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POLI 212 - MARCH 14.docx

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Political Science
POLI 212
Hudson Meadwell

MARCH 14, 2012:  Vanberg and Martin: “The principle agent problem” and their argument about why compromise is an issue in coalition government and why it arises, and ways in which compromises can be maintained in coalition governments are the main points to take away from this reading.  There is an implicit contrast between politics of single party and politics of coalition governments.  “Labour excluded” and “labour included” are analytical types with a specific geographic designation in Kesselman and Krieger. Labour inclusion in the northern pattern (Germany and Britain), and the southern pattern is labour excluded (France and Italy).  Labour included is about how class politics is organized. There is a high rate of unionization; there is a single peak trade union confederation in the economy, and a trade union confederation with the capacity to control the behaviour of rank-and file workers. There is a single democratic or social democracy party with enough power to form a government on its own.  Germany fits this pattern well. The unions in (West) Germany are industrial union. The union structure is highly regulated. There are 16 trade unions organized in a single peak association. Unions cover industries as a whole. Collective bargaining in Germany is highly regulated at the state level, which means contracts produced between businesses and workers from collective bargaining are regulated by the state. Collective bargaining occurs every few years. Strikes at the shop-floor level are illegal, and subject to discipline and sanction. They are regulated through a particular institution- the Federal Labour Court, which is in place to regulate disputes and conflict between business and labour and between trade union organizations.  Britain does not fit as perfectly into this category, but is still labour included. Union tradition is that of craft unionism. They are organized by specific skills, not into a single union. The historical origins of these craft unions are guilds. There is a single peak association in labour- TUC (the Trade Union Congress), but it is a trade union confederation without the organization capacity to discipline its rank-and-file workers. This means are there are more slowdown, wildcat strikes, or work stoppages than in the German economy. Collective bargaining is not directly regulated by the state like it is in Germany.  Both trade unions had a kind of radical commitment built into their trade union constitution. They both supported nationalization of industry. The German social democratic party gave up that commitment in 1958, but to that point it had defined the identity and commitment of the left in Germany and the social democratic party. When they gave this up, it was a signal that the SDP was thinking about how to form a government of its own in German politics. For most of the early years of the post war settlement in Germany, the Christian Democratic union, a party of the centre- right, dominated politics. The SDP feared that they could expect a political life of permanent opposition if they did not move more to the centre. The domination by the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) was known as “chancellor democracy” because it was led by a main figure- the chancellor. (Conrad Addenhower)  The British gave up their commitment to nationalization of industry in 1995. The labour party in Britain remakes itself in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. Giving up this commitment marks the transition of old labour to new labour, organized around Tony Blair.  The “evil twin” of labour inclusion is labour exclusion. Labour exclusion has lower rates of unionization; which means that trade union organizations are less powerful in the economy. There is not a single peak association in labour; there are several competing trade unions or peak associations. These confederations are divided along ideological lines. There is a Christian Democratic, catholic based, trade union organization, where Catholic workers affiliated with Catholic unions. In each case, there is a trade union organization around socialism and affiliated to a socialist party in the party system. NI both France and Italy, there is a third trade union organization that is not socially democratic or socialist, but they are associated with their national communist party (PCF or PCI).  The role of importance of Christian Democracy in trade: 1945-1980s the Christian Democratic party is the hegemonic party in Italian politics. It may not govern always on its own, but it dominates and is always powerful even in coalitions. In France, the post war period begins with the existence of a Christian Democratic Party, of
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