The complex economic and social structures of developed nations demand increasing government intervention in a number of policy areas, and this important reference work provides a comprehensive guide to comparative public policies by analyzing the areas of education and environment within a cross-national context. Such analyses can offer an array of possible policy options, strategies, and constraints, and also can provide insights into successful and unsuccessful approaches to commonly encountered problems. Educational and environmental policies are analyzed separately for eight societies: Canada, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Great Britain, Israel, Japan, Sweden, and the United States. These eight represent a range of socioeconomic and political backgrounds, but all have extensive and mature welfare state systems and a common commitment to a variety of publicly financed programs. Both the education and environment sections have introductions that highlight important issues, problems, and controversies. Then, a policy chapter for each country, the critical work of an expert in that area, presents an historical overview of the development of the policy area in that country; surveys current strategies of government intervention; evaluates government policy; and closes with its own extensive bibliography. The common framework used in each chapter facilitates cross-referencing.
Over twenty tables illustrate such phenomenon as growth in the proportion of GNP allocated for social expenditures from 1960 to 1981; population growth within the eight countries over a recent twenty-year period; and population concentration by age group from 1960 to 1980. Among the contributors are policy analysts, research consultants, and university scholars from a variety of countries in fields such as history, political science, and sociology. This timely resource, like its companion publication, International Public Policy Sourcebook, Volume I (Greenwood Press, 1989) which addresses public policy in the areas of health and social welfare, will become an important reference for those interested in specific policies, countries, or comparative policy analysis in general. Students and scholars of history, law, politics, public policy, and sociology, as well as government policymakers and administrators will find both volumes incomparable research tools.