The Politics of Justification

Party Competition and Welfare-State Retrenchment in Denmark and the Netherlands from 1982 to 1998

Christoffer Green-Pedersen

The Politics of Justification
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Christoffer Green-Pedersen

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

224 pages | 6-3/4 x 9-1/2 | © 2002
Paper $47.95 ISBN: 9789053565902 Published October 2002 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Christoffer Green-Pedersen's insightful examination of political party strategy in Europe reveals strong links between party consensus and policy retrenchment, arguing that the former allows governments to frame retrenchment in a way that justifies it to the electorate. In the Netherlands, Green-Pedersen shows, such consensus emerged in the mid-1980s, allowing the government to implement a number of welfare retrenchments; in Denmark, consensus did not emerge until the Social Democratic Party re-entered government in 1993, leading to less welfare-state retrenchment than in the Netherlands.
List of abbreviations
1. Introduction
2. From theories of expansion to theories of retrenchment
3. A framework for government choice on retrenchment
4. Research strategy and research design
5. Retrenchments in Denmark and the Netherlands
6. Dutch politics and welfare-state retrenchment. How party competition produced consensus
7. Danish politics and welfare-state retrenchment: The difficulties of a right-wing government and the possibilities of a left-wing government
8. The evidence on balance and some quibbles
9. Party politics matter - summary and implications
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