REBECA is part of the research project “The Privatization of Welfare States: Industrial Relations as a Source of Social Benefits” (SNF No. 100012-119898), which was financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and supported by and located at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Berne. This project, which began in Sepember 2008 and ended in August 2010, sought to study the interplay between industrial relations and the welfare state. Its research question concerned the provision of social benefits by collective agreements. Our main hypothesis was that in the context of welfare state retrenchment during the last two decades collective agreements were of increasing importance for social benefit provision.
First, we collected data on collective agreements which provided social benefits and on the institutional context in which the collective agreements were made. Second, we explored the institutional context within which such schemes of welfare evolve and develop, and which role they played in contemporary welfare state restructuring. With respect to this second aim, the project’s research design was mainly built on in-depth case studies.
In the form of an electronic database, REBECA is pleased to provide information for researchers of industrial relations in Western Europe. The database consists of two sections: The first section offers detailed information on the historical origin, the structural characteristics, and the development of industrial relations and collective bargaining in 15 western European countries. The second section provides comprehensive data on social benefits, which are regulated and financed by collective agreements at the national and sectoral level in 10 western European countries.
Please feel free to contact the team if you have any questions or suggestions regarding the project.