Just to celebrate the Second Coming of iPhone, a look back at last year’s model:
But you’ll have to wait until 2014, though. What the newspaper story doesn’t mention is that there will be an English volume as well. And possibly also academic articles.
Unemployment follows the business cycle but the average rate also seems to fluctuate over decades.
The decree demonstrates how radical elements, which lack strong political support in Indonesia, have been able to develop contacts in the bureaucracy and use classic civil society advocacy techniques to influence government policy.
Delvis 1985 – 1997, fuldstændigt 1997 – idag
…trods gode tider med lav ledighed og stor satsning fra kommunerne på at få indvandrerkvinder i arbejde går det kun langsomt frem.
Forslag til lov om ændring af lov om en aktiv beskæftigelsesindsats og lov om aktiv socialpolitik (Pligt for unge under 25 år til at tage en uddannelse, supplering af udlændinges integrationskontrakter, tilbud til kontant- og starthjælpsmodtagere som ikke er blevet aktiveret det seneste år, gentagen aktivering, særlig integrationsindsats, bortfald af kontanthjælp til hjemmegående ægtefælle og afskaffelse af ægtefælletillægget, styrket sygeopfølgning over for kontant- og starthjælpsmodtagere og ændring af refusionsbestemmelserne for kontanthjælp mv.)
Gunnar Wetterberg, head of the political department at Swedish peak-level union SACO, blasts the present Swedish government for adopting ill-prepared policies. His main example is the changes to the unemployment insurance, which to the government’s big surprise has led to an exodus from the system but he also quotes tax policy and sickness insurance as cases.
To a political scientist the question must be: Is Wettermark right, and if so, why does the present government put less emphasis on the preparation of new legislation?
Let us for the sake of argument assume that Wettermark is right and note that he presents two possible explanations: 1) The parties in the governing coalition disagree so much over policies that decisions are made without preparations and 2) the parties think that they hold all knowledge of policy alternatives and their consequences in advance.
With regard to 1), I think it is correct that the parties have different positions on a number of issues, even though my colleagues Camilla Sandström and Thorbjörn Bergman have shown that Swedish politics is more polarized between the blocs while the right-wing seems to have become better coordinated. Still, if a coalition disagrees over an issue, the usual strategy is to put the question into a committee to keep it off the agenda.
2) is more interesting but I will have to note that the tendency in Denmark during the last decade has been to throw all kinds of policy issues into the garbage can (in the decision theory meaning of the term) which is constituted by the annual budget negotiations. It is a very Swedish complaint to say that a policy is bad because it hasn’t been prepared over several years by a committee.
I would add some extra explanations to get a broader view. First, in the run-up to the 2006 election, the “Alliance” put great effort into presenting a common platform before the election and emphasise that the four parties would keep their electoral promises. This does not make much room for additional committee work on proposals afterwards.
Second, I’m convinced that in the back of their heads, the party leaders remembered the fate of earlier centre-right governments – in 1979 the centre-right was only returned with the most marginal of majorities and in 1982 and 1994, the centre-right governments lost elections only to enter long periods in opposition. The probability that the four parties would only stay in office for one term was large. If the parties wanted their policies to have an impact after the 2006 election, they would have to move extremely fast so that the Social Democrats were presented with faits accomplis in 2010. There wasn’t any time for setting up committees on tax policy and social insurance.
Still, that the government acted rationally doesn’t mean that the implemented policies were appropriate. The property tax turned into a mess – but the government still managed to put the Social Democrats in the defensive – while changes to the sickness and unemployment insurances may have backfired both politically and with regard to policy effects.
Geoffrey Wheatcroft on the (un)fortunes of Gordon Brown:
But then sometimes there are great political sea changes, or shifts of the tectonic plates, to which individual actors are irrelevant, and this may be especially true in modern democracies.
At the 1906 election, and again in 1945, the Tories were swept away. No one attributed this to the personal magnetism of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman or Major Attlee, who were – though both very able men – little more than extras in the great drama. Even when another sea change took place in 1979, the British people had not warmed to Margaret Thatcher – they admired her and thought that she was the right woman for the moment. And there was subsequently a good deal of myth-mongering about the unique personal contribution of Blair in returning Labour to power.
I would take Wheatcroft’s side here and say that 1997 was as much a Conservative defeat than a Labour win. In the same way it is worth asking, to what degree 2001 in Denmark and 2006 in Sweden were Social Democratic losses rather than right-wing wins. The big difference between Sweden on the one hand and Denmark and the UK on the other, is that the Social Democrats and the Conservatives, respectively, stayed in the doldrums for a prolonged period while the Swedish Social Democrats bounced back almost immediately after losing power.