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Advocacy and diffusion of EU employment policy: The European Employment Strategy in France and Italy.

Chiattelli, Carlo (2008) Advocacy and diffusion of EU employment policy: The European Employment Strategy in France and Italy. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis aims to investigate the process through which discourses promoted by one level of governance are diffused and become accepted in another. It defines the European Employment Strategy (EES) as an attempt to set member states' employment policy agendas by imposing a specific policy discourse defining the problems of European labour markets and the appropriate solutions and it looks at how, by who and under what conditions this was adopted or refused at the national level. It argues that existing accounts of the effects of the EES, which emphasise mechanisms relying on incentives and sanctions, policy-oriented learning and socialisation, do not pay enough attention to whether and why different domestic actors and groups might support it in the domestic arena and to the role of domestic institutional settings. The thesis holds, first, that the diffusion of the Strategy's discourse at the national level depended on the presence or absence of national coalitions of actors willing to adopt and advocate it. The empirical evidence collected in the case studies on France and Italy suggests that the Strategy's discourse was limited to narrow communities composed of civil servants, experts and social partner representatives. The second contention is that these coalitions' success depended on the institutional resources and constraints facing them. In both countries studied meeting the Strategy's requirements stimulated a measure of administrative adaptation, which provided supporting coalitions with additional resources and facilitated norm diffusion. Yet the diffusion of information on the Strategy was limited even within the central administration, among the rank-and-file of the social partners and at the regional and local levels of government. Thus the last contention of this work is that the coalitions promoting the EU discourse remained weak due to the scarce diffusion of information beyond restricted circles and the limited institutional resources provided by the Strategy. Supporting coalitions have only been influential when directly involved in specific policy choices made at the centre and, even then, implementation has proved difficult if actors other than the central government were involved.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations, European Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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