Labor policy in new democracies
Paarlberg, Michael Ahn.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references. How do governments in newly democratized states treat civil society actors that helped to usher out the previous authoritarian regime? Do they reward them with economic rents through policies that are favorable to those actors? Or are these actors ignored in the policy debate following transition? This study focuses on the case of organized labor, a civil society actor with broadly universal policy interests, which tends to play a significant role in both the transition process under autocratic regimes and in the policymaking process under democratic regimes. It examines the correlation of democratization with subsequent labor policy, controlling for lagged effects of pre-transition union activity, trade openness, and workforce professionalization, to determine whether organized labor tends to have greater leverage in influencing labor policy in newly democratized countries than in established democracies. Regression models show that recent democratization has a positive correlation with most measures of labor-friendly policy. This study informs policy for organizations involved in democracy promotion as well as for international social and labor movements engaging with their counterparts in authoritarian states, and suggests that countries experiencing future waves of democratization may take on a more social democratic orientation than a free market policy agenda.
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