Big Business as an agent of change in the development of Dutch industrial policies, 1970s-2010s. With implications for the Varieties of Capitalism model
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis argues that significant changes in Dutch industrial policies between the late 1960s and the late 2010s ultimately have been the result of active and purposeful involvement of corporate agents rather than corporatist intermediation. Apart from increasing absenteeism of labour unions, the changes involve a retreat of the government as entrepreneurial initiator of industrial policy outputs (measures). Instead, the government has increasingly accepted a compliant position with respect to preferences held by big businesses (or MNEs). The long-term development of industrial policy shows that more or less original ideas about where the country’s industries ought to be heading have been increasingly abandoned in favour of generic fiscal support for especially large and/or listed firms. These changes have moved the Dutch variety of capitalism tighter into what the literature qualifies as a Liberal Market Economy. The current study thus confirms earlier studies that have demonstrated that the Dutch variety of capitalism has moved away from the Coordinated Market Economy form. However, whereas several earlier studies have suggested that this change in form is the result of globalisation, thus rather implicitly proposing that what is at stake is simply a convergence to best practice, the current study does not find evidence for this suggestion. Instead, this study supports a view that argues that changes in a variety of capitalism come about as a result of political struggle. For evidence, the thesis reports on discussions in the literature and makes use of primary materials, including the study of industrial policy documents, policy memoranda, policy committee reports, and documents that thus far remained confidential but were recently revealed by non-governmental organizations after having successfully appealed to the law on the freedom of information.