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Moira Nelson

Moira Nelson

Associate professor

Moira Nelson

Credit-Claiming or Blame Avoidance? Comparing the Relationship between Welfare State Beliefs and the Framing of Social Policy Retrenchment in France and Germany


  • Moira Nelson

Summary, in English

This study aims to theorize more concretely the micro-foundations of reform strategies with attention to the role of would-be reform winners in motivating strategy choice. The theory incorporates insights about multidimensional preferences into Weaver’s framework and builds on a growing literature on the framing of welfare state change in order to hypothesize that governments may face a vote-seeking incentive to justify retrenchment by appealing to aspects of the reform that their voters support. Recognizing the political relevance of a pro-retrenchment constituency sheds light on unappreciated political dynamics of welfare state retreat. Illustrative case studies of France and Germany provide insights into the relationship between voter preferences and the political strategies.


  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year





Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis

Document type

Journal article




  • Political Science




  • ISSN: 1387-6988