PLCP 4150: Comparative Public Policy (Spring 2011)
Monday 3:30-6:00 in Wilson 235
South Lawn Gibson S461 (tel: 924-3211)
Hrs: Wed and Thurs 3:30-4:30 pm (or appt)
do policies on issues like social welfare, education, and immigration differ
markedly from nation to nation? Can we find the answers in contrasting
cultures, state institutions, societal organizations, or some mix of all of
these explanations? This course provides you with an opportunity to learn
more about how public policies in other nations differ from our own while simultaneously
challenging you to think about why they differ in the ways they do. The
course focuses on policies in areas including those listed above with examples
coming primarily from advanced industrialized nations like
The grade in this seminar will be based on four components: participation in weekly discussions; four short papers reacting to assigned readings; an oral presentation on a specific public policy topic; and a final research paper on the same topic. All students are required to do all of the assigned reading and come to all seminar sessions ready to participate actively in discussions. Students' participation grades (20% of the semester grade) will be based on the degree to which their participation on a weekly basis is active and informed. Students will also be required to write a total of four 3-4 page short papers (20%) reacting to assigned readings. These short papers will be due at 10 a.m. on the morning of class on paper (slid under my door). Papers turned in after 10 a.m. will be docked one letter grade for being late. No papers will be accepted after the class meets and discusses the week’s reading. The short papers are due about every other week during the middle 8 weeks of the term (see syllabus for slight adjustments), with each of these weeks assigned to the first or second half of the alphabet of student names. If you are assigned to do a short paper on a week when you are scheduled to do an oral presentation, you are asked to do a paper instead on the week before or after this date.
In addition to participating in these ways on a weekly basis, students will be asked to choose one of the policy topics from the syllabus and make a 15-minute oral presentation (20%) and write a 15-20 page final paper (40%) on this topic. Presenters (typically two each week, total of 30 minutes) will be responsible for doing extra reading on the topic, presenting information on the policies in place in several nations in the issue area, and raising questions for discussion by the group. Policy areas for weeks 5 to 11 have been set. In each of these weeks, all students are required to read the core readings while the presenters are required, in addition, to read the supplemental reading along with other books and articles they find on their own in the library. No policy areas have been penciled in for the final three weeks, which are set aside for topics other than those I chose that are of interest to specific students. In these weeks, the assigned readings for the class will be one-page abstracts of the presenting students' papers. Students should plan on committing to a topic by week 2 of the class. The final paper, on a narrower aspect of the topic covered in the oral presentation, must compare policy in a specific area across at least two countries with reference to theoretical arguments covered in the course. The paper should be organized around a “puzzle” (why do two countries with similar problems address them in different ways?) and should advance a coherent argument explaining the puzzle with reference to the theoretical literature covered in the class. Students are invited to sit down with me early in the semester to talk about approaches to their topic and outline ideas. A complete first draft of the paper (not a rough draft, but your best shot at a complete and polished paper!) is due on April 18. This version of the paper will be graded as if it is the final version, and the grade you get at this point will count for half of the final paper grade. Students who do not earn an “A” or “A-” on this draft will then be required to turn in a second and final draft by May 2, with this version accounting for the other half of the final paper grade. Those who earn high grades on the “first draft” will not have to submit new versions and can simply keep the grade earned on the first draft as the final grade. Late papers will be accepted, if permission has been given prior to the due date based on a very good reason. Unexcused delays will result in a deduction of one letter grade for each day the paper is late.
Assigned readings are a very important part of the course, but there are only two assigned books (Iversen’s Capitalism, Democracy, and Welfare; and Reid’s The Healing of America). In addition to these books, we will be reading each week three or four somewhat dense (with political science theory) articles and/or book chapters. These readings, marked with a *, will be available in PDF format on the Collab site for this class under “resources.”
addition, students will be expected to read several books and additional
articles on their chosen topic area. I
have made specific suggestions for the assigned topics under the heading
“supplemental reading.” I suggest you
check out the suggested books at the library early in the term and/or order key
books online. Don’t wait until too close
to your deadline!! Most of the suggested
journal articles can be found by going to Virgo on one of the university’s
network computers, typing in the name of the journal, clicking “journal title”,
clicking on the URL for the journal, and finding the relevant volume, number,
and article. You should also locate
additional books and articles using the libraries electronic databases.
SCHEDULE AND ASSIGNMENTS:
I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION: WHAT EXPLAINS POLICY CHOICE? (1/24)
II. SOCIAL COALITONS AS EXPLANATIONS (1/31)
*Gosta Esping-Andersen and Roger Friedland, "Class Coalitions in the Making of Western European Economics," in Esping-Andersen and Friedland, eds., Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. III (Greenwich, CT: Jai Press, 1982): 1-52.
*Gosta Esping-Andersen and John Myles, “Economic Inequality and the Welfare State,” in Weimer Salverda, Brian Nolan, and Timothy Smeeding, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Economic Inequality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 639-664.
Additional Sources: Peter Gourevitch, Politics in Hard Times: Comparative Responses to International Economic Crises (Cornell: Cornell University Press, 1986): 17-68, 221-240; Ronald Rogowski, Commerce and Coalitions: How Trade Affects Domestic Political Alignments (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989); Gosta Esping-Anderson, The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism (UK: Polity Press, 1990); Gosta Esping-Andersen, Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).
III. INSTITUTIONS AS EXPLANATIONS (2/7)
Steinmo, "Political Institutions and Tax Policy
*Jacob Hacker, “The Historical Logic of National Health Insurance: Structure and Sequence in the Development of British, Canadian, and U.S. Medical Policy,” Studies in American Political Development 12 (Spring 1998): 57-130.
Additional Sources: Paul Pierson, "The New Politics of the Welfare State," World Politics 48 (January 1996): 143-79; Paul Pierson, "Three Worlds of Welfare State Research," Comparative Political Studies 33:6/7 (August/September 2000): 791-821; Sven Steinmo, Kathleen Thelen and Frank Longstreth, eds., Structuring Politics: Historical Institutionalism in Comparative Analysis (Cambrdige: Cambrdige University Press, 1992); James Marsh and Johan Olsen, "The New Institutionalism: Organizational Factors in Political Life," American Political Science Review 78 (September 1984): 734-749; Terry Moe, "The Politics of Structural Choice: Toward a Theory of Bureaucracy," in Oliver Williamson, ed., Organization Theory (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990): 116-153; Peter Evans, Embedded Autonomy: States and Industrial Transformation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995).
IV. IDEAS AND CULTURE AS EXPLANATIONS (2/14)
*John L. Campbell, “Institutional Analysis and the Role of Ideas in Political Economy,” Theory and Society 27:3 (1998), pp. 377-409.
*Sabina Stiller, “Ideational Leadership and Structural Policy Change: Comparing German Welfare State Reform,” in Giliberto Capano and Michael Howlett, eds., European and North American Policy Change: Drivers and Dynamics (London: Routledge, 2009), pp. 170-194.
*Seymour Martin Lipset, American Exceptionalism (New York: W.W. Norton, 1996): 53-76 and 211-263.
Additional Sources: Robert Lieberman, “Ideas, Institutions, and Political Order: Explaining Political Change,” American Political Science Review 96:4 (Dec 2002): 697-706; Mark Blyth, Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 2002); Sabina Stiller, Ideational Leadership in German Welfare State Reform: How Politicians and Policy Ideas Transform Resilient Institutions (Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press, 2010); Peter Hall, The Political Power of Economic Ideas: Keynesianism Across Nations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989); John Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies (Glenview, Ill: Scott, Foresman, 1984); Anthony King, "Ideas, Institutions and the Policies of Governments: A Comparative Analysis," British Journal of Political Science 3:3-4 (July - October 1973): 291-313 & 409-423.
Short Paper Topic: How do ideas and culture shape policy differences across countries and policy change within countries? Illustrate with examples discussed in the readings. (first half of the alphabet)
V. TOPIC: WORK / ANTIPOVERTY POLICY (2/21)
Torben Iversen, Capitalism, Democracy and Welfare (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), all.
Supplemental Reading: Margarita Estevez-Abe, Welfare Capitalism in Postwar Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008); Robert Lieberman, “Race, Institutions, and the Administration of Social Policy,” Social Science History 19 (Winter 1995): 511-542; T.J. Pempel, "Japan and Sweden: Polarities of `Responsible Capitalism'," in Dankwart A. Rustow and Kenneth P. Erickson, eds., Comparative Political Dynamics: Global Research Perspectives (New York: Harper Collins, 1991): 408-438; R. Kent Weaver, Ending Welfare as We Know It (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 2000); Martin Gilens, Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media, and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000); Peter Hall and David Soskice, eds., Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001); Peter Swenson, Capitalists Against Markets: The Making of Labor Markets and Welfare States in the United States and Sweden (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002); Jonas Pontusson, Inequality and Prosperity: Social Europe Versus Liberal America (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005); Leonard Schoppa, Race for the Exits: The Unraveling of Japan’s System of Social Protection (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006).
Short Paper Topic: Why, according to Iversen, have the low-skill equilibrium countries and the high-skill equilibrium countries adopted such different approaches to labor markets and social protection? In view of their explanations, is there any room for the United States to move toward the European model? (entire alphabet)
VI. TOPIC: FAMILY POLICY (2/28)
Morgan, “The Politics of Mothers’ Employment:
*Patricia Boling, “Demography, Culture, and Policy: Understanding Japan’s Low Fertility,” Population and Development Review 34:2 (2008), pp. 307-326.
Supplemental Reading: Kimberly Morgan, Working Mothers and the Welfare State: Religion and the Politics of Work-Family Policies in Western Europe and the United States (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006); Anne Helene Gauthier, The State and the Family: A Comparative Analysis of Family Policies in Industrialized Countries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996); Julia O'Connor, Ann Shola Orloff, and Sheila Shaver, States, Markets, Families: Gender, Liberalism and Social Policy in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and the United States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999); Susan Pedersen, Family, Dependence, and the Origins of the Welfare State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); Diane Sainsbury, Gender, Equality and Welfare States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); Chiara Saraceno, "Family Change, Family Policies and the Restructuring of Welfare," in OECD, ed., Family, Market and Community: Equity and Efficiency in Social Policy (Paris: OECD, 1997): 81-100; Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children (New York: Talk Miramax, 2002); Janet Gornick and Marcia Meyers, Families That Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment (New York: Russell Sage, 2005); Leonard Schoppa, Race for the Exits: The Unraveling of Japan’s System of Social Protection (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006); OECD series titled Babies and Bosses: Reconciling Work and Family Life, with four volumes covering 13 countries, 2002-2006.
Short Paper Topic: Why has France adopted policies that offer so much more support to families with children than Japan and the United States? (second half of the alphabet)
VII. TOPIC: HEALTHCARE POLICY (3/14)
T.R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care (Penguin Press, 2009), all.
*Andre Picard, “Is Obama’s Law a Healthcare Revolution?” Globe and Mail, March 25, 2010, p. L1.
*Jonathan Oberlander, “Long Time Coming: Why Health Reform Finally Passed,” Health Affairs 29:6 (2010), pp. 1112-1116.
Supplemental Reading: Carolyn Hughes Tuohy, Accidental Logics : The Dynamics of Change in the Health Care Arena in the United States, Britain, and Canada (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999); Ellen Immergut, "The Rules of the Game: The Logic of Health Policymaking in France, Switzerland, and Sweden," in Sven Steinmo, Kathleen Thelen, and Frank Longstreth, eds., Structuring Politics: Historical Institutionalism in Comparative Analysis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992): 57-89; Joseph White, Competing Solutions: American Health Care Proposals and International Experience (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1995); Richard Freeman, The Politics of Health in Europe (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000); John Campbell and Naoki Ikegami, The Art of Balance in Health Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Laurene Graig, Health of Nations: International Perspectives on U.S. Health Care Reform (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 1999); Jacob Hacker, The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Sven Steinmo and John Watts, "Its the Institutions, Stupid!: Why the United States Can't Pass Comprehensive National Health Insurance," Journal of Health Politics Policy and Law 20: 2 (1995): 329-372; and Susan Giaimo, "Who Pays for Health Care Reform," in Paul Pierson, ed., The New Politics of the Welfare State (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001): 334-367.
Short Paper Topic: To what degree will Obama’s health care reform close the gaps that Reid sees between the American system and the other systems he describes? (entire alphabet)
VIII. TOPIC: SOCIAL SECURITY / PENSION POLICY (3/21)
Myles and Paul Pierson, "The Comparative Political Economy of Pension
Reform," in Paul Pierson, ed., The New
Politics of the Welfare State (
*Karen M. Anderson, "The Politics of Retrenchment in a Social Democratic Welfare State: Reform of Swedish Pensions and Unemployment Insurance,” Comparative Political Studies 34:9 (November 2001): 1063-1091.
Supplemental Reading: Giuliano Bonoli, The Politics of Pension Reform: Institutions and Policy Change in Western Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000); OECD, Reforms for an Aging Society (Paris, OECD, 2001); Emmanuel Reynaud, ed., Social Dialogue and Pension Reform (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 2000); Daniel Beland, Social Security: History and Politics From the New Deal to the Privatization Debate (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2005); Jacob Hacker, The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); S.M. Brooks, “Social Protection and Economic Integration: The Politics of Pension Reform in an Era of Capital Mobility,” Comparative Political Studies 35:5 (June 2002): 491-523.
Paper Topic: Why are
IX. TOPIC: URBAN PLANNING / TRANSPORTATION POLICY (3/28)
*Ralph Buehler, John Pucher, and Uwe Kunert, “Making Transportation Sustainable: Insights from Germany,” Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, 2009 (all 30 pages).
*Leonard Schoppa, “The Grass is Always Greener….: Housing Market Mobility and Local Civic Engagement in Japan and the United States,” (all 35 pages).
Supplemental Reading: C. Bae and H.W. Richardson, eds., Sprawl in Western Europe and the United States (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004); Stephan Schmidt and Ralph Buehler, “The Planning Process in the US and Germany: A Comparative Analysis,” International Planning Studies 12:1 (Feb 2007), pp. 55-75; John Pucher and Ralph Buehler, “Cycling for Everyone: Lessons from Europe,” Transportation Research Record, Vol 2074 (2008), pp 2074-3008; John Pucher and Christian Lefevre, The Urban Transport Crises in Europe and North America (Macmillan, 1996); Pietro S. Nivola, Laws of the Landscape: How Policies Shape Cities in Europe and America (Washington, DC: Brookings, 1999); Peter Newman and Jeffrey Kenworthy, Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence (Island Press, 1999); Myron Orfield, American Metropolitics: The New Suburban Reality (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 2002); Alex Marshall, How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl, and the Roads Not Taken (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001); Clifford Winston and Chad Shirley, Alternate Route : Toward Efficient Urban Transportation (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1998); James Dunn, Driving Forces: The Automobile, Its Enemies, and the Politics of Mobility (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1998);.
Short Paper Topic: What policy differences account for the significant difference in transportation mode choice between the United States on the one hand and Germany and Japan on the other? Is the U.S. locked into a sprawling, auto-dependent pattern, or does it have room to move toward the German or Japanese model? (second half of the alphabet)
X. TOPIC: EDUCATION POLICY (4/11 – note that there is no class on 4/4 when Mr. Schoppa will be in Japan)
*Kathleen Thelen and Ikuo Kume, “The Rise of Nonmarket
*Helen F. Ladd, “School Vouchers: A Critical View,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 16:4 (Autumn 2002), pp. 3-24.
Supplemental Reading: John E. Chubb and Terry Moe, Politics, Markets & America's Schools (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1990); Martin Carnoy, et al, The Charter School Dust-up: Examining Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement (Teachers’ College Press, 2005); William G. Howell and Paul E. Peterson, The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools (Brookings Institution Press, 2002); Kathleen Thelen, How Institutions Evolve: The Political Economy of Skills in Germany, Britain, and Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Ian Finlay, Changing Vocational Education and Training (London: Routledge, 1998); Leonard Schoppa, Education Reform in Japan (London: Routledge, 1991).
XI. TOPIC: IMMIGRATION POLICY (4/18)
*Christian Joppke, "Why Liberal States Accept Unwanted Immigration," World Politics 50:2 (January 1998): 266-293.
Gurowitz, "Mobilizing International Norms:
Domestic Actors, Immigrants, and the
Supplemental Reading: Wayne Cornelius, Takeyuki Tsuda, Philip Martin, and James Hollifield, eds., Controlling Immigration : A Global Perspective, 2nd edition (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004); Alejandro Portes and Josh DeWind, eds., Rethinking Migration: New Theoretical Perspectives (NewYork: Berghahn Books, 2007); Grede Brochmann and Tomas Hammar, eds., Mechanisms of Immigration Control : A Comparative Analysis of European Regulation Policies (Berg, 1999).
Short Essay Question: Why have both Germany and Japan recently relaxed policies that were hostile to immigration even though both have histories of valuing national ethnic “homogeneity”? Of the explanations offered by Joppke and Gurowitz, which is more convincing? (make-up essay for students who did presentations on paper topic days)
“FIRST DRAFTS” OF STUDENT PAPERS DUE APRIL 18
XII. STUDENT TOPICS (4/25)
Abstracts of student papers.
XIII. STUDENT TOPICS (5/2)
Abstracts of student papers. Extended session on this day to make up for missed class on 4/4.
FINAL PAPERS DUE MAY 2
ADDITIONAL IDEAS FOR STUDENT TOPICS:
Comparative Policy on Abortion
Comparative Policy on Capital Punishment
Comparative "Political Reform" (how nations try to keep politics `clean')
Comparative Higher Education Policy
Comparative Tax Policy
Comparative Regulatory Policy (e.g. of Telecommunications)
Comparative Narcotics Regulation (Drug Policy)
Comparative Anti-Trust Policy
PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING: Taking the words and ideas of another and presenting them as your own (without proper use of quotation marks and citation) constitutes "plagiarism" and is considered grounds for trial and expulsion from the university through the Honor process. In the past year, I have seen one of my students expelled for this reason and another failed for attempting to cheat on a final exam. I take all cases of this type seriously and urge students to uphold the honor code.