Europeanizing Responses to Labor Market Challenges in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal: The Importance of Consultative and Incorporative Policy-Making

Doctoral Dissertation


This dissertation investigates the relationship between policy-making institutions and processes and the Europeanization of policy content in three second- and third-wave members of the European Union. It focuses specifically on Greek, Irish, and Portuguese responses to a set of labor market challenges in the higher education, immigration, and family policy fields, the latter concentrating on the evolution of policies for work-life balance. The central lines of enquiry involve (a) detailing the extent to which each country has reoriented these three policy areas around Europeanized goals and values, and (b) specifying under what conditions they have been able to do so.
A framework for explaining variation in policy outcomes is developed in which the construction of policy-making institutions and processes capable of balancing functions of interest group consultation and incorporation plays the central role. Ireland has the most fully developed consultative and incorporative tradition and has Europeanized its policy responses the most. Greece has the least developed consultative and incorporative policy-making institutions and processes and has Europeanized its policy responses the least. Portugal is the mixed case in the sample, falling somewhere in between on both counts. The dissertation includes a detailed methodological discussion, especially concerning the basis of national and policy area case selection, as well as a theoretical one concerning why and how consultative and incorporative policy-making is important. The qualitative analysis presented in the empirical chapter discussions draws on national and international policy-related documents as well as a wide secondary literature, and a series of interviews with policy-making officials and interest group leaders conducted in all three of the countries under investigation.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-06082007-110051

Author Kate Nicholls
Advisor Frances Hagopian
Contributor Frances Hagopian, Committee Chair
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Political Science
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2007-05-21

Submission Date 2007-06-08
  • United States of America

  • Greece

  • Ireland

  • interest groups

  • Portugal

  • immigration

  • work-life balance

  • consultation

  • higher education

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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