This study shows that in times of austerity, party governments resort to new patterns of policy-making and reforms, which deviate from conventional wisdom.
In contrast to earlier research examining the politics of welfare state reforms, this study finds clear partisan effects, and highlights the emergence of new, clientelistic patterns of policy-making, which have the power to affect societal structures.
Using a mix of quantitative methods and case study research into labour market reforms in Germany and Ireland, this book critically assesses how governments in different institutional settings influence welfare state generosity and labour market reforms.
Its key findings enrich our understanding of the impact leftist governments have on welfare state policies. Specifically, left-wing governments pursue clientelistic policies when facing high institutional constraints and austerity and tend to cater for the core workforce rather than designing policies for the full range of labour market participants, including those in precarious employment relations.