Social cohesion through policy coordination: The state, interests and institutions in Austria and Finland after 1945

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This text analyses the transformation of the main 'standard operating procedures' of economic policy-making in Austria and Finland post-1945. The key question is how did the drive and push to enhanced, state-level policy coordination – promoted also through the international post-war reconstruction schemes – facilitated the finding of a new type of balance and cohesion between the state and (powerful) groups in society? The text first discusses the institutional and integrative capacities and legacies of central-level administrative state in the two countries. It then focuses on the most formative years of the 1950s, drawing attention to two prestigious yet failed attempts at the introduction of more central state-level coordination through so called economic councils. The failure of the councils to become the main centres of economic policy-making opens historically and theoretically illuminating insights into the formative phases of the subsequent neo-corporatist cooperation structures. Although often neglected in scholarship, in the two politically conflict-prone post-war societies, the failed attempts were important steps on the way towards more coordinated, cooperative, more consultative modes of economic policy-making and, eventually, more balanced and cohesive societal and public policy milieus. The main challenge, in both contexts, concerned the degree and the form of intervention by the state or the government in economic policy-making. Responses varied, reflecting the basic historical differences between the two countries regarding the institutional and integrative capacities of the state, and the legitimacy of the state’s agency in society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Cohesion and Welfare States : From Fragmentation to Social Peace
EditorsChristopher Lloyd, Matti Hannikainen
Number of pages33
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
Publication date6 Jun 2022
ISBN (Print)9781138587540
ISBN (Electronic)9780429503870
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2022
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Fields of Science

  • 5201 Political History
  • 5171 Political Science
  • 615 History and Archaeology

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