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Dossier

De Europese vakbeweging en de vormgeving van sociaal beleid

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Social Europe, European Union, Social policy, Trade unions, ETUC
Auteurs Drs. Saskia Boumans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The European project currently faces not only an economic crisis, but a moral one as well. The economic growth model of social justice combined with market-oriented policies, also referred to as the European social model has lost much of its meaning after ten years of austerity and financial calamities. In 2012 ECB President Draghi says in the Wall Street Journal that the European social model is “gone”, a thing of the past. While only a couple of years later the European Pillar of Social Rights is put in place. What is happening with ‘Social Europe’? And how do trade unions, as a historical motor of social policy in the member states, relate to the European social model, especially since the financial crisis. This article deals with the position of trade unions vis-à-vis European social policy and the European institutions. The European social model, economic governance and the collective bargaining system are discussed as examples of post-crisis European social policy. It will be argued that although the European Commission gives institutional space to social policy and to a role for trade unions, it has always been subordinate to economic integration. And moreover that the recent economic crisis is used at the European level to obtain almost complete control over social policy in the member states.


Drs. Saskia Boumans
Drs. Saskia Boumans werkt als promovendus bij AIAS-HSI (UvA) aan een onderzoek naar werkgeversorganisaties in collectieve onderhandelingen, en heeft de afgelopen vijftien jaar voor de vakbeweging gewerkt.
Dossier

De aanpak van belastingontwijking door de EU: gerichte maatregelen zonder structurele verandering.

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Tax, EU/European Union, Corporate taxation, Tax avoidance, Tax policy
Auteurs Indra Römgens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    According to the outgoing European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, the European Union (EU) has made more progress in tackling tax avoidance and evasion in the last five years than in the twenty years before that. This article argues that although several targeted measures have indeed been adopted, such as automatic exchange of tax rulings and limitations on interest deductions, this has not led to a structural change in EU corporate tax policies, nor in underlying power relations. The article discusses the politics of a number of recent policy developments related to tax avoidance and evasion by transnational corporations. It argues that the adoption of targeted measures, and the simultaneous stalling of more comprehensive approaches – in terms of tax transparency or a common consolidated corporate tax base – can be explained by recent tax controversies, international politics, and the dynamics within and between EU institutions. Particular attention is paid to the role of the European Parliament that is formally limited, but still houses progressive forces that have continuously pushed for a clampdown on tax avoidance. Finally, the article pleads for more transparent EU decision-making, specifically concerning discussions with and within the Council, in order to improve the democratic legitimacy of EU corporate tax policies and processes.


Indra Römgens
MSc Indra Römgens is Promovendus aan de Roskilde Universiteit in Denemarken en de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen.
Dossier

Access_open Uitdijende financiële macht: de monetaire orde van de ECB

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Auteurs Rodrigo Fernandez, Reijer Hendrikse en David Hollanders
Auteursinformatie

Rodrigo Fernandez
Dr. Rodrigo Fernandez is postdoc aan de KU Leuven en senior onderzoeker bij SOMO.

Reijer Hendrikse
Dr. Reijer Hendrikse is Postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

David Hollanders
Dr. David Hollanders is redactiesecretaris van Beleid en Maatschappij.
Dossier

De schuldencrisis in de eurozone: oorzaken, aanpak en implicaties

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Eurozone crisis, Financialization, Bail-outs, Austerity, Banking union, Quantitative easing
Auteurs Dr. Henk Overbeek
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Ten years ago, now, the Eurozone began to shake on its foundations. This article traces the genesis of the crisis and the present state of affairs. As to the causes of the global financial crisis in 2008, I argue that contrary to common understanding, the financial crisis had its deeper causes in a decades old tendency towards crisis in the real economy, produced by the continuous overaccumulation of capital which can only return profits by undertaking speculative short-term investments (a phenomenon known as ‘financialisation’). I then trace how the global financial crisis morphed into a crisis of public deficits and debt in 2010-2011, particularly in the Eurozone. Three factors are shown to be responsible: financialization, design faults in the European monetary union, and the neo-mercantilist strategy of especially Germany and the Netherlands. The paper next looks at the five main traits of the policy responses in the Eurozone: bailing out governments and banks through creating emergency funds; imposition of austerity and budget discipline for member state governments; attempting to create and complete a Eurozone banking union; subsequently the European Central Bank engaged on an unprecedented scale in ‘quantitative easing’; and finally, institutional reform in an attempt to repair the most pressing design faults of the EMU. The paper concludes that the underlying structural factors leading up to the crisis have only been addressed incompletely: the overaccumulation of capital continues, the completion of the banking union is in an impasse, quantitative easing has mostly just intensified financialization by pushing up asset prizes, and institutional reform has taken the form of a fundamentally undemocratic attempt at monetary and political union by stealth. The broader legitimacy of the European project has been substantially undermined, and Europe is not in a better position than eight years ago in case of a new global crisis.


Dr. Henk Overbeek
Henk Overbeek is Emeritus Hoogleraar Internationale betrekkingen aan de afdeling Bestuurswetenschap en Politicologie van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Dossier

Access_open De politiek van buy-to-let

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden Housing, Financialization, Private investors, Buy-to-let, Private rent
Auteurs Jelke Bosma MSc, Dr. Cody Hochstenbach, Dr. Rodrigo Fernandez e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this feature authors discuss recent research findings that are of interest to readers of Beleid en Maatschappij.
    Mounting concerns exist that small private investors exacerbate the urban housing crisis, by purchasing dwellings to rent out so-called ‘buy-to-let’ purchases. By buying up property, they may drive up house prices and exclude regular house-seekers. In this paper, we show that buy-to-let purchases constitute an increasing share of all purchases on the Dutch housing market, and especially so in larger cities and university cities. We argue these local trends do not emerge out of thin air and are not a ‘natural’ market process but should be considered the product of both global economic developments and national policies supporting these changes. Global developments include the increased mobility and ample availability of capital, exemplified by a prolonged low interest environment and a growing scarcity of high quality collateral and investment opportunities, making housing attractive for storing capital. Dutch housing policies have increasingly restricted access to social rent to low-income groups, while blowing up house prices fuelled with mortgage debts. As a consequence, a growing number of households falls in-between these two tenures: they have to resort to private rent. Private investors respond to and accommodate this demand through buy-to-let investments. Furthermore, the Dutch national government has made steps to relax regulation on the private-rental market and weakened tenant rights. In so doing, it sets the scene for amplifying social and spatial inequalities between the property rich and the property poor.


Jelke Bosma MSc
Jelke Bosma MSc is junior onderzoeker aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Dr. Cody Hochstenbach
Dr. Cody Hochstenbach is postdoctoraal onderzoeker stadsgeografie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, en redactielid van Beleid en Maatschappij.

Dr. Rodrigo Fernandez
Dr. Rodrigo Fernandez is postdoc aan de KU Leuven en onderzoeker bij SOMO.

Prof. dr. Manuel Aalbers
Prof. dr. Manuel Aalbers is hoogleraar sociale en economische geografie aan de KU Leuven.

    In the last few years, platform work and the so-called ‘gig economy’ have been growing across countries. While policy makers are debating the gig economy, there is no single agreed definition of this new type of work and systematic academic reviews are missing. This literature review provides main findings of relevant papers on working in the gig economy. The article shows that the growth of the gig economy fits well into the increasing hybridisation of work, which raises some political questions.


Fabian Dekker
Fabian Dekker is als arbeidssocioloog verbonden aan Regioplan Beleidsonderzoek en lid van de redactie van Beleid en Maatschappij.
Casus

Access_open De winsten van zorginstellingen

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden health-care organizations, financial accounts, for-profit or not-for-profit, Profits, economies of scale
Auteurs Prof. dr. Jeroen Suijs en Prof. dr. Harrie Verbon
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this feature authors discuss recent research findings that are of interest to readers of Beleid en Maatschappij.
    We calculate and describe profits obtained by health organizations in The Netherlands in the years 2014 and 2015. We distinguish between profit and not-for-profit organizations. We find that on average net profits amount to about 2 percent on turnover with a peak of more than 3 percent for mental-healthcare organizations. If we take the size of organizations into account, we find that for-profit organizations with a turnover of less than 1 million euro tend to have on average net profit rates of 4 percent to more than 5 percent with peaks amounting to more than 50 percent. We are not yet able to come up with explanations for these excessively high profit rates in parts of the Dutch health care sector. On the other hand, the highest losses can be found in small-sized organizations as well. We delved deeper into the financial accounts of a few for-profit organizations and found indications of misreporting of turnover or number of treatments. On the other hand, bad management and unhealthy cost structures might explain why some organizations incur excessive big losses. The sector does not appear to be well monitored by the government.


Prof. dr. Jeroen Suijs
Prof. dr. Jeroen Suijs is hoogleraar financial accounting aan de Erasmus Universiteit in Rotterdam.

Prof. dr. Harrie Verbon
Prof. dr. Harrie Verbon is hoogleraar openbare financiën aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Professor Christoffer Green-Pedersen
Christoffer Green-Pedersen is professor of Political Science at Aarhus University, Denmark. He is the author of The Politics of Justification. Party Competition and Welfare-State Retrenchment in Denmark and the Netherlands from 1982 to 1998, Amsterdam University Press 2002.

    In this feature authors discuss recent research findings that are of interest to readers of Beleid en Maatschappij.
    According to many commentators, the system of science is in a crisis: it is characterized by perverse incentives, it is contested and misused, and it has lost its authority. In this essay, I suggest that the answer to this crisis lies in a broadening of the notion of scientific integritiy from the conduct of individual researchers to the wider context of the science-policy-society interface. Specifically, I argue for the need to foster what I call here ‘relations of integrity’. In these relations, science reflects on the role it plays and takes into account the context in which knowledge is produced and used. It has to maintain independence, while fully recognizing that value free knowledge does not exist and that multiple forms of independence are possible, and it needs to be accountable for the decisions it makes and for the consequences of those decisions.


Prof. dr. Esther Turnhout
Prof. dr. Esther Turnhout is werkzaam bij de Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group, Wageningen Universiteit.

    In this feature authors discuss recent research findings that are of interest to readers of Beleid en Maatschappij.
    ‘Fact free politics’ and ‘post-truth politics’ are considered to pose a severe threat to democracies as they seem to ruin shared perceptions of reality and render it impossible to distinguish opinion from fact. However, it is questionable whether fueling public and political debates with scientific facts offers a counterweight. First, scientific facts are not free from interpretation and can be regarded as ‘theory-laden’. Second, scientific research may determine facts but it may not claim the monopoly to determine the public meaning attached to these facts. Third, facts not only function to explain or to describe reality, they also affect reality. Given these considerations, the ‘science versus fact free politics’ debate could profit from a more realistic view on the status of facts.


Prof. dr. Huub Dijstelbloem
Prof. dr. Huub Dijstelbloem is werkzaam bij de faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, capaciteitsgroep Philosophical Tradition in Context, Filosofie van Wetenschap en Politiek.

Dr. Alexandre Afonso
Dr. Alexandre Afonso is assistant professor aan de Universiteit van Leiden.
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