capitalism and its political economic institutions. Thus, the establishment and continuous adaptation of skill regimes in the countries studied are of prime importance in the contributions to this edited volume.
Organization and contactMarius R. Busemeyer
Phone +49 221 2767-166
Phone +41 031 631-3750