Handbook of Family Policy
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Handbook of Family Policy

Edited by Guðný B. Eydal and Tine Rostgaard

The Handbook of Family Policy examines how state and workplace policies support parents and their children in developing, earning and caring. With original contributions from 44 leading scholars, this Handbook provides readers with up-to-date knowledge on family policies and family policy research, taking stock of current literature as well as providing analyses of present-day policies, and where they should head in the future.
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Chapter 22: Family policy patterns in autocratic countries

Dorian R. Woods and Rolf Frankenberger


Little is known about family policy in countries which can be characterized as autocracies. This chapter by Woods and Frankenberger is unique in analysing some patterns across autocracies and addresses the following questions: (1) What variations in family policy are there in autocratic countries – in particular, what patterns can be found in autocratic family leave policy? (2) How might such variations be explained? (3) How can such comparisons contribute to further family policy and gender analysis? In particular, the authors examine how the characteristics of family leave policy in autocratic countries differ according to regime type in autocratic literature. With data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) survey, the World Policy Analysis Center and CIA World Factbook, the chapter examines maternity, paternity and parental leave and demographic data from 50 autocracies, designated by the Economist’s Democracy Index. The chapter’s mixed method analysis shows that four groups of autocracies emerge and autocratic regime types have at least some explanatory power for the overall and paid duration of maternity leave and the duration of paternity leave. Regional belonging, however, can contribute to explaining overall and paid duration of maternity leave, paternity leave wage replacement, parental leave duration and wage replacement.

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