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Capitalisms Compared
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Capitalisms Compared
Welfare, Work, and Business

First Edition


August 2013 | 392 pages | CQ Press
How different would Americans’ lives be if they had guaranteed access to health care, generous public pensions, paid family leave, high-quality public pre-school care, increased rights at work, and a greater say in how corporations are run?

This one-of-a-kind book emphasizes that differences in policies and institutions affect the lives of citizens by comparing health, pension, and family policies, as well as labor markets and corporate governance in the United States, Sweden, and Germany. Demonstrating that the US model of capitalism is not the only one that is viable, Bowman encourages students not only to rethink their assumptions about what policy alternatives are feasible, but also to learn more about American capitalism through insightful contrast. Covering a wide range of policy areas and written in a crisp, engaging style, Capitalisms Compared is a perfect companion for courses in political economy and public policy.
 
Chapter 1: Introduction
Comparing Political Economies: Markets, Politics, and Institutions

 
Welfare States: Welfare State or Social Security State?

 
The Social Democratic Welfare State: Politics against Markets

 
The Liberal Welfare State: Embracing the Market

 
The Conservative Welfare State: Protecting Society from the Market

 
“Varieties of Capitalism:” Business Institutions and Strategies

 
Liberal Market Economies: Reaching for the Invisible Hand

 
Cooperative Market Economies: Patient Capital and Non-market Coordination

 
The plan of this book

 
 
Chapter 2: Health Policy
Is Health Care a Commodity?

 
Germany: Private Practice and Universal Coverage

 
Basic Structure: Compulsory Non-profit Insurance

 
Sweden: A Right to High Quality Health Care

 
Basic Structure: County-level Provision of Services

 
The United States: Incomplete Coverage through Private and Public Insurance

 
The Private Welfare State in Health Care

 
The Long Road to Health Policy Reform

 
Present Structure: From Public Insurance to No Insurance

 
Medicare

 
Medicaid

 
Private insurance

 
The Uninsured

 
Comparing Systems and Outcomes

 
 
Chapter 3: Pension Policy
Paying as You Go: Where Do Pensions Come From?

 
Germany: Earnings-related Public Pensions

 
Current Policy: The Shift away from Guaranteed Benefits

 
Sweden: Public Pensions with “Notional” Accounting

 
Current Policy: Introducing the Market to the Social Democratic Model

 
The United States: A Public-Private Pension Mix with Precarious Retirement

 
Social Security Today: A False Crisis

 
Private Pensions: The Disappearing Promise

 
Comparing Pension Systems and Outcomes

 
 
Chapter 4: Family Policy
Bringing Families Back In

 
Sweden: Paid Family Leaves and Universal Public Childcare

 
Current Policy: Toward Gender Equality?

 
Germany : Moving Beyond the Male Breadwinner Model

 
Current Policy: Family Leaves, Cash Assistance, and Child Care

 
The United States: Juggling Work and Family through the Market

 
Current Policy: The Limits of Tax Breaks

 
Comparing Policies and Outcomes

 
 
Chapter 5: The Labor Market
Human Effort as a Commodity: The Distinctive Features of Labor Markets

 
The “Two Faces of Unionism”: Are Unionized Firms more Efficient?

 
The Structure of Collective Bargaining and the Logic Centralized Wage-setting

 
Sweden: Flexible Centralization?

 
The Historic Compromise

 
Wage Bargaining in Contemporary Sweden

 
Workplace Participation and Job Security

 
Germany: Co-determination and Coordinated Bargaining

 
Background and Overview

 
Works Councils: Employee Representation on the Job

 
Labor Market Organizations and Collective Bargaining

 
Job Security and Labor Disputes

 
The United States: Bargaining among Unequals

 
The Rocky Path toward the Right to Unionize

 
The Unionized Sector: Organization

 
Wages, Benefits, and Protections: Comparing the Union and Non-union Sectors

 
The Decline of Unions in the US

 
Comparing Systems and Outcomes

 
 
Chapter 6: Corporate Governance and Finance
In Whose Interests? Shareholders Versus Stakeholders

 
The United States: Stock Market Capitalism Run Amok?

 
From Public Service Corporations to Industrial Capitalism

 
From Managerialism to “Shareholder Value”

 
Germany: Patient Capital and Bank Control

 
Postwar Corporate Governance: The Classic German Model

 
The Reform of German Corporate Governance

 
Sweden: Capitalist Enterprise without Capitalists?

 
The Post-War Model of Corporate Governance in Sweden

 
Swedish Corporate Governance in Transition?

 
The Financial Crisis of 2008-2009 and Its Aftermath

 
Conclusion

 
 
Chapter 7: The Viability of Alternative Forms of Capitalism
Globalization and the Economic Feasibility of Alternative Capitalisms.

 
Neoliberalism and the Political Feasibility of Alternative Capitalisms

 
Conclusion: But Not in the US?

 

“The comparisons between the U.S., Sweden, and Germany, which retain great analytical clarity and sophistication throughout, are superbly structured. The detail on recent policy reform, in chapters such as pensions or the labor market, are an especially welcome component which has no real competitor text. The fact is that you cannot find any other book that is as comprehensive in making structured public policy comparisons to understand the rich variety of capitalistic models that the modern world economy is capable of producing.”

Jeffery Lewis
Cleveland State University

Capitalisms Compared provides, in a single source, an accessible, effective, and productive comparative analysis of the character and practical operation of different types of capitalism and, in so doing, details the main insights of the field of political economy and thereby addresses a noteworthy deficiency that currently plagues the extant scholarship. John Bowman has developed a text that is at the forefront of its genre. I would strongly recommend it not only to teachers of comparative public policy and political economy, but also to anyone interested in gaining a sound understanding of the field.”

Shaun Young
University of Toronto Scarborough

“I am quite impressed by the individual chapters on policy areas and countries, in their accessible and readable treatment of the subject, rich examples, and the right amount of detail. They reflect solid research and expert knowledge, especially in reference to the relevant empirical data and history of each of the three welfare states.”

Tomasz Inglot
Minnesota State University-Mankato

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John R. Bowman

John R. Bowman is professor of political science at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Capitalist Collective Action: Competition, Cooperation, and Conflict in the Coal Industry, as well as articles on the politics of labor markets and social policy in both the United States and Western Europe. More About Author

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ISBN: 9781452259024
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