Corporatism and Change: Austria, Switzerland, and the Politics of Industry

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Corporatism and Change: Austria, Switzerland, and the Politics of Industry

By Peter J. Katzenstein
Cornell University Press, 1984
331 pp. $35.00
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By world standards, Austria and Switzerland do well economically, although Vienna leans to socialism and equality while Berne emphasizes liberal capitalism and efficiency. The common element, Professor Katzenstein of Cornell argues, is "democratic corporatism" made up of the acceptance of social partnership, the centralization of interest groups, and a continuous process of bargaining and compromise over public and private objectives. He shows how this process has permitted the orderly and quite reasonable handling of difficult industrial changes in the production of watches in Switzerland, steel in Austria and textiles in both countries. This is an excellent work and quite persuasive. Whether large countries can find equally good ways of making "political stability and economic flexibility . . . mutually contingent" is another matter, as the author recognizes.

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