Ideational Leadership in German Welfare State Reform

How Politicians and Policy Ideas Transform Resilient Institutions

Sabina Stiller

Sabina Stiller

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

253 pages | 6 3/10 x 9 1/2 | © 2010
Paper $54.95 ISBN: 9789089641861 Published December 2010 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

An important contribution to the debates surrounding the evolution of the European welfare state model, this volume investigates the role that “ideational leadership” has played in the passing of structural reforms in the change-resistant German welfare state. Based on in-depth case studies of individual reforms in health care, pensions, and unemployment insurance since the early 1990s, Stiller illuminates the ways in which Germany has made the transition from its Bismarckian past to a hybrid welfare state.

Vivien A. Schmidt, Boston University

“This is a first-rate book that lends great insights into the transformation of social policy in Germany. It uses an innovative theoretical approach that highlights the role of ‘ideational leadership’ in explaining institutional change, an important new concept in the literature.”


1  Introduction
2  Ideational Leadership: Key to Overcoming Welfare State 
    Resistance to Change
3  A Bird's-Eye View of the German Welfare State
4  Transformation of Health Care Policy? The Legacy of Minister Seehofer
5  Transforming Public Pensions: the Riester Pension Reform
6  Transforming Unemployment Policy: The Hartz IV Reform
7 Conclusion

List of Abbreviations
List of Interviewees
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