By Patricia Boling
The work-family regulations of Sweden and France are frequently held up as types for different countries to stick with, but political buildings and assets can current hindrances to basic switch that has to be taken under consideration. Patricia Boling argues that we have to imagine realistically approximately the right way to create political and coverage switch during this important quarter. She evaluates coverage techniques within the US, France, Germany and Japan, interpreting their coverage histories, energy assets, and political associations to give an explanation for their methods, and to suggest real looking trajectories towards switch. Arguing that a lot of the tale lies within the means that activity markets are dependent, Boling exhibits that after ladies have average probabilities of resuming their careers after giving start, they're prone to have young children than in international locations the place even short breaks placed an finish to a profession, or the place motherhood restricts them to part-time paintings.
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Extra resources for The Politics of Work-Family Policies: Comparing Japan, France, Germany and the United States
Several broad social and economic changes account for this long-term move toward falling fertility. Until the late nineteenth century, children were regarded as net contributors to household economies that revolved around farming and skilled crafts. But as work moved away from farms and out of households into 24 Taking the long view 25 factories and white-collar workplaces, children gradually came to be regarded as a luxury item requiring significant investments in education. Universal compulsory public education was established in most wealthy industrial countries by the early twentieth century, and by the late twentieth century large numbers of women had gained access to higher education, increasing the value of their skills and pulling them into paid work.
Jacob Hacker does a good job of explaining how vested interests grow up alongside policy approaches and institutions (Hacker, 2002). He offers detailed historical examples and intelligent explanations of the political logic of path-dependent change. Policies mobilize attentive, interested beneficiaries, as well as third parties who stand to benefit from having those policies maintained or strengthened, or who will lose out if they are abandoned. To take one of Hacker’s examples, in addition to lenders and home owners, an entire real estate industry – real estate brokers and agents, title insurance providers, housing inspectors and contractors – grew up around US tax policies that encourage people to own and sell homes.
Utopian aspirations are important for giving us a new sense of possibility and actual blueprints for policies that have worked elsewhere, but we have to be strategic in thinking about the best way to build support for new policy departures, and identifying the likely sticking points and how to work past them. We have some hard thinking to do about what, practically speaking, can be done in particular national contexts in order to improve the chances of “best practices” becoming viable policy options.