The Crisis Imperative
Title
The Crisis Imperative
Subtitle
Crisis Rhetoric and Welfare State Reform in Belgium and the Netherlands in the Early 1990s
Price
€ 40,95
ISBN
9789053568088
Format
Paperback
Number of pages
232
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
17 x 24 cm
Table of Contents
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Table of Contents - 6 Acknowledgments - 8 1 The Crisis Imperative - 10 1.1 Welfare State Crisis in the Lowlands - 10 1.2 The Puzzle and Its Pieces - 11 1.3 The Theoretical Argument - 13 1.4 Analysis of Reform - 14 1.5 Purpose, Relevance and Limitations - 16 1.6 Book Plan - 18 2 Crisis and Change - 20 2.1 Introduction - 20 2.2 Welfare State Change in Belgium and the Netherlands: A Tough Nut to Crack - 21 2.3 An Alternative Explanation: Crises and Institutional Dynamics - 28 2.4 Conclusion - 36 3 Comparing Social Security Crises:Design and Method - 38 3.1 Introduction - 38 3.2 Similar Institutional Structures - 39 3.3 Differences - 44 3.4 Similar Predicaments - 46 3.5 Different Outcomes - 48 4 “Nothing as Permanent as a Temporary Arrangement”: Belgian Policy Making on Unemployment Benefits - 54 4.1 Introduction - 54 4.2 The Challenges of Post-Industrialism in Belgium - 56 4.3 Belgian Politics - 58 4.4 Power in Practice: Social Partners - 62 4.5 The Evolution of Social Security Policy - 69 4.6 Policy Reactions to Adversity - 73 4.7 Effects of Adjustments: Ever Deeper Trouble? - 77 4.8 Conclusion - 90 5 Global Pacts and Crisis Plans - 92 5.1 Introduction - 92 5.2 Contradictions and Crisis - 94 5.3 Actors’ Resources and Venues - 101 5.4 Institutional Obstacles to Change - 107 5.5 Conclusion - 115 6 The Sticky State and the Dutch Disease - 120 6.1 Introduction - 120 6.2 Post-Industrial Challenges to the Dutch Economy and Its Society - 122 6.3 Politics in the Netherlands - 123 6.4 The ‘Polder Model’: Industrial Relations and Socio-Economic Policy Making - 127 6.5 The Runaway Social Security System - 132 6.6 The Dutch Disease and Policy Remedies - 136 6.7 Reforms Enforced, Contradictions Reinforced - 138 6.8 Conclusion - 146 7 Crisis Narratives and Sweeping Reforms - 148 7.1 Introduction - 148 7.2 From Incubation to Open Crisis - 149 7.3 Access to Resources and Venues - 164 7.4 Triggers and Change Agents - 170 7.5 Conclusion - 176 8 The Politics of Crisis Construction - 180 8.1 Small Steps or Giant Leaps? - 180 8.2 The Crisis Stratagem - 181 8.3 Reform in Retrospect: Much Ado About Nothing? - 187 8.4 On Balance - 190 Notes - 194 List of Abbreviations - 208 List of Interview Respondents - 212 Bibliography - 216 Index - 230

Sanneke Kuipers

The Crisis Imperative

Crisis Rhetoric and Welfare State Reform in Belgium and the Netherlands in the Early 1990s

The Netherlands and Belgium exemplified the pathology of ‘welfare without work’ that characterized continental welfare states — until a political crisis in both countries produced a surprising divergence in scope and extent of policy change in the early 1990s. In Belgium, government announced major reforms but its social security arrangements proved remarkably resilient. In the Netherlands, policy makers announced and implemented unprecedented cutbacks and a major overhaul of the disability benefit administration and supervision.

This book argues that reform is the product of the deliberate construction of a crisis as an imperative for change. It explains how crisis rhetoric resulted in drastic policy change in the Netherlands and in incremental change in Belgium.
Author

Sanneke Kuipers

Sanneke Kuipers was postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Public Administration at Leiden University. Currently she works at Crisisplan Leiden.