Alexandre Afonso

Alexandre Afonso
Leiden University | LEI · Institute of Public Administration

PhD

About

71
Publications
27,152
Reads
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954
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2015 - present
Leiden University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2012 - June 2015
King's College London
Position
  • Lecturer
October 2011 - August 2012
Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (71)
Research
Full-text available
Forthcoming in PS: Political Science and Politics
Article
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This article provides an overview of the literature on the political economy of international migration with a focus on the relationship between labour migration, labour markets and welfare institutions. Immigration flows and policies are considered both as independent (how migration shapes capitalist institutions) and dependent variables (how migr...
Article
Full-text available
Why did some European countries choose to emphasise foreign labour to expand their labour force, while other countries opted for measures to expand female employment via welfare expansion? The paper argues that gender norms and left power resources were important structuring factors in these choices: female employment requires a substantial expansi...
Article
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Drawing on an analysis of austerity reforms in Greece and Portugal during the sovereign debt crisis from 2009 onwards, we show how the nature of the linkages between parties and citizens shapes party strategies of fiscal retrenchment. We argue that parties which rely to a greater extent on the selective distribution of state resources to mobilize e...
Book
Full-text available
Why do governments still negotiate with trade unions and employers in the design of labour market and welfare reforms despite the steady decline of trade union membership almost everywhere in Europe? Social Concertation in Times of Austerity investigates the political underpinnings of social concertation in this new context with a focus on the regu...
Chapter
This chapter gives an overview of the main characteristics of the Mediterranean model of capitalism when it comes to labor market regulation and industrial relations institutions in Southern Europe. It focuses on reform dynamics and their underlying political economy. The discussion underscores that the transformations which have taken place since...
Article
Full-text available
This article explains variation in local aggregate support for the populist radical right in Portugal, a country long considered immune to the rise of this political force. Using local electoral results of the 2021 presidential election, I find positive statistical associations between the radical right vote share and the share of social assistance...
Preprint
Employer organizations have been presented as strong promoters of the liberalization of industrial relations in Europe. This paper, in contrast, argues that the preferences of employers vis-à-vis liberalization are heterogeneous, and documents how employer organizations in Spain, Italy and Portugal have resisted state-led reforms to liberalize coll...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores trade union strategies to protect wages in the face of EU migration after the enlargement of the European Union. We argue that unions have three instruments at their disposal to deal with the risks linked to downward wage pressure: closure through immigration control, equalisation through collective bargaining and minimum wages,...
Article
Full-text available
This paper links patterns of deregulatory reforms and post-crisis reversals in Italy and Portugal with the electoral constituencies of political parties. Combining insights from the social coalitions and electoral behaviour debates, we link reform outcomes to the class setup of the electorate in the two countries by using the class schema developed...
Article
Full-text available
Employer organizations have been presented as strong promoters of the liberalization of industrial relations in Europe. This paper, in contrast, argues that the preferences of employers vis-à-vis liberalization are heterogeneous, and documents how employer organizations in Spain, Italy and Portugal have resisted state-led reforms to liberalize coll...
Article
The blended flipped classroom is a partially online, partially offline course to teach social science research methods. Online, students watch video lectures, do readings, and complete short exercises to acquire basic knowledge of research methodologies and academic skills. Being set up modularly, the online environment off ers fl exibility regardi...
Article
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This article proposes a framework to understand and explain the occurrence of policy reversals. We argue that the occurrence and absence of policy reversals is shaped by the constraints of responsiveness (to voters) and responsibility (vis-à-vis creditors, international institutions and financial markets). We review the literature on reversals and...
Article
Full-text available
South European labour markets have gone through a substantial level of downward adjustment in wages (internal devaluation) and liberalisation in the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis. Yet, there have been great differences in the extent of change between Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy. These differences cannot be explained by the size of the econ...
Article
Full-text available
This article shows how the network structure of economic expertise can influence the diffusion of ideas in economic policymaking. Applying social network analysis, we analyse the networks of economic policy advice in the United States and Germany around the Council of Economic Advisors and the Sachverständigenrat. With the help of co-publication an...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter explores the importance of the welfare state as a political issue for radical right parties. It considers the role of the class setup of parties, party competition, and issue salience as possible determinants of welfare state positions. Based on an analysis of voter profiles and the economic agendas of right-wing populist parties in re...
Article
Full-text available
Because they are now members of most Western European parliaments, Populist Radical Right Parties (PRRPs) have the potential to influence the formulation of socioeconomic policies. However, scholarly attention so far has nearly exclusively focused on the impact of PRRPs on what is considered their 'core issue', i.e. migration policy. In this paper,...
Article
Full-text available
This article investigates how internationalisation through labour mobility can strengthen collective bargaining in coordinated market economies. It shows how new political cleavages generated by internationalisation can foster the re-regulation of labour markets on the one hand, and how the alliance between trade unions and employers in sheltered s...
Chapter
This article investigates how internationalisation through labour mobility can strengthen collective bargaining in coordinated market economies. It shows how new political cleavages generated by internationalisation can foster the re-regulation of labour markets and how the alliance between trade unions and employers in sheltered sectors of the eco...
Conference Paper
This paper assesses and explains labour market reforms in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece during the Eurozone crisis. The paper argues that labour market reforms were the result of the empowerment of EU institutions, combined with the concentration of power within state institutions in labour market governance. First, because governments in fisca...
Article
Varieties of Academic Labor Markets in Europe - Volume 49 Issue 4 - Alexandre Afonso
Chapter
Full-text available
The chapter explores the importance of the welfare state as a political issue for radical right parties, a party family that is usually considered to mobilize their voters on cultural issues such as immigration, rather than socio-economic issues such as welfare. Since their constituency has become increasingly working-class, a constituency traditio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper analyses the connection between labour market institutions, migrant rights and labour migration flows in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland during 30-year period of economic growth that followed World War II. More precisely, it explains why countries such as Switzerland and Germany relied extensively on foreign labour and so-called " guest...
Article
This paper explains why some European countries opted for migrant labor to increase the labor supply during the period of growth that followed the second world war, while others opted for increasing female employment via the expansion of welfare programs such as childcare and paid maternity leave. It argues that the setup of welfare regimes was an...
Article
This paper shows how the rise of the Swiss People's Party (SVP) has affected welfare state reforms in Switzerland between the 1990s and the 2000s. In the 1990s, welfare state reforms drew on " modernizing " coalitions between FDP (Liberals), CVP (Christian Democrats) and SP (Social Democrats) combining retrenchment and " recalibration ". In the 200...
Research
Full-text available
This paper proposes a set of hypotheses to understand international migration as a substitute for different functions of modern welfare states: social insurance, macro-economic stabilization, and service provision. The paper proposes to analyze international labor mobility as a private alternative used by states and households to externalize or spr...
Article
Full-text available
This article analyses the impact of populist right-wing parties (PRWPs) on welfare state reforms in Western Europe in the light of the trade-off that they face between office and votes. On the one hand, PRWPs appeal to traditionally left-leaning blue-collar ‘insiders’ supportive of social insurance schemes. On the other hand, they have only been ab...
Chapter
In this chapter we analyse patterns of policy change and employment performance in the social models of the Netherlands and Switzerland. We outline how these countries have been able to reconcile high employment levels, a lean welfare state and moderate levels of income inequality, three policy objectives that have been considered irreconcilable in...
Article
Full-text available
This article analyses how and why political parties adopt more restrictive migration policy positions by using Paul Sabatier’s Advocacy Coalition Framework. While a number of studies have emphasised electoral factors alone to explain this anti-immigration turn, this article argues that policies and cooperation constraints with organised interests a...
Article
Full-text available
Academic systems rely on the existence of a supply of “outsiders” ready to forgo wages and employment security in exchange for the prospect of uncertain security, prestige, freedom and reasonably high salaries that tenured positions entail. Drawing on data from the US, Germany and the UK, this paper looks at how the academic job market is structure...
Article
This article provides an overview of the literature connecting comparative political economy and international migration in advanced industrialised countries with a focus on the relationship between labour migration, labour markets and welfare institutions. Immigration flows and policies are considered both as independent (how migration shapes capi...
Article
This paper analyses the changing configuration of party coalitions underpinning welfare state reforms in Switzerland between the mid-1990s and the late 2000s. Drawing upon an analysis of party alliances in major welfare state reforms (pensions and unemployment), as well as a number of expert interviews, we argue that the dominant pattern of decisio...
Chapter
Full-text available
Since the late 1980s, right-wing populist parties—parties that combine authoritarianism (law and order and traditional values), nativism (the protection of the interests of the native-born over those of immigrants), and populism (a critique of the political and economic establishment) at the core of their ideology—have emerged as a significant elec...
Article
This article seeks to explain why and how mainstream political parties adopt more restrictive migration policy positions by using Paul Sabatier’s Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF). While a number of studies have documented the “anti-immigration turn” in parties’ policy positions in Western Europe, there has been little research on the process wher...
Article
This paper analyses the economic interests which underpin the immigration policy agenda of the strongest radical populist right party in Western Europe, the Swiss People´s Party. Rather than understanding this agenda merely as the manifestation of anti-immigration resentment or the exploitation thereof, it proposes to analyse it as a political-econ...
Article
This article investigates the political mechanisms whereby internationalisation through labour mobility can strengthen collective bargaining in coordinated market economies. By focusing on Switzerland as a pathway case, it shows how new political cleavages generated by internationalisation can foster the re-regulation of labour markets on the one h...
Article
Full-text available
The free circulation of workers and services in the European Union after its latest enlargements has been believed to foster a ‘race to the bottom’ in wage standards. This paper explains the strategies of national employer associations towards labour market regulations geared to protect national wage standards in the context of labour mobility. Fir...
Article
This paper assesses whether changes in government choice for policy concertation with trade unions and employers are better explained by international or domestic factors. We compare patterns of corporatist governance in a strongly Europeanized policy domain (labour migration policy) and in a weakly Europeanised policy domain (social policy) over t...
Chapter
Full-text available
The wave of liberalization of the last thirty years has implied a shift in states' functions from direct interventionism in the economy to stronger public supervision and regulation of markets. This chapter shows how this general trend has taken place in Switzerland. A comparison of different economic sectors – telecom and electricity, banking and...
Article
Throughout the twentieth century, Switzerland has been one of the OECD countries with the highest proportion of immigrants in its population. The aim of this article is to show how institutional factors have shaped the opportunities for change in immigration and immigrant-employment-related policies there since the 1990s. Whereas unemployment had r...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides an overview of continuity and change in the Swiss and Austrian political economies over the last 20 years. After outlining the different institutional foundations of economic governance in both countries (fragmented state, constrained executive power and bourgeois dominance in Switzerland, centralised state, stronger executive p...
Thesis
Full-text available
Why do governments sometimes involve and negotiate with trade unions and employers in the design of labour market and welfare reforms, while sometimes they do not? Does European integration undermine these patterns of social concertation? To answer these questions, the dissertation investigates the political underpinnings of cooperation and conflic...
Article
Full-text available
This article investigates the impact of Europeanization on corporatist policy concertation by emphasizing the mediation of political cleavages.The analysis shows that in Switzerland, Europeanization has tended to strengthen policy concertation on labour market issues related to the EU, whereas this type of policy-making has weakened over strictly d...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides an overview of the main demographic, social and economic characteristics of Portuguese immigration in Switzerland. First, the political and economic underpinnings of Portuguese migration flows to Switzerland are outlined. The demographic and sociological composition of these flows, as well as of the Portuguese population in Sw...
Chapter
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The entry of 10 new eastern countries in the European Union on 1 May 2004 raised several debates in Europe regarding the maintenance of national wage and labour standards in the EU 15. The significant wage differentials between ‘old’ and ‘new’ member states were believed to potentially give rise to important migration flows that individual member s...
Article
This paper investigates the impact of europeanisation on corporatist policy concertation in Switzerland by emphasing the mediating impact of political cleavages. The analysis shows that europeanisation has tended to strengthen policy concertation in labour market issues related to EU-matters, whereas this type of policymaking procedure has tended t...
Article
Full-text available
This article analyses how Europeanisation affects the power resources of social democratic forces in Switzerland. Whereas political economy arguments would assume that processes of internationalisation invariably weaken social democratic parties and trade unions, we argue that they can also empower them in certain circumstances. Detailed case studi...
Article
This research note presents a set of strategies to conduct small-N comparisons in policy research including the Swiss case. Even though every country can be considered “special” to some extent, the Swiss political system is often viewed as a particularly difficult case for comparison because of the impact of its idiosyncratic institutional features...
Article
This article analyses the varying influence across time of the “epistemic community“ of free-market economists on immigration policy making in Switzerland. To this end, a framework for the analysis of the impact of economic expertise is provided, and then used in an historical analysis comparing the 1960s with the 1990s. Whereas this influence can...
Article
This paper analyzes the impact of internationalization (European integration, multilateral decrease of tariffs and opening of markets) on Swiss immigration policy in a comparative political economy perspective. The main argument is that internationalization as a process of redistribution of resources has considerably modified the preferences and th...
Article
Full-text available
This article approaches the changes that occurred in Swiss immigration policy since the 1990s from two theoretical perspectives. The first focuses on learning processes and highlights the influence of economic expertise on immigration policy reforms in a context of deteriorating socioeconomic conditions. The second concentrates on the employers'cha...
Article
Full-text available
Switzerland is an interesting case, for it provides information on the impacts of mass immigration on a relatively small receiving country and on the ways a government can deal with this phenomenon and its associated issues over time. Indeed, two antagonistic dynamics that most immigration countries have had to deal with-demands for cheap labor fro...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
Life can be “solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short” (Hobbes 1651). To insure their citizens against the hardships of life, Western European governments have since the 19th century introduced social policies such as health insurance or pensions that constitute the core of what we now understand as the modern welfare state. The strong focus on these particular policies has served comparative welfare state research well in analyzing the reduction of life risks in advanced democracies over the last century. Yet, increasingly, this focus is too narrow. There is a strong need to discuss new policies within and outside developed democracies, as well as historical and contemporary forms of non-state welfare provision.
Project
This project seeks to uncover the relationship between institutions of economic governance (the welfare state, collective bargaining) and international migration.