Institutional and ideational perspectives on comparative employment relations

Relatori e Relatrici

    Chris Wright
    University of Sydney
Lunch seminar

Chris Wright, University of Sydney
Institutional and ideational perspectives on comparative employment relations

This presentation examines how institutions and ideologies influenced labour market policies during the COVID pandemic and recession. It presents the design of a comparative study of the responses to the COVID crisis of five countries with diverse institutional settings and ideologically distinct governing parties during the initial phase of the COVID crisis in 2020: Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom. The presentation draws upon two concepts that comparative employment relations scholars have identified as influencing labour market policy: institutions and ideologies. Comparative employment relations scholarship has primarily utilised institutionalist perspectives to explain how governments, industry associations and unions respond to labour market crises. Previous studies have found that national institutions and shape universal pressures, such as globalisation and technological change, in different ways depending on whether they are ‘liberal’ or ‘coordinated’ in their character. More recently, comparative employment relations perspectives emphasising the role of ideologies in shaping labour market policy have become more prominent. While previous studies have examined institutions and ideologies as distinct forces influencing national labour market policies, there is a gap in existing scholarship in understanding how these forces interact. The presentation addresses this gap through an analysis of how different types of national institutions and the different governing parties’ ideologies impacted national labour market policy responses to the COVID pandemic and recession. The COVID crisis is an appropriate context for this analysis given its widespread international impact on businesses and workers served as a catalyst for labour market policy change in virtually all countries.