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The Shaping of New State Elites: Healthcare Policymaking in France Since 1981

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This article seeks to combine methods in the sociology of elites with those in the analysis of public policy to understand changes in the French state. To explain the role of state elites we specify a concept of “programmatic elites” that combines analyses of political and administrative careers with actors' policy frames. We present main dimensions of the concept and discuss various ways in which it overcomes some weaknesses of the positional, reputational, and decisional methods, as well as how it extends elite studies to analyses of what might be termed “the new custodians of the State.” By applying our concept to health policy since the early 1980s, we demonstrate the role of these elites in bringing about major changes in important policy domains.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2015

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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