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Social Policy in an Era of CompetitionFrom Global to Local Perspectives$
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Dan Horsfall and John Hudson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447326274

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447326274.001.0001

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Convergence of government ideology in an era of global competition: an empirical analysis using comparative manifesto data

Convergence of government ideology in an era of global competition: an empirical analysis using comparative manifesto data

Chapter:
(p.165) Ten Convergence of government ideology in an era of global competition: an empirical analysis using comparative manifesto data
Source:
Social Policy in an Era of Competition
Author(s):

Stefan Kühner

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447326274.003.0011

This chapter looks at data on the manifestos of political parties across Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to examine how political actors have reframed their perspectives on welfare in light of the intensification of global economic competition since the 1970s. In particular, it focuses on how — and how far — left- and right-wing parties have converged in terms of their social and economic policy agendas and, relatedly, to what degree perceived intensification of global economic pressures has driven partisan convergence. Analysis of the data suggests that, despite a considerable degree of convergence of party preferences after 1980, the rather broad-brush notion of a general ‘race to the right’ is overstated, as the processes of shifting ideological party positions vary hugely in different countries. More importantly, some of the identified processes of convergence seem to at least qualify key assumptions/statements within the competition state literature. Further exploration and clarification on these different processes of government ideology convergence are clearly warranted.

Keywords:   manifestos, political parties, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, welfare, global economic competition, partisan convergence, ideological party positions, competition state, government ideology

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