Comparative Public Policy provides the first truly systematic and comprehensive account of the transformation of the post-war state in the advanced countries of the Western world. The author generates new research findings which show how the economic, social and political changes of the post-war era have reshaped modern public policy across the OECD region. Francis G. Castles examines the growth of big government and the emergence of the modern welfare state and identifies ways in which the role of the state has impacted on labour markets and such personal issues as home ownership, fertility and divorce. He explains why the trajectory of policy transformation has varied from country to country, with immediate post-war policy laggards sometimes becoming leaders, and erstwhile policy pioneers on occasions stagnating. This innovative book presents a wealth of background data and a huge range of new findings, covering 12 policy areas in 21 advanced industrialized countries over a period of more than three decades. Comparative Public Policy is essential reading for students and scholars who wish to understand the dynamics of contemporary social and political development.