Ideas and the Pace of Change: National Pharmaceutical Insurance in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom

By Katherine Boothe

© 2015

Canada is the only OECD country that has universal, comprehensive public hospital and medical insurance but lacks equivalent pharmaceutical coverage. In Ideas and the Pace of Change, Katherine Boothe explains the reasons for this unique situation. Using archival, interview, and polling data, Boothe compares the policy histories of Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia in order to understand why Canada followed a different path on pharmaceutical insurance.

Boothe argues that pace matters in policy change. Quick, radical change requires centralized political institutions, an elite consensus, and an engaged, attentive electorate. Without these prerequisites, states are far more likely to take a slower, incremental approach. But while rapid policy change reinforces the new consensus, incremental progress strengthens the status quo, letting development stall and raising the bar for achieving change.

An important contribution to the study of comparative political economy, Ideas and the Pace of Change should be required reading for anyone seeking to understand why health care reforms succeed or fail.

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 232 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.0in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP003838

  • PUBLISHED APR 2015

    From: $31.50

    Regular Price: $63.00

    ISBN 9781442648630
  • PUBLISHED MAR 2015

    From: $31.50

    Regular Price: $63.00

Quick Overview

Using archival, interview, and polling data, Katherine Boothe compares the policy histories of Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia in order to understand why Canada followed a different path on pharmaceutical insurance.

Ideas and the Pace of Change: National Pharmaceutical Insurance in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom

By Katherine Boothe

© 2015

Canada is the only OECD country that has universal, comprehensive public hospital and medical insurance but lacks equivalent pharmaceutical coverage. In Ideas and the Pace of Change, Katherine Boothe explains the reasons for this unique situation. Using archival, interview, and polling data, Boothe compares the policy histories of Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia in order to understand why Canada followed a different path on pharmaceutical insurance.

Boothe argues that pace matters in policy change. Quick, radical change requires centralized political institutions, an elite consensus, and an engaged, attentive electorate. Without these prerequisites, states are far more likely to take a slower, incremental approach. But while rapid policy change reinforces the new consensus, incremental progress strengthens the status quo, letting development stall and raising the bar for achieving change.

An important contribution to the study of comparative political economy, Ideas and the Pace of Change should be required reading for anyone seeking to understand why health care reforms succeed or fail.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 232 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.0in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    “In explaining why Canada lacks national, universal pharmaceutical insurance coverage, Ideas and the Pace of Change formulates an original framework for the analysis of policy change. Katherine Boothe’s empirical analysis is impeccably grounded in systematic archival research, as well as abundant interview and polling data.”


    Daniel Beland, Canada Research Chair in Public Policy, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan

    Ideas and the Pace of Change is a real pleasure to read. Boothe’s attention to measuring and documenting how ideas affect policy development is impressive, and her work will be of interest to both academics and policy practitioners.”


    Grace Skogstad, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto
  • Author Information

    Katherine Boothe is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at McMaster University.
  • Table of contents

    1: Reexamining Health System Variation

    2: Explaining Stability and Change

    3: Radical Reform or Incrementalism

    4: Entrenched Ideas and Barriers to Major Change

    5: Opportunities for Minor Change

    6: Explaining Major Change: Rare Conditions For Program Expansion

    7: Conclusion

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