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The Schüssel Era in Austria

Günter Bischof
Fritz Plasser

I. Personality and Leadership

The Politics of Asymmetry: (Non) Corporatist Policy Making, 2000-2006

Ferdinand Karlhofer

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From its establishment in the late 1940s through the turn of the twenty-first century, Sozialpartnerschaft enjoyed a high reputation in Austria’s political system. This was clearly the case until the 1980s and even, albeit with certain qualifications, in the 1990s, when the chamber system—traditionally the main pillar of social partnership—faced a severe crisis. Social partnership owed its prestige in the public to its role as a reliable and calculable mechanism for interest intermediation, thus decisively contributing to the country’s economic development. Although there have always been close ties between chambers and the trade union federation on the one side, and political parties on the other, the functioning of corporatist policy making remained untouched from government changes. Called into being under the Grand Coalition of the Austrian People’s Party (Österreichische Volkspartei, or ÖVP) and the Social Democratic Party of Austria (Sozialdemokratische Partei Öste...

© innsbruck university press, 2010

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