Public policy-making and risk profiles: Scandinavian centre-right governments after the turn of the millennium

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Public policy-making and risk profiles: Scandinavian centre-right governments after the turn of the millennium. / Arndt, Christoph.

I: European Political Science Review, Bind 9, Nr. 4, 2017, s. 495-518.

Publikation: Forskning - peer reviewTidsskriftartikel

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@article{a0d75ebb693c4de9934e9e9bc9d0153a,
title = "Public policy-making and risk profiles: Scandinavian centre-right governments after the turn of the millennium",
abstract = "Recent theoretical advances in the welfare state literature have outlined the differences between labour market- and life course-related schemes as centre-right parties have difficulties in enacting retrenchment on life course-related schemes because they concern every voter. In contrast, the textbook risk profile of centre-right parties’ electorates allows them to cut back on labour market-related schemes since these parties get negligible support from workers and low income voters. Conducting a comparative case study of recent Danish and Swedish centre-right governments, this article analyses the stylised assumptions on the party level by comparing two similar centre-right governments which differed in their voter coalitions’ risk profile. I first argue that centre-right governments are generally constrained by the popular entrenchment of the universal welfare state when it comes to life course-related welfare schemes. Second, I argue that the leeway on labour market-related schemes is contingent on the actual risk profile of the centre-right’s electorate, and thereby move beyond the stylised assumptions from recent literature. In this respect, the Danish centre-right did, in contrast to its Swedish counterpart, gain power with an unusual high support among working class voters which should constrain its leeway on labour market-related schemes. I find that the Danish centre-right governments after 2001 acted with bound hands on all major welfare schemes thanks to its high working class backing, and refrained from outright cutbacks on both labour market- and life course-related schemes until 2011 except for labour market outsiders. In contrast, the Swedish centre-right had a much lower working class backing and therefore engaged in some outright cutbacks of labour market-related schemes such as unemployment benefits directly after taking office 2006. The centre-right’s actual voter coalition’s risk profile is thus an important determinant for its public policies and its leeway for policy-seeking",
keywords = "Right-wing governments, risk profiles, life course, labour market, welfare state retrenchment",
author = "Christoph Arndt",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1017/S1755773916000072",
volume = "9",
pages = "495--518",
journal = "European Political Science Review",
issn = "1755-7739",
publisher = "cambridge university press (cup)",
number = "4",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Public policy-making and risk profiles: Scandinavian centre-right governments after the turn of the millennium

AU - Arndt,Christoph

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Recent theoretical advances in the welfare state literature have outlined the differences between labour market- and life course-related schemes as centre-right parties have difficulties in enacting retrenchment on life course-related schemes because they concern every voter. In contrast, the textbook risk profile of centre-right parties’ electorates allows them to cut back on labour market-related schemes since these parties get negligible support from workers and low income voters. Conducting a comparative case study of recent Danish and Swedish centre-right governments, this article analyses the stylised assumptions on the party level by comparing two similar centre-right governments which differed in their voter coalitions’ risk profile. I first argue that centre-right governments are generally constrained by the popular entrenchment of the universal welfare state when it comes to life course-related welfare schemes. Second, I argue that the leeway on labour market-related schemes is contingent on the actual risk profile of the centre-right’s electorate, and thereby move beyond the stylised assumptions from recent literature. In this respect, the Danish centre-right did, in contrast to its Swedish counterpart, gain power with an unusual high support among working class voters which should constrain its leeway on labour market-related schemes. I find that the Danish centre-right governments after 2001 acted with bound hands on all major welfare schemes thanks to its high working class backing, and refrained from outright cutbacks on both labour market- and life course-related schemes until 2011 except for labour market outsiders. In contrast, the Swedish centre-right had a much lower working class backing and therefore engaged in some outright cutbacks of labour market-related schemes such as unemployment benefits directly after taking office 2006. The centre-right’s actual voter coalition’s risk profile is thus an important determinant for its public policies and its leeway for policy-seeking

AB - Recent theoretical advances in the welfare state literature have outlined the differences between labour market- and life course-related schemes as centre-right parties have difficulties in enacting retrenchment on life course-related schemes because they concern every voter. In contrast, the textbook risk profile of centre-right parties’ electorates allows them to cut back on labour market-related schemes since these parties get negligible support from workers and low income voters. Conducting a comparative case study of recent Danish and Swedish centre-right governments, this article analyses the stylised assumptions on the party level by comparing two similar centre-right governments which differed in their voter coalitions’ risk profile. I first argue that centre-right governments are generally constrained by the popular entrenchment of the universal welfare state when it comes to life course-related welfare schemes. Second, I argue that the leeway on labour market-related schemes is contingent on the actual risk profile of the centre-right’s electorate, and thereby move beyond the stylised assumptions from recent literature. In this respect, the Danish centre-right did, in contrast to its Swedish counterpart, gain power with an unusual high support among working class voters which should constrain its leeway on labour market-related schemes. I find that the Danish centre-right governments after 2001 acted with bound hands on all major welfare schemes thanks to its high working class backing, and refrained from outright cutbacks on both labour market- and life course-related schemes until 2011 except for labour market outsiders. In contrast, the Swedish centre-right had a much lower working class backing and therefore engaged in some outright cutbacks of labour market-related schemes such as unemployment benefits directly after taking office 2006. The centre-right’s actual voter coalition’s risk profile is thus an important determinant for its public policies and its leeway for policy-seeking

KW - Right-wing governments, risk profiles, life course, labour market, welfare state retrenchment

U2 - 10.1017/S1755773916000072

DO - 10.1017/S1755773916000072

M3 - Journal article

VL - 9

SP - 495

EP - 518

JO - European Political Science Review

T2 - European Political Science Review

JF - European Political Science Review

SN - 1755-7739

IS - 4

ER -