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By M. Giugni

This booklet offers a unique method of unemployment as a contested political box in Europe and examines the impact of welfare nation regimes, conceived as political chance constructions particular to this box, public debates and collective mobilizations in unemployment politics.

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Additional info for The Contentious Politics of Unemployment in Europe: Welfare States and Political Opportunities

Sample text

A first point to note from this is the importance of state actors, who make up at least one third of all claims in each country. 2 percent in Switzerland. Beyond these figures, our findings also tell us that only a small number of these claims can be imputed to subnational state actors, or again to EU and transnational state bodies, such as the IMF, ILO and OECD. That is, central governments are by far the most dominant actor in the unemployment field across the six countries under study. 001) Germany Sweden Manlio Cinalli and Marco Giugni 31 A second point to note, however, is that employers’ organizations account for the largest proportion of claims after the state in three countries, namely Germany, Switzerland, and the UK; by contrast, labor organizations and groups take the lion’s share of non-state claims in France and Italy.

Indeed, the only substantial difference when we compare workers and the unemployed is that claims on other issues have more chances to be positive when they deal with the unemployed, but less chances to be so when they focus on workers. Finally, the year has a significant, but relatively weak effect that does not change if we look at the specific objects. Conclusion This chapter has dealt with the impact of specific political opportunities on claim making in the field of unemployment politics. Following recent scholarship, we have conceptualized “welfare state regimes” as specific opportunity structures influencing the form, object, and position of claims.

To put things differently, the unemployed are most likely to take the stage in contexts of exclusive unemployment regulations and rigid labor market regulations. Finally, our two dimensions of specific opportunities also stand out as significant predictors when accounting for variations of the position of claims. In spite of some key differences when looking at figures for workers and the unemployed respectively, we have found out that inclusiveness on the one hand, and rigidity on the other, are most likely associated with claims in favor of the object, reproducing the same pattern of opposite effects that we found out when explaining variations of forms.

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