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The politics of ideas in family policy: parties, electoral competition, and shifting norms

Fleckenstein, Timo ORCID: 0000-0002-0154-7644 and Mohun Himmelweit, Samuel (2023) The politics of ideas in family policy: parties, electoral competition, and shifting norms. In: Daly, Mary, Pfau-Effinger, Birgit, Gilbert, Neil and Besharov, Douglas J., (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Family Policy: A Life-Course Perspective. Oxford University Press / World Bank, 270 - 289. ISBN 9780197518151

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Identification Number: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780197518151.013.13


The chapter argues that a focus on cross-national explanations for change in family policies requires an examination not only of the political dynamics of ideational change but of the content of that change as well. The chapter addresses this gap, providing an overview of the politics of ideas in family policy, with a particular focus on variation in recent changes, based on a comparative study that includes welfare states in the Scandinavian countries, Continental Europe, the liberal countries, East Asia, and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. It highlights how a relatively homogenous “old” politics of ideas has given way to a variety of “new” politics, which vary in terms of the extent and direction of policy change. On the basis of the findings, the authors conclude that a focus on the politics of ideas can help to understand cross-national differences in family policy reform.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 Oxford University Press
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2024 14:33
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 18:54

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