Rowman and Littlefield International

The Clientelistic Turn in Welfare State Policy-Making

Party Politics in Times of Austerity

By Evelyne Hübscher

Publication Date: Dec 2018

Pages 208

Hardback 9781785522277
£50.00 €70.00 $80.00
Ebook 9781785522994
£49.99 €69.99 $79.99
Not available for pre-order
Using a mix of quantitative methods and case study research, this book critically assesses the impact of party governments in different institutional settings on welfare state generosity and labour market reforms. Its key findings contradict earlier established views on the impact of leftist governments on welfare state policies. Specifically, left-wing governments are pursuing clientelistic policies when facing high institutional constraints and austerity and turn out to cater towards the core workforce rather than designing policies for the full range of labour market participants.

Preface / Chapter 1: Yes, They Can – Partisan Impact on Welfare State Change / Chapter 2: The Politics of Welfare State Retrenchment – A Re-Assessment / Chapter 3: Party Politics and Political Constraints / Chapter 4: Austerity, Party Governments and Welfare State Output / Chapter 5: The Mechanisms of Clientelistic Politics – Case Study Framework / Chapter 6: Germany / Chapter 7: Ireland / Chapter 8: Discussion and Conclusion

Evelyne Hübscher elegantly links the literature on social and fiscal reforms with insights from insider-outsider politics. The remarkable, and worrisome result is a return of clientelistic politics as left parties cater increasingly to core electorates leaving real outsiders behind. An authoritative analysis for all comparative political economists working on these issues.
Achim Kemmerling, Gerhard Haniel Professor of Public Policy and International Development, Erfurt Universität
Evelyne Hübscher’s excellent and timely book challenges the emerging consensus in the literature that parties no longer matter in welfare state policy-making. She demonstrates not only that left and right governments still leave their imprint on welfare-state reforms but also that left-wing governments facing high institutional constraints tend to protect the interests of their core electorates at the expense of labour market outsiders. This argument offers new perspectives on the electoral decline of social democracy and the rise of populist challenger parties.
Oliver Treib, University of Münster, Department of Political Science

While existing scholarship often only looks at spending cutbacks or increases, Huebscher analyses welfare reforms as instruments used by political parties to include and exclude electoral constituencies. Coupling an innovative theoretical framework focusing on party politics with a rare combination of quantitative analyses and case studies, this will be essential reading for welfare state scholars.

Alexandre Afonso, Leiden University

Evelyne Hübscher is Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy. She teaches courses related to public policy, policy analysis, party politics, and welfare states.

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