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The Disappearing State?: Retrenchment Realities in an Age of Globalisation

The Disappearing State?: Retrenchment Realities in an Age of Globalisation

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`Most comparative research on public expenditure retrenchment has concentrated on the welfare state. This exciting and innovative volume takes a new approach. It focuses instead on non-social programmes such as education, defence and economic affairs, demonstrates that this is where the real cost-cutting has taken place and shows, paradoxically, that these cuts have made social spending more politically salient in the public expenditure calculus. This is a book which extends the reach of our understanding of modern public policy at the same time as it extends our knowledge of the reach of the modern state.'- Stephan Leibfried, University of Bremen, Germany`In this volume, Frank Castles and his team of experts continue the myth-busting process begun in Castles's 2004 analysis of welfare state crisis. Their combination of statistical sophistication and theoretical reflection on the political economy of public expenditure slices straight through the myriad misplaced assumptions regarding the decline of the state, globalization, "races to the bottom" and welfare retrenchment. This book makes compulsory reading for all social scientists.' - Martin Rhodes, University of Denver, US`I like simple sentences, cross-country collaborations, great graphs, and compelling conclusions. Here, remarkably, we have a book with all four. This is vibrant writing on a topic - the long reach of state spending - that figures in everyone's lives. It is hard to know whether the book will be more gripping for the Prime Minister or for high-brow professors of economics and political science.' - Andrew Oswald, University of Warwick, UKWhilst the prevailing orthodoxy of the expenditure retrenchment literatureis that globalisation and neo-liberal ideas are leading to a downsizing ofthe state, empirical research - basing its conclusions on patterns ofwelfare state spending - does not support such a view. This book brings anew perspective to bear by looking at what has been happening to otherareas of the state's activity.Edited by Francis G. Castles, a leading authority in the field, andbringing together an outstanding group of British, German and Americanscholars, it examines trends in non-social or `core' spending on publicadministration, defence, public order, education, economic affairs anddebt financing and in the regulatory ordering of the economic sphere. Thebook not only opens up new areas of comparative public policy research,but also demonstrates clearly that there have been real reductions in thereach of state in some areas, although patterns of causation are morecomplex and varied than generally presumed by the retrenchment literature.The research findings reported in The Disappearing State? provide pivotal,relevant and challenging core material for advanced undergraduate andpostgraduate courses in public and social policy, political economy andthe sociology of the modern state.