Yes Minister! A Survey of Cabinet Ministers’ Influence on Social Policy in Seven West European Countries
To understand the politics behind welfare reforms has become increasingly important in light of the numerous challenges now facing European societies, which has led to a growing pressure to introduce reforms that can increase employability and facilitate work and family reconciliation.
We seek to contribute to an increased understanding of the political process that precedes important reforms in this area. As opposed to previous research, which has focused on the partisanship of cabinets on the aggregate, we seek to contribute to a more valid model for how party politics affect welfare state developments by focusing on the role of ministers in determining policy outputs.
Our empirical strategy is based on a large-scale data collection effort that enables us to measure the policy position of single cabinet members, complemented by data on actual reform measures, allowing us to analyze the role of ministers in social policy-making in Western Europe.