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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Institut für Sozialwissen­schaften | TEST | Forschung | Forschungsbereiche | Der Wandel demokratischer Institutionen | Causes and Consequences of Variation in the Political Mobilization of Labor

Causes and Consequences of Variation in the Political Mobilization of Labor

Konstantin Vössing

This project is concerned with the emergence and the implications of national variation in labor politics across the industrializing societies of the late 19th and early 20th century. A mid-range explanation for varying trajectories of labor politics and their respective effects on regime dynamics is connected to a general theoretical concern for the conditions under which the rational evaluation of institutional constraints trumps other determinants of political choice. The goal of this approach is to overcome the limitations of prior exclusively deterministic and structural theories by developing a systematic account for the interaction between elite agency and a constraining environment. Historical institutional analysis is thus enriched through an assessment of individual level cognition and behavior. A qualitative-quantitative analysis for a comprehensive set of 20 countries employs socio-economic and electoral data, legal documents, party statutes, and a wide variety of programmatic and personal statements by labor elites.
This project has resulted in a number of publications and ongoing publication plans: an article entitled “Social Democratic Party Formation and National Variation in Labor Politics” is forthcoming in Comparative Politics, while the journal manuscript “Exceptional yet predictable. The failure of American socialism as the rational response of labor elites to external constraints” is currently under review. Several additional publications are currently near completion: a comprehensive book manuscript on the emergence of national variation in labor politics, an article explaining cross-national differences in social democratic mobilization success, and an article on the effects of variation in labor inclusion on interwar regime types.




Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin



Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Universitätsstraße 3b
10117 Berlin