The result of a four-year long comparative research study centered at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and financed by the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme, Social Pacts in Europe presents the first full-length theoretical and comparative empirical study of new social pacts in Europe. Its aim is to bring the level of sophistication achieved in an earlier literature on neo-corporatism to the more contemporary phenomenon of'social pacting'. The book brings a wide range of complementary theories to bear on the emergence, evolution and institutionalization of pacts, compares systematically a wide range of cases across Europe, and provides in-depth studies of Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, and Slovenia. Thebook contributes to the scholarly debate on economic adjustment and institutional change in European capitalism by focusing on three inter-related questions: (i) what explains national variation in reliance on social pacts; (ii) what determines the outcomes of individual pact negotiations; and (iii) under what conditions are pacts repeated and become regular features of socio-economic governance? The book's theoretical innovations include a novel application of fuzzy-set Qualitative ComparativeAnalysis (fs/QCA) to help explain national differences in social pact adoption; the application of a game theoretic approach to explain social pact emergence; and a reinterpretation of traditional neo-corporatist and new institutionalist theory to help understand social pact consolidation andinstitutionalization.