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Cover Comparative Politics

22. The Impact of Public Policies  

Jørgen Goul Andersen

This chapter examines the effects of public policy. It first considers economic paradigms and approaches to welfare and documents the overriding historical changes in approaches to the economy, from Keynesian ideas of macro-economic steering to more market-oriented economic perspectives. It then explores the idea of institutional complementarity, as expressed in the typologies of welfare regimes, varieties of capitalism, and flexicurity. It also looks at some of the empirical analyses of the effects of welfare policies and the tension between welfare and economic efficiency. Finally, it looks at policy feedback, path dependence, policy learning, social learning, policy transfer and policy diffusion, and policy convergence.

Chapter

Cover Politics

4. Democracy  

This chapter examines key aspects of democratic theory. It first defines what democracy means and traces the historical evolution of the term, from the time of the ancient Greeks to the French and American revolutions up to the nineteenth-century, when democracy began to take on more popular connotations in theory and practice. The chapter goes on to discuss the debate between advocates of the protective theory and the participatory theory of democracy. It also considers alleged problems with democracy — relating to majoritarianism, its impact on economic efficiency, and its relationship with desired outcomes — before concluding with an analysis of the new directions democratic theory has taken in recent years, including associative, deliberative, cosmopolitan, and ecological versions of democracy.