This thesis evaluates the impact of the new European economic governance on national political opportunities and explains national political actor’s strategies, governments and trade unions, in the corporatist sphere. It argues that the new European governance led to the emergence of a new rules-based institutional setting that is the result of two factors. First, the asymmetry of power between creditors and debtor countries. Second, the reinforcement of ordoliberal ideas and intergovernmental procedures advocated by the creditors. This thesis claims that the European rules-based setting shapes national government’s behaviour through three mechanisms. First, it isolates economic and social policies from national democratic processes. Second, it shifts European policymaking procedures from mechanisms of coordination to mechanisms of discipline and conditionality. Third, it imposes a policy regime based on austerity, welfare cuts and labour market deregulation. As a result, debtors have to comply with external demands of austerity and structural reforms if they want to receive financial support and avoid financial default. This dissertation claims that national responses to external demands are the result of two-level games. On the one hand, governments have to evaluate the costs and benefits of complying with external demands (international constraints). On the other hand, governments’ decisions depend on their ideology and their level of fragmentation (domestic consensus dynamics). Full compliance with external demands is associated with strong and/or centre-right governments whereas timid compliance with external demands is associated with divided, weak and/or left governments. Moreover, this thesis argues that government’s choice (concertation or unilateralism) depends on the degree of external credibility achieved by different national responses. Governments that comply fully with external demands are credible and tend to implement reforms unilaterally. On the contrary, there are two paths through which external credibility can be compromised. First, when governments are divided around the adequacy of implementing external demands (government-led timid compliance). Second, when popular mobilisations can hinder the implementation of the reforms (trade unions-led timid compliance). In both cases, governments are interested in including trade unions to generate national consensus and signal external actors with credibility. Finally, I argue that the new European rules-based setting transforms the political opportunity structure available for trade unions. The new setting multiplies the centres of power towards which they can direct their demands, erodes previous political alignments and creates new potential alliances. However, I further claim that the ability of trade unions to explore the opportunities of this new political structure depends on their framing processes, which are shaped by their power resources and identities.

EU ORDOLIBERAL INTERGOVERNMENTALISM AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE: TRADE UNIONS¿ STRATEGIES IN SPAIN, PORTUGAL AND ITALY DURING THE EUROZONE CRISIS / M.a. Gago Flores ; tutor: M. Ferrera ; coordinator: F. Zucchini. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE SOCIALI E POLITICHE, 2018 Mar 01. ((29. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2016. [10.13130/gago-flores-maria-angeles_phd2018-03-01].

EU ORDOLIBERAL INTERGOVERNMENTALISM AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE: TRADE UNIONS¿ STRATEGIES IN SPAIN, PORTUGAL AND ITALY DURING THE EUROZONE CRISIS

M.A. GAGO FLORES
2018

Abstract

This thesis evaluates the impact of the new European economic governance on national political opportunities and explains national political actor’s strategies, governments and trade unions, in the corporatist sphere. It argues that the new European governance led to the emergence of a new rules-based institutional setting that is the result of two factors. First, the asymmetry of power between creditors and debtor countries. Second, the reinforcement of ordoliberal ideas and intergovernmental procedures advocated by the creditors. This thesis claims that the European rules-based setting shapes national government’s behaviour through three mechanisms. First, it isolates economic and social policies from national democratic processes. Second, it shifts European policymaking procedures from mechanisms of coordination to mechanisms of discipline and conditionality. Third, it imposes a policy regime based on austerity, welfare cuts and labour market deregulation. As a result, debtors have to comply with external demands of austerity and structural reforms if they want to receive financial support and avoid financial default. This dissertation claims that national responses to external demands are the result of two-level games. On the one hand, governments have to evaluate the costs and benefits of complying with external demands (international constraints). On the other hand, governments’ decisions depend on their ideology and their level of fragmentation (domestic consensus dynamics). Full compliance with external demands is associated with strong and/or centre-right governments whereas timid compliance with external demands is associated with divided, weak and/or left governments. Moreover, this thesis argues that government’s choice (concertation or unilateralism) depends on the degree of external credibility achieved by different national responses. Governments that comply fully with external demands are credible and tend to implement reforms unilaterally. On the contrary, there are two paths through which external credibility can be compromised. First, when governments are divided around the adequacy of implementing external demands (government-led timid compliance). Second, when popular mobilisations can hinder the implementation of the reforms (trade unions-led timid compliance). In both cases, governments are interested in including trade unions to generate national consensus and signal external actors with credibility. Finally, I argue that the new European rules-based setting transforms the political opportunity structure available for trade unions. The new setting multiplies the centres of power towards which they can direct their demands, erodes previous political alignments and creates new potential alliances. However, I further claim that the ability of trade unions to explore the opportunities of this new political structure depends on their framing processes, which are shaped by their power resources and identities.
FERRERA, MAURIZIO
ZUCCHINI, FRANCESCO
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
EU ORDOLIBERAL INTERGOVERNMENTALISM AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE: TRADE UNIONS¿ STRATEGIES IN SPAIN, PORTUGAL AND ITALY DURING THE EUROZONE CRISIS / M.a. Gago Flores ; tutor: M. Ferrera ; coordinator: F. Zucchini. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE SOCIALI E POLITICHE, 2018 Mar 01. ((29. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2016. [10.13130/gago-flores-maria-angeles_phd2018-03-01].
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/563023
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