Consensus, cooperation and conflict. The policy making process in Denmark

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Publication Date 2002
ISBN 1-84064-091-X
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Book abstract:

Denmark to many British people is the home of excellent bacon, of 'probably the best lager in the world' and of 'probably the most co-operative political system in the world'. The latter mentioned is the subject addressed in this path-breaking book which offers historical as well as current analyses of the development of the Danish welfare system. It addresses the particular decentral-central relations and informal-formal policy contexts which have helped the Danish system to adjust to changing conditions and yet develop welfare potentials in a truly remarkable way. The book is organised over eleven chapters and after an introductory chapter providing historical background to the consensual nature of the Danes the text moves to a general systemic description of the Danish political-administrative system in chapter two. Decentralisation reforms and the role played by the municipalities is analysed in chapter three which also examines modernisation policies and these are further considered at the state level in the following chapter. General economic policies are discussed in chapter five with full commentary on the European question and the independent nature of economic policy formation in Denmark. Chapters six through to nine cover welfare policy areas: welfare model, health care policy, labour market policies, educational policy. Chapter ten is given over to examination of agricultural policy and the nation-wide consensus on agriculture's essential significance. A comprehensive concluding chapter ends with the revealing sentence - 'The answer to whether Denmark has realised the third way must be NO: Denmark has found its own way. The work will interest students and scholars of public policy and political science. Henning Jørgensen is Professor of Public Science and Public Administration, and Director of CARMA at Aalborg University, Denmark

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