عنوان مقاله [English]
This piece is a translation of the introduction of the book "The Politics of Policy Change: Welfare, Medicare, and Social Security Reform in the United States." The authors, Daniel Béland and Alex Waddan compare and contrast three major reform episodes affecting three distinct policy areas: the 1996 welfare reform, the 2003 Medicare reform, and the failed 2005 Social Security privatization campaign. They focus on three policy areas rather than on one, because of the need to demonstrate the added value of their proposed framework across political episodes and policy areas. These three cases are distinct in terms of their policy outcomes and political logics, but operate within the same environment (the American polity). As for the choice of these three policy areas, they are among the largest and the most debated within the federal welfare state, which allow them to contribute to the general literature about American social policy instead of focusing only on one program. By doing so, they place themselves in a much better position to show the analytical insightfulness of their proposed framework. Finally, although their approach is, to a great extent, deductive, the integrated framework is grounded in empirical observations that they make through the detailed analysis of the three cases, which illustrate - and challenge them to explain - three distinct patterns of policy change.