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Title: Think-tanks and public policy in the UK and Germany : a case study of the development of social policy discourses of the Labour Party and SPD between 1992 and 2005
Author: Pautz, Hartwig
ISNI:       0000 0001 3479 1590
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2008
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This study analyses the relationship between the activities of think-tanks and the development of, firstly, party-programmatic discourses of the British Labour Party and the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) and, secondly, their welfare and labour market policies as parties of government. It addresses the years between 1992 and 2005 during which both parties underwent a programmatic revision resulting in the adaptation of "Third Way" Social Democracy which served as the leitmotif for comprehensive policy reform in both countries. Description and analysis of the interaction of the various policy field stakeholders establish what exactly it is that a number of specific think-tanks did, whether what they did was policy-relevant, and if and how the country-specific political system influenced the modus operandi of think-tanks. The study employs a multilevel perspective which considers the macro-level of the socio-economic structures, the meso-level of the practice of the policy process and the micro-level of individual agency. Adopting a neo-Gramscian approach to the study of think-tanks as civil society actors active in the (re)production of discursive hegemony, the policy network concept of Maarten Hajer's discourse coalition is enlisted as a further tool to understand what the role of think-tanks is in the policy process. The research does not attempt to establish causal relationships between think-tank activity and policy outcomes but seeks to establish congruence between what thinktanks did and policy outcomes. The focused comparison of two similar countries helps to discern why think-tanks were more successful in some instances while not in others. This study contributes to the literature on the relationship between (social) science, policy and politics. It addressesa number of gaps in the literature: policy advice for political parties in general and for Labour and SPD during the specified time span in particular have not been adequately explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available