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The rise of distributional conflicts

23 October 2013
The rise of distributional conflicts

Coalition-building in the post-crisis environment

In a new essay on the Political Observatory titled 'Europe's welfare and labour market conflicts: A fatal squeeze on the centre-left?', Michael McTernan sets out how emerging distributional conflicts might severely restraining the ‘catch-all’ ability of modern centre-left parties. Heightened political battles between interest groups are pulling policy responses to the crisis in different directions.

The essay kicks-off a new Policy Network and Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy series of debates entitled 'Conflicts of Interest'. The series will focus on understanding the new distributional conflicts related to the dualisation of labour markets and welfare states, and how they influence political coalition-building. Each talk will look at how interest groups clash in the post-crisis environment and consider the policy and political implications for governing in an era where traditional redistributional tools are restrained, as well as the space for institutional renewal and invention.

Programme includes:

18 November 2013
Labour market insider-outsider dilemma – a strangle-hold on social democracy?
David Rueda, professor of politics, Oxford University

12 May 2014
The emerging intergenerational conflict in European welfare states
Bruno Palier, associate research Professor, Sciences Po Paris

28 May 2014
The rise of the service economy
Anne Wren, research associate at the Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin

June 2014 (tbc)
The role of women in post‐industrial labour markets
Silja Häusermann, professor of political science at the University of Zurich


Related reading

Europe's welfare and labour market conflicts: A fatal squeeze on the centre-left?
Distributional conflicts between interest groups are pulling policy responses to the crisis in different directions. For centre-left parties, it has become increasingly difficult to hold together modern fragmented electorates
By Michael McTernan

The many faces of distributional conflict
If we are to stave off another lost decade we need macroeconomic policies to restore acceptable levels of economic activity, and public investment to power sustained and productive growth
By Jeffry Frieden

European welfare states after the crisis
Governments in the UK and elsewhere in Europe are taking a position on welfare reform which is in line with public opinion, but may be the wrong strategic choice in the long-term - prioritising benefits for older people at the expense of families and children who have been hit hard by the financial crisis.
By Patrick Diamond & Guy Lodge





Further information
Main contact: RSVP to Emma Kinloch
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7340 2205
Email: ekinloch@policy-network.net

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