From Autonomy to Subordination? Relations Between the State and the Representations of Interests on the German Labour Market


Michał Moszyński
Nicolaus Copernicus University


collective bargaining, institutional analysis, tripartite cooperation, alliances for work, welfare state


The main aim of the article is to assess the functioning and outcomes of tripartite structures of cooperation consisting of trade union federations, employers' organizations and the state in Germany on the background of the evolution of the welfare state. In the historical description, which was carried on chronologically covering 50 years from late 1960s, tools of institutional analysis and comparison were used. Main results indicate that state policy initially supported trade unions and employers' organizations as institutions of mediation and collective bargaining centers, but over time the sphere of social security has become a source of tensions between labor and capital. Due to generating unemployment, buying social peace became dysfunctional and impossible to finance in the long run thus the government had to reform the labor market, social sphere and consequently the German welfare state.


Andersen, U., Woyke, W. (ed.) (2000). Handwörterbuch des politischen Systems der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-322-93232-7.
Berthold, N. (2000). Das Bündnis für Arbeit – Ein Weg aus der institutionellen Verflechtungsfalle? Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Beiträge des Lehrstuhls für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Wirtschaftsordnung und Sozialpolitik, No. 39, Würzburg.
Ebbinghaus, B. (2006). Reforming Early Retirement in Europe, Japan and the USA. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gesetz zur Förderung der Stabilität und des Wachstums der Wirtschaft of 08.06.1967, with subsequent amendments.
Hewel, B. (1980). Konjunktur und Wachstum Theorie und Politik. Wiesbaden: Gabler Verlag.
Lesch, H. (2010). Lohnpolitik 2000 bis 2009 – Ein informelles Bündnis für Arbeit. IW-Trends, No. 1.
Manow, P. (2001). Business coordination, wage bargaining and the welfare state. Germany and Japan in comparative historical perspective. In B. Ebbinghaus, P. Manow (Eds.). Comparing Welfare Capitalism Social policy and political economy in Europe, Japan and the USA. London: Routledge.
Merkel, A. (1999). Bestenfalls Hoffnung, schlimmstenfalls Betrug. Die Idee des Bündnisses hat sich überlebt. In H.-J. Arlt, S. Nehls (Eds.). Bündnis für Arbeit, Konstruktion, Kritik, Karriere. Opladen, Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag GmbH.
Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung (1974). Jahresgutachtung 1974/75. Stuttgart, Mainz: Verlag W. Kohlhammer.
Schröder, G. (1999). Das Bündnis als Fokus unserer Politik der neuen Mitte, In H.-J. Arlt, S. Nehls (Eds.). Bündnis für Arbeit, Konstruktion, Kritik, Karriere. Opladen, Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag GmbH.
Schröder, G. (2003). Mut zum Frieden und Mut zur Veränderung, Deutscher Bundestag, Berlin,14.03.
Streeck, W. (2009). Re-forming Capitalism. Institutional Change in the German Political Economy. New York: Oxford University Press.
Swenson, P. (1999). Varieties of capitalist interests and illusions of labor power: Employers in the making of the Swedish and American welfare states. Paper for the Conference on Distribution and Democracy, Yale University, Department of Political Science, 12–14 November.



January 6, 2018

Details about this monograph

Date of first publication (11)