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The Politics of Justification: Party Competition and Welfare-State Retrenchment in Denmark and the Netherlands from 1982 to 1998
by Christoffer Green-Pedersen
Amsterdam University Press, 2003
Paper: 978-90-5356-590-2 | eISBN: 978-90-485-0515-9
Library of Congress Classification HV323.G734 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 320

Christoffer Green-Pedersen's insightful examination of political party strategy in Europe reveals strong links between party consensus and policy retrenchment, arguing that the former allows governments to frame retrenchment in a way that justifies it to the electorate. In the Netherlands, Green-Pedersen shows, such consensus emerged in the mid-1980s, allowing the government to implement a number of welfare retrenchments; in Denmark, consensus did not emerge until the Social Democratic Party re-entered government in 1993, leading to less welfare-state retrenchment than in the Netherlands.

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