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Comparative Public Policy

Patterns of Post-war Transformation Francis G. Castles, Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Australian National University. He was formerly Professor of Social and Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh, UK
Comparative Public Policy provides the first truly systematic and comprehensive account of the transformation of the post-war state in the advanced countries of the Western world. The author generates new research findings which show how the economic, social and political changes of the post-war era have reshaped modern public policy across the OECD region.
Extent: 368 pp
Hardback Price: $167.00 Web: $150.30
Publication Date: 1998
ISBN: 978 1 85898 816 0
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $47.00 Web: $37.60
Publication Date: 1999
ISBN: 978 1 85898 823 8
Availability: In Stock
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Comparative Public Policy provides the first truly systematic and comprehensive account of the transformation of the post-war state in the advanced countries of the Western world. The author generates new research findings which show how the economic, social and political changes of the post-war era have reshaped modern public policy across the OECD region.

Francis G. Castles examines the growth of big government and the emergence of the modern welfare state and identifies ways in which the role of the state has impacted on labour markets and such personal issues as home ownership, fertility and divorce. He explains why the trajectory of policy transformation has varied from country to country, with immediate post-war policy laggards sometimes becoming leaders, and erstwhile policy pioneers on occasions stagnating. This innovative book presents a wealth of background data and a huge range of new findings, covering 12 policy areas in 21 advanced industrialized countries over a period of more than three decades.

Comparative Public Policy is essential reading for students and scholars who wish to understand the dynamics of contemporary social and political development.
‘Castles’s book is an important contribution to comparative public policy, offering significant insight into policy areas over time and countries and providing a key source for any analysis of public policy.’
– Martin Lodge, West European Politics

‘This is a magisterial study by one of the leading international specialists in public policy research. . . . This is a compelling and convincing analysis and in its combination of scope, ambition and rigor is currently unchallenged. It is succinct, concise and undeviating from its central explanatory thesis. . . . it should be compulsory reading for professors.’
– Martin Rhodes, American Political Science Review

‘Castles’s work is accessible and provides much data regarding public policy after World War II.’
– Jim F. Couch, E.H. Net

‘. . . a comprehensive, well organized work. . . . Castles’s book is a comprehensive analysis of recent social processes.’
– Ian Gough and Meir Shabat, Journal of European Social Policy

‘. . . this book will serve as an extremely valuable source and guide for anybody interested in comparative public policy development between 1950 and the mid 1990s in OECD countries. . . . The ability to discuss the subject matter and argue his case within the space of 350 rather than 1,000 pages pays tribute to the author’s considerable grasp of the material and concise presentation and discussion of data and analysis.’
– Jochen Clasen, European Journal of Social Work

‘. . . the author has achieved his goal of capturing the large picture of economic transformation and public policy in Western capitalism, post World War II. This book poses problems for all kinds of theories. Castles has simplified our empirical world while questioning our theoretical maps. The tables that at first sight appear off-putting have the compelling fascination of a Guinness Book of Records for grown ups. Not the least of its attractions is that it is an interesting read.’
– Grant Jordan, Political Studies

‘This innovative book presents a wealth of background data and a huge range of findings. This is a most scholarly text.’
– Economic Outlook and Business Review

‘Castles is one of the most prolific and innovative writers on welfare states and public policy and, once again, he does not disappoint. This book fills a huge vacuum in existing student texts. With great lucidity and tremendous reach, this book gives us a comparative, historical and cross-disciplinary panorama of postwar era public sector growth and, now, crisis. Few, if any, existing texts manage so well to present the leading questions, debates and the evidence so succinctly. It is bound to become
a leading text for upper level students everywhere.’
– Gosta Esping-Andersen, University of Trento, Italy

‘Castles has written an accessible and comprehensive analysis of the evolution of public policy in the industrialized world since 1945. All students of comparative public policy will want to have this book close at hand as a ready guide and a source of superb statistical data to a complicated and fascinating set of policy issues.’
– Peter J. Katzenstein, Cornell University, US

‘Not the least of this book’s many accomplishments is its contribution to our intellectual hygiene. Castles does a real public service by dispelling many myths, held by academics and neoliberal ideologues alike, about the role of "big government" in advanced societies.’
– Claus Offe, Humboldt University, Germany

‘Frank Castles has written a book that should be read by anyone interested in comparative public policy, and comparative politics more generally. It is a rare combination of analytic rigor and descriptive richness. It covers a broad sweep of countries, policy areas, and time, and sets a standard for books in public policy.’
– B. Guy Peters, University of Pittsburgh, US
Contents: Preface 1. Making Sense of Post-war Public Policy 2. Economy and Society 3. Institutions and Ideology 4. The Causes of Big Government 5. The Welfare State 6. The State and the Labour Market 7. Public Policy and the Personal 8. Patterns of Post-war Public Policy References