As the longest economic boom in history has given way to leaner times, unemployment has re-emerged as a major issue. This theoretically and empirically sophisticated book examines how unemployment takes on widely different political meanings and explores the ways in which governments act to change their own accountability for unemployment. It contributes to the comparative political economy literature that analyzes political responses to economic problems. Baxandall reverses a conventional application of comparative research by using an Eastern European case to reveal political dynamics that are mirrored in the West - as demonstrated with American and Western European cases. Using interviews and previously unexplored archives to consider a dramatic transformation in the meaning of unemployment in Hungary, he demonstrates how the politics of economic change depend crucially on the political re-crafting of economic categories.

part I|11 pages


chapter 1|9 pages

Changing Meanings of Unemployment

part II|148 pages

From Multiple Changes in a Single Case to International Comparisons

part IV|39 pages

Theory and Predictions

chapter 10|9 pages

The Future of Unemployment