Over the past three decades, market reforms have transformed public services such as education, health, and care of the elderly. Whereas previous studies present markets as having similar and largely non-political effects, this book shows that political parties structure markets in diverse ways to achieve distinct political aims. Left-wing attempts to sustain the legitimacy of the welfare state are compared with right-wing wishes to limit the state and empower the private sector. Examining a broad range of countries, time periods, and policy areas, Jane R. Gingrich helps readers make sense of the complexity of market reforms in the industrialized world. The use of innovative multi-case studies and in-depth interviews with senior European policymakers enriches the debate and brings clarity to this multifaceted topic. Scholars and students working on the policymaking process in this central area will be interested in this new conceptualization of market reform.

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