The Political Economy of De-liberalization: A Comparative Study on Austria, Germany and Switzerland


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This book explores the politics behind "de-liberalization", defined as policy reforms that constrain markets and their underlying mechanisms. By offering a comparative study on the governmental reform strategies and policy choices of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, it demonstrates that de-liberalization processes are a common reform option for governments. Utilizing a novel dataset on liberalization covering policy reform trajectories in 38 industrialized countries between 1973 and 2013, it shows that governments often draw on strategies of de-liberalization in the fields of social, welfare and labor market policy, where they can be used as compensation for the electorate in the context of liberalizing reforms. As such, the book makes an important contribution to the field of political economy by capturing the turning of the tide in scholarly and policy attention, away from liberalization and towards a re-embedding and re-regulation of economic activity.

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