Ideas, Political Power, and Public Policy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ideas, Political Power, and Public Policy

1st Edition

Edited by Daniel Beland, Martin B. Carstensen, Leonard Seabrooke


164 pages

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Through the last couple of decades, scholars on both sides of the Atlantic have increasingly emphasized the importance of political ideas in understanding processes of change and stability in politics and public policy. Yet, surprisingly, relatively little has been done to more clearly and stringently conceptualize the relationship between political power and the role of ideas in public policy and political development. This volume addresses this major lacuna in the policy and political studies literature by bringing some of best scholars in the field, who each write about the relationship between ideas and power in politics and public policy. The contributions frame the concept of ideational power and explore ways in which ideas shape power relations, across a number of distinct countries and policy areas. The topics covered include austerity, coalition building, monetary policy, social policy, tax policy, and macroeconomic indicators. The volume features a short introduction written by the co-editors, and a final, recapitulative essay prepared by Mark Blyth, one of the most cited scholars in the field. This book was previously published as a special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy.

Table of Contents

1. Ideas, political power and public policy

Daniel Béland, Martin B. Carstensen and Leonard Seabrooke

2. Power through, over and in ideas: conceptualizing ideational power in discursive institutionalism

Martin B. Carstensen and Vivien A. Schmidt

3. The power of economic ideas – through, over and in – political time: the construction, conversion and crisis of the neoliberal order in the US and UK

Wesley Widmaier

4. Powering ideas through expertise: professionals in global tax battles

Leonard Seabrooke and Duncan Wigan

5. Powerful rules governing the euro: the perverse logic of German ideas

Matthias Matthijs

6. The Bocconi boys go to Brussels: Italian economic ideas, professional networks and European austerity

Oddný Helgadóttir

7. Studying macroeconomic indicators as powerful ideas

Daniel Mügge

8. Ideas as coalition magnets: coalition building, policy entrepreneurs, and power relations

Daniel Béland and Robert Henry Cox

9. Ideas and power: four intersections and how to show them

Craig Parsons

10. The New Ideas Scholarship in the Mirror of Historical Institutionalism: A Case of Old Whines in New Bottles?

Mark Blyth

About the Editors

Daniel Béland holds the Canada Research Chair in Public Policy (Tier 1) at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (University of Saskatchewan).

Martin B. Carstensen is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School.

Leonard Seabrooke is Professor of International Political Economy and Economic Sociology at the Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School.

About the Series

Journal of European Public Policy Series

This series seeks to bring together some of the finest edited works on European Public Policy. Reprinting from Special Issues of the Journal of European Public Policy, the focus is on using a wide range of social sciences approaches, both qualitative and quantitative, to gain a comprehensive and definitive understanding of Public Policy in Europe.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Economic Conditions
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Economic Policy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Regional Planning
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Cultural Policy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / European