How Institutions Evolve: The Political Economy of Skills in Germany, Britain, the United States, and Japan

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 6, 2004 - Business & Economics - 333 pages
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Kathleen Thelen explains the historical origins of important cross-national differences in four countries (Germany, Britain, the United States and Japan), and also provides a theory of institutional change over time. The latter is considered a frontier issue in institutionalist analysis, of which there are several varieties emerging from economics, political science, and sociology. Thelen's study contributes to the literature on the political economy of the developed democracies that focuses on different institutional arrangements defining distinctive models of capitalism.
 

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Contents

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF SKILLS IN COMPARATIVEHISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
1
Skills and Skill Formation
8
The Argument in Brief
20
Theories of Institutional Genesis and Change
23
Lessons from the Present Study
31
Outline for the Book
37
THE EVOLUTION OF SKILL FORMATION IN GERMANY
39
The Importance of the Artisanal Economy in the Evolution of Skill Formation in Germany
42
The Role of the State and the Fate of the Japanese Artisanate
151
Strategies of the Large Metalworking Companies
163
The Evolution of the Japanese Management System
166
Germany and Japan Compared
174
The Evolution of Skill Formation in the United States
177
Skill Formation in Early Industrial America
178
Union and Employer Strategies in the Metalworking Industry before World War I
186
The Politics of Training during and after World War I
202

Strategies of the Large Machine and Metalworking Companies
55
Political Coalitions and the Evolution of the System
63
The Political Coalition against Reform
79
THE EVOLUTION OF SKILL FORMATION IN BRITAIN
92
State Policy and the Fate of the British Artisanate
93
Union and Employer Strategies in the MetalworkingEngineering Industry
104
Reform Efforts before World War I
118
The Impact of War and Its Aftermath
133
Comparisons and Conclusions
145
THE EVOLUTION OF SKILL FORMATION IN JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES
148
The Evolution of Skill Formation in Japan
149
Comparisons and Conclusions
212
EVOLUTION AND CHANGE IN THE GERMAN SYSTEM OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING
215
The Evolution of the System under National Socialism
219
Vocational Training in Postwar Germany
240
Erosion through Drift?
269
CONCLUSIONS EMPIRICAL AND THEORETICAL
278
Institutional Complementarities
285
Institutional Evolution and Change
292
Bibliography
297
Index
323
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About the author (2004)

Kathleen Thelen is Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University. She is the author of Union of Parts: Labor Politics in Postwar Germany and co-editor of Structuring Politics: Historical Institutionalism in Comparative Analysis. Her work on labor politics and on historical institutionalism has appeared in, among others, World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, The Annual Review of Political Science, Politics and Society, and Comparative Politics. She is chair of the Council for European Studies, and serves on the executive boards of the Comparative Politics, European Politics and Society, and Qualitative Methods sections of the American Political Science Association. She has received awards and fellowships from the Max Planck Society, the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, the Society for Comparative Research, the National Science Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt foundation, the American Scandinavian Foundation, and the German Academic Exchange Program.