Institutionele dynamiek in de werknemersverzekeringen | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0169-2216
  • E-ISSN: 2468-9424


Institutional dynamics of the organization for social benefits

Institutional dynamics of the organization for social benefits

This article investigates a complex reorganization process in the Dutch sector of social insurance from the theory of institutional change. The article is based on a study of the decision-making process that has culminated in the SUWI Act 2002, in particular UWV (the central agency for social benefits). The research method is based on an extended study of the relevant documents in the history of reorganization, supplemented with 25 interviews. This study reveals that institutional change in terms of de-stabilizing traditional institutions can not fully be explained by the dissatisfaction with the performance of the sector or by political or societal pressures. Neither have SUWI nor UWV come into existence as a direct result of the preferences of the actors involved. Explanations for institutional change with an emphasis on either the impact of institutions or on strategic action are far too simplistic. It is in the interaction of choices and contexts that new explanations for institutional change exist. However, institutional change has to be mainly considered as a process of de-institutionalization – in this case of the neo-corporatist model –, rather than stabilizing the sector's future.


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