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Path dependency and convergence of three worlds of welfare policy during the Great Recession: UK, Germany and Sweden

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2020


Johannes Kiess
Affiliation:
Department of Social Sciences, University of Siegen, Siegen, Germany
Ludvig Norman
Affiliation:
Department of Government, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Luke Temple
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
Katrin Uba
Affiliation:
Department of Government, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Corresponding

Abstract

This paper investigates policy responses to the Great Recession in Sweden, the United Kingdom and Germany. Faced with the global financial crisis in 2007, responses in the respective countries differed considerably and followed the “old” paths of their institutional legacies. We focus on labour market and social welfare policies and demonstrate how these differing responses were shaped by path-dependent ideational paradigms. Since these paradigms are first and foremost carried by policy communities, the analysis does not, in contrast to prior studies, only rely on policy documents but outlines the process as seen from the perspective of key public officials and experts in the respective fields. The paper shows how the crisis was perceived and which kinds of arguments were used for explaining the liberal (UK), conservative (Germany) and social–democratic (Sweden) responses to crisis.


Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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