First published in 1982, Policy Styles in Western Europe considers the growth of the modern state in the 1980s and examines the implications of this for the making and implementation of public policy decisions. It argues that the business of government was simply easier in the 1970s and that the growth of the modern state has meant an expansion of public policies, with the state widening in areas of societal activity. This book looks at the similarities and differences that exist among the countries of Western Europe.
Whilst it is increasingly clear that most policy problems arise from areas of concern common to all Western democracies, for example, unemployment, inflation and crime, this book focuses on whether or not individual countries exhibit characteristic policy styles in response to them. In this volume, the country-studies consider the main characteristics of the individual policy processes in relation to a simple typology of political styles. Each author considers a series of central questions: the relationship between the government and other actors in the policy process; the degree to which policy-making has become sectorised and segmented; and the broad approach to problem solving in terms of anticipatory or reactive styles.