his article analyses and explains the responsiveness of social policies by comparing the impact of institutional logics, public preferences and external conditions on the evolution of three social policy domains in the Netherlands. It focuses on the institutional development of the policy domains of social assistance, labour market regulation and sheltered work over the last 15 years. The article integrates exogenous and endogenous explanations for institutional change. It shows that the analysis and explanation of processes of institutional evolution require in-depth analysis of the interaction between public preferences, the institutional logic and external conditions of the policy domains. Points for practitioners: Many countries in the world are currently reforming their welfare states. Often these reform processes are designed according to institutional logic: the ideas and opinions of important internal stakeholders. Moreover, the decision to start a reform is also taken from the internal institutional perspective. This article highlights the importance of taking external conditions into account in processes of institutional reform. It shows how three different logics can and should be combined in designing and implementing reform processes and illustrates this by comparing three cases of institutional reform in the Dutch welfare state.

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Keywords institutional change, labour migration, responsiveness, sheltered work, social assistance, social policies
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020852313517993, hdl.handle.net/1765/77420
Journal International Review of Administrative Sciences: an international journal of comparative public administration
Fenger, H.J.M, van der Steen, M, & van der Torre, E.J. (2014). The responsiveness of social policies. Explaining institutional change in three policy domains. International Review of Administrative Sciences: an international journal of comparative public administration, 80(3), 659–680. doi:10.1177/0020852313517993