The regulation of issues like abortion, euthanasia, gun control, same-sex unions, pornography, prostitution, drugs, or gambling is commonly referred to a special class of so called morality policies. The distinctive feature of these policies is that politics are shaped by conflicts over first principle: When does life end? When does it begin? Is gambling, drug consumption or prostitution inherently malignant? The regulation of these value conflicts entails decisions about "right" or "wrong" and hence the "validation of a particular set of basic values". Yet there is still a remarkable lack of scholarly attention on morality policies, in particular with regard to general implications for the study of public policy. To stimulate further research in this area, this book focuses on different concepts and theories of morality policy change in European countries. It is based on a broad and comparative empirical perspective on different morality issues, including, for instance, the regulation of prostitution, abortion, euthanasia, gambling, drugs, as well as gun controls.
This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The study of morality policy: analytical implications from a public policy perspective 2. Public policy meets morality: conceptual and theoretical challenges in the analysis of morality policy change 3. The puzzle of permissiveness: understanding policy processes concerning morality issues 4. Is morality policy different? Institutional explanations for post-war Western Europe 5. From ‘morality’ policy to ‘normal’ policy: framing of drug consumption and gambling in Germany and the Netherlands and their regulatory consequences 6. Framing and policy change after shooting rampages: a comparative analysis of discourse networks 7. Diverging against all odds? Regulatory paths in embryonic stem cell research across Western Europe 8. Regulating prostitution and same-sex marriage in Italy and Spain: the interplay of political and societal veto players in two catholic societies 9. Policy entrepreneurs and controversial science: governing human embryonic stem cell research
Christoph Knill is Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Konstanz, Germany.