Link to the University of Pittsburgh
Link to the University Library SystemContact us link
AEI Banner

European Corporate Governance Reform and the German Party Paradox. CES Germany & Europe Working Papers, No. 03.1, 2003

Hopner, Martin (2003) European Corporate Governance Reform and the German Party Paradox. CES Germany & Europe Working Papers, No. 03.1, 2003. [Working Paper]

[img] PDF
Download (439Kb)

    Abstract

    This paper addresses the current discussion on links between party politics and production regimes. Why do German Social Democrats opt for more corporate governance liberalization than the CDU although, in terms of the distributional outcomes of such reforms, one would expect the situation to be reversed? I divide my analysis into three stages. First, I use the European Parliament’s crucial vote on the European takeover directive in July 2001 as a test case to show that the left-right dimension does indeed matter in corporate governance reform, beside cross-class and cross-party nation-based interests. In a second step, by analyzing the party positions in the main German corporate governance reforms in the 1990s, I show that the SPD and the CDU behave “paradoxically” in the sense that the SPD favored more corporate governance liberalization than the CDU, which protected the institutions of “Rhenish,” “organized” capitalism. This constellation occurred in the discussions on company disclosure, management accountability, the power of banks, network dissolution, and takeover regulation. Third, I offer two explanations for this paradoxical party behavior. The first explanation concerns the historical conversion of ideas. I show that trade unions and Social Democrats favored a high degree of capital organization in the Weimar Republic, but this ideological position was driven in new directions at two watersheds: one in the late 1940s, the other in the late 1950s. My second explanation lies in the importance of conflicts over managerial control, in which both employees and minority shareholders oppose managers, and in which increased shareholder power strengthens the position of works councils.

    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII (Chicago style) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
    Social Networking:
    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Germany
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > economic and financial affairs > business/private economic activity
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > political parties
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Harvard University, Center for European Studies > Program for the Study of Germany and European Working Papers Series
    Depositing User: Unnamed user with email katelyn.smith92@gmail.com
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2015 16:24
    Number of Pages: 33
    Last Modified: 22 Apr 2015 16:24
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/63717

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads