The Politics of Ideas in Welfare State Transformation: Christian Democracy and the Reform of Family Policy in Germany
- Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society
- Oxford University Press
- Volume 18, Number 4, Winter 2011
- pp. 543-571
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The expansion of employment-centered family policies of the Grand Coalition in Germany came with some surprise, as Christian Democrats have traditionally been strongly committed to the male breadwinner model and corresponding family policies. This article investigates why Christian Democrats (though with some inconsistencies) promoted "social-democratic" family policies guided by the adult worker rather than by the male breadwinner model. Illuminating the politics of recent family policy reforms, the electoral rationale for this modernization of family policy, the role of political entrepreneurship, and intraparty political conflicts over the new policy paradigm are discussed.