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What Do Parties Want? An Analysis of Programmatic Social Policy Aims in Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands

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  • van Dyk, Silke
  • Seeleib-Kaiser, Martin
  • Roggenkamp, Martin

Abstract

Comparative welfare state research has argued for some time that it makes a difference in regards to the specific welfare state design whether Social Democrats or Christian Democrats are in government. The theory is based on the fact that historically the social policy aims of Social Democrats and Christian Democrats have differed. But can these policy differences still be assumed after almost three decades, which have been characterised by a discourse about necessary welfare state retrenchment, adaptation, and modification? More specifically, in which way have 'new' ideas altered the social and economic policy concepts? We hypothesise that the differences among the two welfare state parties in formerly conservative welfare states have largely faded away. Moreover, we argue that, in the meantime Social Democrats as well as Christian Democrats pursue a more or less common liberal-communitarian approach in welfare state policies in these countries. Our study is based on an in-depth analysis of programmatic approaches by Social Democrats and Christian Democrats in Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands since 1975. Based on Christian-Democratic and Social Democratic ideal types, we pay special attention to the development of employment, social security, and family policies.

Suggested Citation

  • van Dyk, Silke & Seeleib-Kaiser, Martin & Roggenkamp, Martin, 2005. "What Do Parties Want? An Analysis of Programmatic Social Policy Aims in Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands," Working papers of the ZeS 01/2005, University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zeswps:012005
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/22987/1/AP_1_2005.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guger, Alois, 1998. "Economic Policy and Social Democracy: The Austrian Experience," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 40-58, Spring.
    2. Kittel, Bernhard & Obinger, Herbert, 2002. "Political parties, institutions, and the dynamics of social expenditure in times of austerity," MPIfG Discussion Paper 02/1, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Kuhn, 2009. "Demand for Redistribution, Support for the Welfare State, and Party Identification in Austria," IEW - Working Papers 440, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Kuhn, Andreas, 2009. "Demand for Redistribution, Support for the Welfare State, and Party Identification in Austria," IZA Discussion Papers 4449, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Andreas Kuhn, 2009. "Demand for Redistribution, Support for the Welfare State, and Party Identification in Austria," NRN working papers 2009-17, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

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