The State and Corporatism: The role of the state in the development and reproduction of `the Danish model'

Lars Bo Kaspersen, Ulrich Schmidt-Hansen

    Research output: Working paperResearch

    75 Downloads (Pure)


    In the literature on the establishment and development of the Danish variant of corporatism, emphasis has most often been on the role of the social partners. Scholars rarely stress the crucial role which the state has played in the development of the system. We argue that several actors contributed to the development of the `Danish model', but that these actors were often orchestrated by the state. At crucial moments the direction of these different actors was even determined by the state. In the first part of the article, it is argued that the state has been under-theorized and to some extent neglected in corporatist theory. In particular, we draw upon a conceptualization of the state developed by Michael Mann and Eric Nordlinger's different forms of state autonomy. We propose a state-centered theoretical focus enabling us to grasp the role of the state in the dynamics of the corporatist system. In the second part of the article, we present an analysis of the establishment and evolution of the Danish corporatist system seen from this distinctively state-centered perspective. In the third part we look into the current system during the last decade of the 20th century. By newly- conducted empirical research, we examine the role of the state in the corporatist system during the 1990s in the labour market and within immigration integration policy. We conclude that due to its autonomous power, the state is still a key player in the corporatist system.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
    PublisherDepartment of Business and Politics. Copenhagen Business School
    Number of pages38
    ISBN (Print)8791690331
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Cite this