For generations, debating the expansion or contraction of the American welfare state has produced some of the nation's most heated legislative battles. Attempting social policy reform is both risky and complicated, especially when it involves dealing with powerful vested interests, sharp ideological disagreements, and a nervous public.
The Politics of Policy Change compares and contrasts recent developments in three major federal policy areas in the United States: welfare, Medicare, and Social Security. Daniel Béland and Alex Waddan argue that we should pay close attention to the role of ideas when explaining the motivations for, and obstacles to, policy change.
This insightful book concentrates on three cases of social policy reform (or attempted reform) that took place during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Béland and Waddan further employ their framework to help explain the meaning of the 2010 health insurance reform and other developments that have taken place during the Obama presidency. The result is a book that will improve our understanding of the politics of policy change in contemporary federal politics.
About the Author
Daniel Béland is Canada Research Chair in Public Policy and a professor at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan campus. He has published eight other books, including What Is Social Policy? Understanding the Welfare State.
Alex Waddan is a senior lecturer at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. He is the author of The Politics of Social Welfare and Clinton's Legacy? A New Democrat in Governance.
Table of Contents
1. Welfare Reform, 1996
2. Medicare Reform, 2003
3. The Failed Attempt at Social Security Reform, 2005