Policing, Schooling, and Health Care in Historical and Comparative Perspective
This project investigates political conflicts over policing, education, health care, and other public services – especially in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, which was the period when states first began to provide many of the public services we now take for granted.
The development of the modern state from “protector” to “provider” in the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is not well-understood by political scientists. Drawing on new data on the historical development of public services, the project Policing, Schooling, and Health Care in Historical and Comparative Perspective examines this missing link in the history of the modern state.
Liberals, Catholics, conservatives, socialists, and fascists fought bitterly over the political control of emerging public services. The project will show how those political struggles unfolded.
It will also show how historical conflicts among parties and religious groups, channeled through different regimes and institutions, shaped the subsequent development of modern public services, with profound consequences for political developments in our own time. The analyses of historical political conflicts over public services will consequently be combined with analyses of contemporary politics.
The project relies on a combination of quantitative large-N comparisons between countries and periods and systematic case studies of especially interesting countries, processes, and events.