Government Ideology, Economic Pressure, and Risk Privatization
Government Ideology, Economic Pressure, and Risk Privatization
How Economic Worldviews Shape Social Policy Choices in Times of Crisis
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1. Risk Privatization, Economic Crisis, and the Primacy of Politics 1.1. Context, Research Problem, and Research Question 1.2. The Independent Variable Problem 1.3. Addressing the Independent Variable Problem in the Study of Partisan Effects 1.4. Way of Preceding and Outline of the Results 2. Much Ado about Nothing? Retrenchment versus Resilience 2.1. What Is Retrenchment? Searching for a Definition 2.2. How to Measure Retrenchment? 2.3. Developments and Patterns in OECD Countries 2.4. When Is Change Significant? Retrenchment and Its Consequences 2.5. Conclusion 3. Theoretical and Analytical Framework: What We (Do Not) Know 3.1. Three Perspectives on Government Ideology and Retrenchment 3.2. State of Research: Inconclusive Evidence, Desiderata, and Problems 4. Theoretical and Analytical Framework: Taking Ideology Seriously 4.1. The "Independent Variable Problem" in Comparative Welfare Research 4.2. Addressing the Problem: Ideology as Cognitive Frame/Belief System 5. The "End of Ideology?" Government Ideology over Time 5.1. The Debate on Ideological Change and Ideological Convergence 5.2. Developments and Patterns: Partial Ideological Convergence 6. The Ideological Complexion of Government and Retrenchment 6.1. Research Design: Case Selection, Data, and Model Specification 6.2. Group-Interest Explanations versus the General Framing Argument 6.3. Testing Robustness, Alternative, and Complementary Explanations 6.4. Specific Framing Argument: Ideology Moderates Economic Pressure 6.5. Crisis, Ideology, and Retrenchment in Germany, the UK, and Sweden 6.6. Summary Regarding the Hypotheses: Why Ideology Still Matters 7. Ideology Still Matters: Findings, Limitations, and Implications 7.1. Summary and Findings 7.2. Implications for the "Old" versus "New" Politics Debate 7.3. The Contribution(s) of the Study 7.4. Limitations of the Study and Avenues for Future Research 7.5. Implications for Representative Democracy and the Welfare State Debate 8. References 9. Annex

Reviews and Features

"This book has to be hailed for presenting a thorough analysis full of theoretical and methodological details in a vivid way, which altogether makes for a good read. The book is not only an essential contribution to the debate on partisanship and welfare state retrenchment but provides fresh impulses for future research, thus being a must-read for researchers interested in the partisan politics of the welfare state." - Frank Bandau, *Journal of Social Policy*, January 2019 "[*Government Ideology, Economic Pressure, and Risk Privatization* is a] meticulous and sophisticated statistical analysis of eighteen OECD countries over the last forty years [...] The discussion and critiques of different theoretical traditions and methodological approaches is excellent. The suggestions for conceptualizing and improving the measurement of party ideologies is especially useful. For these reasons alone, it is worth reading." - John L. Campbell, *Contemporary Sociology* 47, 2018

Alexander Horn

Government Ideology, Economic Pressure, and Risk Privatization

How Economic Worldviews Shape Social Policy Choices in Times of Crisis

From the 1980s on, a privatization of labor market-related risks has occurred in the OECD. Governments have cut the generosity of social programs and tightened eligibility rules, particularly for the unemployed. Government Ideology, Economic Pressure, and Risk Privatization: How Economic Worldviews Shape Social Policy Choices in Times of Crisis analyses these curtailments for eighteen countries over the course of four decades and provides an encompassing comparative assessment of the interactive impact of government ideology and economic pressure. It demonstrates that the economic worldviews of governments are the most important factor in explaining why cuts are implemented or not. While ideas of non-intervention in the market underlie cuts in generosity, ideas of equality and fairness are at the heart of stricter eligibility criteria. This book also shows that the impact of the economic pressures often held responsible for the marginalization of politics and government ideology is in fact conditional on the specific ideological configuration.

Alexander Horn

Alexander Horn is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Government at Aarhus University. Previously, he took part in the PhD programs of the Berlin Graduate School and Duke University and defended his dissertation at Humboldt University Berlin. He has published in the European Journal of Political Research, Journal of European Social Policy, and Social Science History.