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The Masks of the Political God by Luca Ozzano

Social Criteria in Public Procurement: Regulatory Complements or Compensation for Social Policy?

Policy Analysis
Public Policy
Social Policy
Welfare State
Comparative Perspective
Miriam Hartlapp
Freie Universität Berlin
Miriam Hartlapp
Freie Universität Berlin

States can pursue social goals beyond social policy by regulating markets. The degree to which they do so differs over time and across countries. This raises the question whether they do so to complement or to compensate for (weak) social policies? Theoretically I contrast a key prediction of the VoC literature, that countries will develop institutional complementarities (Hall/ Soskice), with the idea that regulatory instruments are formulated by a different type of (non-majoritarian) actors, such as administrations and agencies, and follow a more technocratic than political logic (Majone). From the first perspective regulation in the social and economic sphere are complements. In the second perspective economic regulation seeking social goals has the potential to substitute for weak welfare states and social policy blocked by political contestation. I explore these expectations for public procurement regulation as an particularly important sector of state activity with direct implications for working conditions and incomen for a substantial group of workers. Describing regulatory changes over the last 40 years I compare two coordinated market economies with strong welfare states (France and Germany) and two liberal market economies with less developped welfare states (US and UK).
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