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Insider-Outsider Politics in Industrialized Democracies: The Challenge to Social Democratic Parties

David Rueda
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 99, No. 1 (Feb., 2005), pp. 61-74
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30038919
Page Count: 14
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Insider-Outsider Politics in Industrialized Democracies: The Challenge to Social Democratic Parties
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Abstract

In much of the political economy literature, social democratic governments are assumed to defend the interests of labor. The main thrust of this article is that labor is divided into those with secure employment (insiders) and those without (outsiders). I argue that the goals of social democratic parties are often best served by pursuing policies that benefit insiders while ignoring the interests of outsiders. I analyze Eurobarometer data and annual macrodata from 16 OECD countries from 1973 to 1995. I explore the question of whether strategies prevalent in the golden age of social democracy have been neglected and Left parties have abandoned the goal of providing equality and security to the most vulnerable sectors of the labor market. By combining research on political economy, institutions, and political behavior, my analysis demonstrates that insider-outsider politics are fundamental to a fuller explanation of government partisanship, policy-making, and social democracy since the 1970s.

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