The Real Issue for Future Comparative Policy Research: Does government matter?

  • Francis G. Castles


The original agenda of the ‘politics does matter’ school of comparative public policy research was to demonstrate that political differences amongst nations had an impact on public policy outcomes. The differences these scholars had in mind related to the differential strength of political parties and degrees of class mobilization, but later came also to include differences in the character of political institutions and, in particular, the barriers these imposed to progressive reform.


  1. Armingeon , Klaus , Sarah Engler, Panajotis Potolidis, Marlène Gerber, and Philipp Leimgruber. 2010. Comparative Political Data Set 1960–2008. Bern: Institute of Political Science, University of Bern.Google Scholar
  2. Blau, Francine D., and Lawrence M. Kahn. 2001. Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap. NBER Working Paper Series, Working Paper 8200. (accessed 2012–10-30).
  3. Castles, Francis G. 1998. Comparative Public Policy: Patterns of Post-war Transformation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  4. Castles, Francis G. 2007. Testing the retrenchment hypothesis: an aggregate overview. In The Disappearing State? , ed. Francis G. Castles, 19–43. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  5. Castles, Francis G. 2009. What welfare states do: A disaggregated expenditure analysis. Journal of Social Policy 38(1):45–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Castles, Francis G., and Robert McKinlay. 1979. Does Politics Matter? An Analysis of the Public Welfare Commitment in Advanced Democratic States. European Journal of Political Research 7: 169–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Castles, Francis. G., and Herbert Obinger. 2007. Social expenditure and the politics of redistribution. Journal of European Social Policy 17(3):206–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clayton, Richard, and Jonas Pontusson. 1998. Welfare state retrenchment revisited: Entitlement cuts, public sector restructuring, and inegalitarian trends in advanced capitalist societies. World Politics 51(1):67–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. CIA. 2010. CIA Factbook. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  10. Esping-Andersen, Gosta. 1990. The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Cambridge & Princeton, NJ: Polity & Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Frey, Bruno, and Alois Stutzer. 2005. Happiness and Economics. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University PressGoogle Scholar
  12. Goldthorpe, John H. (ed.). 1984. Order and Conflict in Contemporary Capitalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Goodin, Robert E., and Julian Le Grand (eds.). 1987. Not Only the Poor. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  14. Hibbs, Douglas A. 1977. Political Parties and Macroeconomic Policy. American Political Science Review 71(4):1467–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Huber, Evelyne, and John D. Stephens. 2001. Development and Crisis of the Welfare State. Parties and Policies in Global Markets. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Immergut, Ellen. 1992. The Political Construction of Interests: National Health Insurance Politics in Switzerland, France and Sweden, 1930–1970. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Korpi, Walter. 1978. The working class in welfare capitalism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  18. Korpi, Walter, and Joakim Palme. 2003. New politics and class politics in the context of austerity and globalization: Welfare state regress in 18 countries, 1975–1995. American Political Science Review 97(3):425–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. OECD. 2008. Growing Unequal? Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  20. OECD. 2009a. Society at a Glance. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  21. OECD. 2009b. National Accounts at a Glance. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  22. OECD. 2009c. Education at a Glance. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  23. OECD. 2009d. Education: Key Tables from the OECD. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  24. OECD. 2010a. Employment Outlook. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  25. OECD. 2010b. Social Expenditure Database. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  26. OECD. 2010c. OECD Factbook. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  27. OECD. 2010d. Labour Market Statistics. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  28. OECD. 2010e. PISA 2009 Results: What Students Know and Can Do – Student Performance in Reading, Mathematics and Science (Volume I). (accessed 2012–10-30).
  29. Pacek, Alexander, and Benjamin Radcliff. 2008. Assessing the Welfare State: The Politics of Happiness. Perspectives on Politics 6: 267–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pierson, Paul. 1994. Dismantling the Welfare State? Reagan, Thatcher, and the Politics of Retrenchment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pierson, Paul. 1996. The new politics of the welfare state. World Politics 48(2):143–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Powell, Martin, and Armando Barrientos. 2004. Welfare regimes and the welfare mix. European Journal of Political Research 43(1):83–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Russett, Bruce M., Hayward R. Alker, Karl W. Deutsch, and Harold D. Lasswell. 1964. World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Scharpf, Fritz W. 2000. Economic Changes, Vulnerabilities, and Institutional Capabilities. In Welfare and work in the open economy, Ed. Fritz W. Scharpf, and Vivien A. Schmidt, Vol. 1, 21–125. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Schmidt, Manfred G. 1982. The Role of Parties in Shaping Macroeconomic Policy. In The Impact of Parties, Ed. Francis G. Castles, 97–176. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  36. Schmidt, Manfred G. 1996. When parties matter: A review of the possibilities and limits of partisan influence on public policy. European Journal of Political Research 30: 155–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schmidt, Manfred G. 2007. Testing the retrenchment hypothesis: Educational spending, 1962–2002. In The Disappearing State: Retrenchment Realities in an Age of Globalisation, Ed. Francis G. Castles, 159–83. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  38. Shaw, James W., William C. Horrace, and Ronald J. Vogel. 2005. The determinants of life expectancy: an analysis of the OECD health data. Southern Economic Journal 71: 768–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Stephens, John D. 1979. The Transition from Capitalism to Socialism. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  40. Sutherland, Edwin H., Donald F. Cressey, and David F. Luckenbill, 1992. Principles of Criminology, 11th edition. Lanham, MD: General Hall.Google Scholar
  41. Tufte, Edward R. 1978. Political Control of the Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Wallerstein, Michael. 2000. Unions in Decline? What Has Changed and Why. Annual Review of Political Science 3: 355–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wilensky, Harold L. 1975. The Welfare State and Equality. Berkeley, Ca.: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  44. Wilkinson, Richard, and Kate Pickett. 2009. The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis G. Castles
    • 1
  1. 1.CanberraAustralien

Personalised recommendations