Tálos, Emmerich (1996) »Zwangskammerstaat«? Zur Demokratiequalität der Sozialpartnerschaft. "Compulsory State Chamber"? the quality of the social partnership for democracy. IHS Political Science Series 29, March 1996. [Policy Paper]
How can we judge the democratic quality of Austrian neo-corporatism («Kammersystem«) and cooperative decision making («Sozialpartnerschaft«)? The paper develops three main hypotheses. First, internal democracy within the existing centralized interest groups is fairly low while the practice of tripartite concertation between labour, business and state representatives is not democratically legitimized at all. Second, the general public expresses manifest discontent with present interest organizations while still valuing positively their policy style of cooperative as well as secretive elite bargaining. Thus, degrees of public approval are apparently unrelated to degrees of democratic legitimation. Third, if they want to survive Austrian chambers of labor and business will have to adopt innovative strategies to increase both formal and material legitimation.
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