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The Disappearing State?

Retrenchment Realities in an Age of Globalisation Edited by 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
Edited by Francis G. Castles, a leading authority in the field, and
bringing together an outstanding group of British, German and American scholars, it examines trends in non-social or ‘core’ spending on public administration, defence, public order, education, economic affairs and debt financing and in the regulatory ordering of the economic sphere. The book not only opens up new areas of comparative public policy research, but also demonstrates clearly that there have been real reductions in the reach of state in some areas, although patterns of causation are more complex and varied than generally presumed by the retrenchment literature.
Extent: 296 pp
Hardback Price: $136.00 Web: $122.40
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978 1 84542 297 4
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $56.00 Web: $44.80
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84720 986 3
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Political Economy
  • Public Finance
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Political Economy
  • Public Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Economics of Social Policy
Whilst the prevailing orthodoxy of the expenditure retrenchment literature
is that globalisation and neo-liberal ideas are leading to a downsizing of
the state, empirical research – basing its conclusions on patterns of
welfare state spending – does not support such a view. This book brings a
new perspective to bear by looking at what has been happening to other
areas of the state’s activity.

Edited by Francis G. Castles, a leading authority in the field, and
bringing together an outstanding group of British, German and American
scholars, it examines trends in non-social or ‘core’ spending on public
administration, defence, public order, education, economic affairs and
debt financing and in the regulatory ordering of the economic sphere. The
book not only opens up new areas of comparative public policy research,
but also demonstrates clearly that there have been real reductions in the
reach of state in some areas, although patterns of causation are more
complex and varied than generally presumed by the retrenchment literature.

The research findings reported in The Disappearing State? provide pivotal,
relevant and challenging core material for advanced undergraduate and
postgraduate courses in public and social policy, political economy and
the sociology of the modern state.
‘Most comparative research on public expenditure retrenchment has concentrated on the welfare state. This exciting and innovative volume takes a new approach. It focuses instead on non-social programmes such as education, defence and economic affairs, demonstrates that this is where the real cost-cutting has taken place and shows, paradoxically, that these cuts have made social spending more politically salient in the public expenditure calculus. This is a book which extends the reach of our understanding of modern public policy at the same time as it extends our knowledge of the reach of the modern state.’
– Stephan Leibfried, University of Bremen, Germany

‘In this volume, Frank Castles and his team of experts continue the myth-busting process begun in Castles’s 2004 analysis of welfare state crisis. Their combination of statistical sophistication and theoretical reflection on the political economy of public expenditure slices straight through the myriad misplaced assumptions regarding the decline of the state, globalization, “races to the bottom” and welfare retrenchment. This book makes compulsory reading for all social scientists.’
– Martin Rhodes, University of Denver, US

‘I like simple sentences, cross-country collaborations, great graphs, and compelling conclusions. Here, remarkably, we have a book with all four. This is vibrant writing on a topic – the long reach of state spending – that figures in everyone’s lives. It is hard to know whether the book will be more gripping for the Prime Minister or for high-brow professors of economics and political science.’
– Andrew Oswald, University of Warwick, UK
Contributors: F.G. Castles, T.R. Cusack, N. Fraser, P. Norris, H. Obinger, R. Parry, M.G. Schmidt, N.A. Siegel, U. Wagschal, R. Zohlnhöfer
Contents:

Preface

1. Introduction
Francis G. Castles

2. Testing the Retrenchment Hypothesis: An Aggregate Overview
Francis G. Castles

3. Data on the Functions of Government: Where Are We Now?
Neil Fraser and Paul Norris

4. The Changing Cost of Government: Trends in the State Overhead Budget
Richard Parry

5. Sinking Budgets and Ballooning Prices: Recent Developments Connected to Military Spending
Thomas R. Cusack

6. Expenditure on Public Order and Safety
Paul Norris

7. Testing the Retrenchment Hypothesis: Educational Spending, 1960–2002
Manfred G. Schmidt

8. The Real Race to the Bottom: What Happened to Economic Affairs Expenditure After 1980?
Herbert Obinger and Reimut Zohlnhöfer

9. A Mortgage on the Future? Public Debt Expenditure and Its Determinants, 1980–2001
Uwe Wagschal

10. Moving Beyond Expenditure Accounts: The Changing Contours of the Regulatory State, 1980–2003
Nico A. Siegel

Index