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Policy Paradigms, Social Learning, and the State: The Case of Economic Policymaking in Britain

Peter A. Hall
Comparative Politics
Vol. 25, No. 3 (Apr., 1993), pp. 275-296
DOI: 10.2307/422246
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/422246
Page Count: 22
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Policy Paradigms, Social Learning, and the State: The Case of Economic Policymaking in Britain
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Abstract

This article examines the model of social learning often believed to confirm the autonomy of the state from social pressures, tests it against recent cases of change in British economic policies, and offers a fuller analysis of the role of ideas in policymaking, based on the concept of policy paradigms. A conventional model of social learning is found to fit some types of changes in policy well but not the movement from Keynesian to monetarist modes of policymaking. In cases of paradigm shift, policy responds to a wider social debate bound up with electoral competition that demands a reformulation of traditional conceptions of state-society relations.

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