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Daniel Béland and André Lecours

The chapter looks at the territorial politics of fiscal federalism. Its primary objective is to explain why fiscal federalism can become a contentious political question and is the subject of intergovernmental conflict. The chapter primarily uses the cases of Canada and Australia to investigate these questions. It first discusses the factors that contribute to the politicization of fiscal transfers and redistribution. The chapter then considers vertical fiscal transfers and their potential for politicization. Third, it provides an analysis of the politics of horizontal fiscal redistribution, a process typically operated by equalization programnes. Finally, the authors problematize the very existence of these equalization programmes by explaining why they do not exist in the United States.

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Daniel Béland and John Myles

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Daniel Béland and Alex Waddan

In rich democracies, especially in Europe, austerity and populism are two major political phenomena that have drawn much scholarly attention since the 2008 financial crisis. Because of the contemporary prominence of these two concepts and their importance for ongoing social policy debates, working on the relationship between austerity and populism is a useful endeavour that could improve our understanding of these debates. To shed light on these concepts, it is necessary to define them before exploring their potential relationship. In this chapter, we do this using an ideational perspective that stresses the role of framing processes in the politics of social policy, with a focus on the politics of blame. Then, we use the example of the U.K. before and during the 2016 Brexit referendum to illustrate our claims.

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Daniel Béland and Léonore Haelg

Public policy research prominently features the study of the individual and collective agents that populate the various moments of the policy process across different policy subsystems. This chapter maps the role of these policy agents within the policy process by addressing several questions. In the first part, we ask who are these policy actors and how are they involved in power relations. In a second part, we focus on specific actor conceptualizations (i.e. policy entrepreneurs, advocacy coalitions, epistemic communities, instrument constituencies). We review these concepts, including their empirical applications, and the limitations to their use. Finally, in the last part, we take a step back to formulate a research agenda on policy agents.

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Daniel Béland and Klaus Petersen

This chapter explores the role of ideas and language in the development of social programmes in Europe and beyond. The first part of the chapter offers a concise and critical overview of the existing literature on ideas and policy change; the second part draws attention on the understudied role of policy language and concepts, which is part of a new, cutting-edge agenda for ideational research. Overall, the chapter points to the impact of historical and transnational processes on policy change and, more specifically, on the development of the ideas and social policy nexus in Europe and elsewhere around the world