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The Cadario Visiting Lecture in Public Policy: Kathleen Thelen on Employer Organization and the Law: Historical Legacies and the Long Shadow of the American Courts
A strong and well-organized labor movement is clearly essential to achieving high levels of economic equality and shared prosperity in post-industrial political economies. However, a large comparative literature suggests that durable progress is possible only where employers too are well organized. Based on a comparison with Germany, this paper suggests that interventions by the American courts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had a profound and enduring impact on the organization, goals, and strategies of American employers – discouraging and indeed actively disarticulating forms of business organization that were emerging in this period in Europe’s more coordinated “social” market economies.

• Kathleen Thelen, Ford Professor of Political Science, MIT, Cambridge, MA
• Peter Loewen (moderator), Associate Director, Global Engagement; Professor, Munk School and the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto
• Carolyn Tuohy (introductory remarks), Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Distinguished Fellow, Munk School, University of Toronto

The Cadario Visiting Lecture in Public Policy was established through the extraordinary generosity of Paul Cadario, Distinguished Fellow in Global Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

Photo credit: Astrid Dünkelmann of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

Mar 2, 2021 03:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Kathleen Thelen
Ford Professor of Political Science @MIT
Professor Thelen's work focuses on the origins and evolution of political-economic institutions in the rich democracies. She is the author, among others, of Varieties of Liberalization and the New Politics of Social Solidarity (2014) and How Institutions Evolve (2004), and co-editor of Advances in Comparative Historical Analysis (with James Mahoney, 2015), and Beyond Continuity (with Wolfgang Streeck, 2005). Thelen has served as President of the American Political Science Association (APSA), Chair of the Council for European Studies and as President of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. Thelen is General Editor, along with Eric Wibbels, of the Cambridge University Press Series in Comparative Politics, and a permanent external member of the Max Planck Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung in Cologne, Germany.