180220 A Government of Insiders: The Rise of US Custodians of State Policies in Health Sectors since the 90’s

Ma, 2018-02-20 12:30 - 14:30


Séminaire Général du Centre d’études européennes et de politique comparée "A Government of Insiders: The Rise of US Custodians of State Policies in Health Sectors since the 90’s"

Tuesday 20 February 2018, 12.30 – 2.30 pm, Sciences Po, Salle du Conseil, 13 rue de l’Université, 75007 Paris

Steadily delegitimized by the repetition of economic crises from the first oil shocks of the 1970s through the 2008 global Financial crisis and explicitly targeted by the rolling out of austerity measures, state elites seem to have become a ‘political species’ of their own, now under threat of extinction.
The study of the comprehensive reform of health policies in the US during the 1990s and 2000s shows that far from disappearing, the influence these elites wield is being strategically reconfigured with a view to defending some sector-specific policies. Similarly to those ‘custodians of policy’ dear to P. Selznick, small groups of elites at the heart of both the executive and legislative branches’ centers of power’s are gaining expertise within strategic sectors of public policy. They have invented the role of ‘Custodians of State Policies’ while also internalizing the need to control public spending, making this their “battle royale” in order to safeguard what they see as the crucial role of the public good. The image of the “revolving door”, which encapsulates the idea of professional mobility back and forth from the private to the public sector, should be seen as only one possible model for understanding the role of ‘government of insiders’. Complementary to it is that of the notion of “long timers”, which we emphasize in this work. Circulation, we note, is frequent among key positions in the public sector.

Speaker: William Genieys, University of Montpellier, Centre d’Etudes Politiques de l’Europe Latine (CEPEL/UMR 5112)
William Genieys combines methods in the sociology of elites with those in the analysis of public policy to understand differently the role of state elites. He specifies a concept of “custodians of State Policies” that combines analyses of political and administrative careers with actors’ policy frames. By applying the concept to health policy since the early 1980s, he demonstrates the role of this elites in bringing about major changes in important policy domains in France and US Cases.

Discussant: Bruno Palier, Sciences Po, CEE & LIEPP, CNRS

La langue de travail sera le français

Contact: segolene.mennesson@sciencespo.fr

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