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Debating Unemployment Policy
Political Communication and the Labour Market in Western Europe

Hanspeter Kriesi, Laurent Bernhard, Flavia Fossati, Regula Hänggli, Christian Elmelund-Præstekær, Richard van der Wurff
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  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108497510


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About the Authors
  • In 2008 the world experienced the Great Recession, a financial and economic crisis of enormous proportions and the greatest economic downturn since the 1930s. In its wake, unemployment became a key preoccupation of West European publics and politicians. This comparative study considers the policy debates surrounding unemployment in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark and Switzerland since 2008. With an over-arching focus on drawing out cross-national commonalities and differences, the authors ask whether patterns of political communication vary across countries. Their analysis draws on interviews with labour market policy-makers in the six selected countries, and paints a revealing picture. Appealing to researchers in comparative politics, political communication and welfare state research, this book will also interest practitioners involved in labour market policy.

    • Avoids formal models
    • Highlights at least one public debate of interest for each of the countries studied
    • Each chapter focuses on a distinctive research question
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Written by policy experts and public communication specialists, this volume provides a very effective analysis of the debate on unemployment in Europe in the aftermath of the Great Recession. It convincingly shows that the link between policies and discourse is key to our knowledge of the politics of unemployment. A great read for anyone who wants to understand how complex political economies react when things go wrong.' Giuliano Bonoli, Université de Lausanne

    'This highly important book studies policy debates about unemployment at the height of the Great Recession in six Western European countries on the basis of innovative survey and interview data and rigorous comparative analysis. It shows that these debates are regime-dependent, and they also strongly depend on the arenas they take place in (parliamentary or administrative/corporatist). Therefore, this masterful book is equally important for scholars in political communication and in policy analysis: the contents and dynamics of debates cannot be understood without context-specific policy knowledge; and understanding policy change requires linking ideas to agency through the study of debates.' Silja Häusermann, Universität Zürich

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108497510
    • length: 348 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • contains: 90 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Context Structures and the Policy-Specific Debates:
    1. Introduction: shaping the debate on unemployment and the labor market Hanspeter Kriesi, Laurent Bernhard, Flavia Fossati and Regula Hänggli
    2. Theoretical framework: production of policy-specific political communication Regula Hänggli and Flavia Fossati
    3. The political contexts of the national policy debates Hanspeter Kriesi, Flavia Fossati, Laurent Bernhard
    4. The variety of national debates Hanspeter Kriesi, Laurent Bernhard, Flavia Fossati, Regula Hänggli and Christian Elmelund-Præstekær
    Part II. The Political Actors and Their Assets:
    5. What affects power in the labor market domain? Laurent Bernhard
    6. The labor market policy space Flavia Fossati
    7. Beliefs or interests: what is the driving force behind coalition formation? Laurent Bernhard
    8. The action repertoires for shaping the debates Laurent Bernhard
    Part III. Communicating in Public:
    9. Framing strategies: important messages in public debates Regula Hänggli
    10. The positioning of the actors in the public debates Hanspeter Kriesi and Regula Hänggli
    11. Inside the interaction context Laurent Bernhard
    12. Quality of public debates Regula Hänggli and Richard van der Wurff
    Part IV. Conclusion:
    13. Conclusion Laurent Bernhard.

  • Editors

    Laurent Bernhard, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
    Laurent Bernhard is a senior researcher at the Swiss Centre for Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS), which is based at Université de Lausanne, Switzerland.

    Flavia Fossati, Universität Wien, Austria
    Flavia Fossati is Assistant Professor for Social Policy at Universität Wien, Austria. Her research interests include social, labour market and migration policy, labour market integration and discrimination research.

    Regula Hänggli, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland
    Regula Hänggli is a professor specialized in political communication at the Université de Fribourg, Switzerland. She is also a member of a federal expert group addressing the digital transformation of our society.

    Hanspeter Kriesi, European University Institute, Florence
    Hanspeter Kriesi holds the Stein Rokkan Chair in Comparative Politics at the European University Institute, Florence. In 2017, he received the Mattei-Dogan Prize. Currently he is working on an European Research Council (ERC) project on the political consequences of the Great Recession in Europe.


    Hanspeter Kriesi, Laurent Bernhard, Flavia Fossati, Regula Hänggli, Christian Elmelund-Præstekær, Richard van der Wurff

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