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The politics of social policy change: lessons of the Clinton and Bush presidencies

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This article examines what key reform attempts made during the Clinton and Bush presidencies reveal about the wider possibilities for social policy change in the US. Why were Presidents Clinton and Bush able to achieve their goals in some policy realms but not others? As argued, institutional variation from one policy area to another largely helps answer this question. Yet, the analysis also suggests that paying close attention to the strategic ideas of political actors as they interact with existing institutions and policy legacies is necessary to fully understand the politics of social policy reform.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2010

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