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Falling back on old habits? A Comparison of the Social and Unemployment Crisis Reactive Policies in Germany, the UK, and Sweden.

Chung, Heejung, Thewissen, Stefan (2011) Falling back on old habits? A Comparison of the Social and Unemployment Crisis Reactive Policies in Germany, the UK, and Sweden. Social Policy & Administration, 45 (4). pp. 354-370. ISSN 0144-5596. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-9515.2011.00779.x) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9515.2011.00779.x

Abstract

Although long-term processes of welfare state development have been investigated frequently, there is a surprising gap in knowledge on short-term reactions of states to sudden events. This article aims to fill this gap by examining the reactive policies, i.e. immediate policy responses to urgent social matters, of governments to the current economic crisis. We focus on social and unemployment policies of the three welfare regime ideal types of Esping-Andersen's typology, namely Germany, the UK and Sweden. We apply long-term policy development theories, most notably the convergence and path dependence theories, to understand the choices made in the different reactive policy strategies of these countries. In addition, we scrutinize whether we find similarities between the reactive policies and the converging structural welfare state developments. We use comparable data from various European and national data sources for the two years directly following the recent crisis, namely 2008 and 2009. Our analysis shows that, at least for the three countries under investigation, countries seem to have fallen back on ‘old habits’ by adopting social and unemployment reactive policies that can be identified based on their institutional legacies. This suggests that reactive policy strategies can be explained by different dynamics than the more structural long-term policy developments, and in our case we find evidence in support for the path dependence theory.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2011.00779.x
Additional information: Special Issue: The times they are changing? Crisis and the welfare state
Uncontrolled keywords: Reactive policy strategies; Economic crisis; Social and unemployment policies; Path dependence; Convergence; Regime typology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Social Policy
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2013 08:50 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 10:19 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/34398 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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