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Cover Comparative European Politics

12. Politics and Markets  

Neil Robinson and Owen Worth

The political economy of Europe has changed significantly in the last four decades because of globalization, the collapse of communism, and financial crises. This chapter first discusses the different varieties of capitalism that emerged in Europe after World War II. It looks at how they have been put under pressure by economic internationalization and the dominance of neoliberal ideas, which together have weakened economic management at nation-state level. The chapter also looks at the development of capitalism in Eastern Europe and explanations for variance in post-communist capitalist development. Finally, the chapter considers the challenges to the management of Europe’s political economy posed by the international financial crisis that dominated much of Europe’s politics after 2007, along with the initial response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.


Cover Comparative Politics

22. The impact of public policies  

Atsuko Ichijo

This chapter examines the role of public policies. It starts by defining public policy and introducing a series of tools for analysing different types of public policies. The chapter argues that we need to consider both the short-run effects of policies and their longer-run political effects, with each empirical section examining both how policies work and how they shape (or fail to shape) longer-run political coalitions. It starts by analysing policies affecting income equality, looking at policies shaping longer-run patterns of income redistribution. It then turns to economic performance, reviewing arguments about different ‘varieties of capitalism’ and their underlying political and economic logics. The penultimate section turns to examining the role of quotas and other policies in shaping women’s representation in legislatures. The chapter concludes with discussion of climate change and the economic and political logics of policies aiming to reduce carbon emissions.


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.