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Crafting Change. Labor Market Policy under Margaret Thatcher.

Nigel Boyle

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ISBN 10: 1931948453 / ISBN 13: 9781931948456
Published by University Press of the South, 2007
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Title: Crafting Change. Labor Market Policy under ...

Publisher: University Press of the South

Publication Date: 2007

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

Edition: 1st - may be Reissue.

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Although the Conservative Party has been out of office since 1997 the legacy of the 1979-90 Thatcher governments is enduring. Tony Blair's governments have only modestly modified the labor market policy reforms (encompassing the regulation of industrial relations and employment law as well welfare benefits and training and employment programming) introduced by the Thatcher governments. This book sets out what the Thatcher governments changed and explains the mixed pattern of incremental and paradigmatic changes that occurred. Incremental policy change results from institutional adaptation. Radical change results from a process of institutional "exaptation": institutional resources are used to lever in new policy paradigms. Without exaptive mechanisms radical efforts will often go awry. Looked at as a neo-liberal economic reform package Thatcherite recommodification of the labor market went seriously awry, refracted in a series of unexpected directions. However, the "politics of recommodification" were those of Conservative party statecraft not neo-liberal economics. As such, the considerable success of this project was determined by the institutional homology of Conservative Party statecraft with the British state and British capitalism. The concept of party "statecraft" is preferred over that of ideology as it stresses the way in which goals are framed within institutions. The primary logic in policy change was one of institutional consonance rather than choice. This book makes three major contributions to the literature. First, it conceptualizes "policy change" in a new and more rigorous way. Second, it advances new political institutionalist theory by (i) defining the role of "governance structures" in determining public policy and (ii) elaborating on the way in which "institutional learning" occurs. Third, it uses a novel form of case study methodology selecting out a set of 18 "choice opportunities" to explore different sorts (different "levels") of change. Essential for Political Studies; British History; British Economics.

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