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Governing Europe$
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Jack Hayward and Anand Menon

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250158

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199250154.001.0001

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From Industrial Policy to a Regulatory State: Contrasting Institutional Change in Britain and France

From Industrial Policy to a Regulatory State: Contrasting Institutional Change in Britain and France

Chapter:
(p.313) 18 From Industrial Policy to a Regulatory State: Contrasting Institutional Change in Britain and France
Source:
Governing Europe
Author(s):

Mark Thatcher (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199250154.003.0018

This chapter compares industrial policy and economic regulation in Britain and France in order to consider national capacities to alter institutions and policy norms. Analyses of the period between 1945 and 1980 have claimed that French policy-makers enjoyed much greater innovatory capacities than their British counterparts, using industrial policy as an example to support their views. Yet the reverse held true in the 1980s and 1990s: Britain was able to introduce more comprehensive reforms, and did so with less difficulty and earlier than did France. It moved decisively towards a ‘regulatory state’, whereas France followed the same direction of change but at a slower, more hesitant pace, without adopting a new rationale for state action. The chapter analyses how and why this was so from a historical institutionalist perspective, before drawing some more general conclusions about institutional change.

Keywords:   administrative reform, Britain, economic regulation, France, industrial policy, innovation, institutional change, policy change, United Kingdom

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