228 The Sustainability of Policy Reforms

Friday, July 14, 2017: 9:00 AM-10:45 AM
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 134 (University of Glasgow)
Large scale policy reform is a perennial topic in comparative political economy. However, when analyzing such reforms, political economists tend to focus on the causes (When do reforms occur? which types of governments reform? which institutional setting makes reforms more or less likely?) or the immediate consequences of reform (do reforms reach their goal of reducing inflation/creating jobs/balancing budgets? Are governments punished or rewarded for pursuing reform?). Much less attention has been paid to the more long-term fortunes of such policy changes. With the exemption of an important book by Patashnik (2008), most scholars seem to be content to analyze the preconditions for and the immediate aftermath of reforms rather than their long-term sustainability.
Against this background, this panel aims for a more long-term perspective and invites contributions that investigate whether and under which conditions reforms have been consolidated. In other words: instead of studying the politics of change, we want to study the politics of non-change after major reforms have been enacted. In contrast to what might be suggested by a path-dependency approach, we see an enormous variety of post-reform trajectories that call for a more refined explanation: while some reforms have been crystallized into new policy regimes, other, seemingly similar reforms have been quickly reversed.
The panel aims to make sense of this puzzling divergence. We intend to study sustainable as well as non-sustainable reform and invite both theoretical and empirical contributions to the question of reform sustainability.
Raphael Reinke
Discussant :
Deborah Mabbett
Why Do Consolidations Persist? the Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustment in a Long-Term Perspective
Lukas Haffert, Unviersity of Zurich; Zsofia Barta, SUNY Albany Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
Excessive Policy Volatility: A Framework for Analysis with Some Illustrations from Recent Pension Reforms
Achim Kemmerling, Central European University; Kristin Makszin, Hungarian Academy of Science, Institute for Political Science
See more of: Session Proposals