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Communication dans un congrès

The Custodians of Policy in the Heart of Democratic States: A Comparison between France and the US

Abstract : Following the 2008 global economic crisis and rolling out of austerity measures (Blyth, 2013), elites of the state seem to have become a « political species » of their own, now under threat of extinction. The study of the health and defense policies reforms in France and the US during the 1990’s and 2000’s shows that far from disappearing, the influence of state elites is being strategically reconfigured to defend some sector specific policies. Similarly to those ‘custodians of policy’ dear to P. Selznick (1957) small groups of elites are gaining expertise within certain strategic sectors of public policy; they are also making the need to control the cost of public spending their royal battle, in order to safeguard what they see as the crucial role of the public good (Genieys, Hassenteufel 2015). In the American cases study, the image of the “revolving door”, which encapsulates the idea of professional mobility back and forth from the private to the public sector, implies a fragmented state, open to external pressures from a variety of social groups. In U.S., by contrast, focuses on “long timers” in health and national defense policy: appointees and congressional staffers who occupy senior positions for an extended period of time in Congress and in the executive branch. We document career and professional trajectories marked by a strong commitment to a given policy area, often predating entry into the public sector, and centered on key power positions in Washington. Circulation, we note, is frequent between these positions in the public sector. While these findings do not in and of themselves allow us to fully assess the influence wielded by these actors, this study identifies the social and political resources and forms of specialization which predispose them to play important roles in shaping public policy.
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Communication dans un congrès
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Contributeur : Nathalie Salvy-Córdoba Connectez-vous pour contacter le contributeur
Soumis le : vendredi 21 mai 2021 - 11:38:40
Dernière modification le : mercredi 3 novembre 2021 - 07:52:57


  • HAL Id : hal-03231952, version 1



William Genieys, Jean Joana. The Custodians of Policy in the Heart of Democratic States: A Comparison between France and the US. Contemporary Policy Process and Democracy. What Policy “Partial Regimes” and Subsystems are Doing to Democracy?, HKU-USC-IPPA, Jun 2016, Hong Kong, China. ⟨hal-03231952⟩



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