A Dutch Miracle: Job Growth, Welfare Reform and Corporatism in the Netherlands

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The Dutch polder model- recently dubbed a "success story" by Bill Clinton and Jacques Delors - plays a prominent role in current discussions about possibilities for a new "capitalism with a social face", and appeals to experts all over the world. Just ten years ago the Swedish sociologist Göran Therborn described the Dutch employment policy as a "spectacular failure". The authors single out three policy changes to explain the "miracle" that has taken place since then. The "Dutch miracle" shows that it is difficult but not impossible to overcome the drawbacks of the welfare state and that in this age of globalization and integration, it remains necessary to coordinate policy on a national level as well. In the last section the authors investigate the dynamics of social-economic policy which will have to be developed under increasingly stringent international conditions.