Frederick A Lazin
Release Date: 10 December 1010
With its highly centralized politi-cal institutions, Israel is typical of the unitary, nonfederal politi-cal systems in the world. On the other hand, with its growing em-phasis on federalism, the United States reveals the functions and dysfunctions of the pluralist sys-tem. In this provocative book, Frederick Lazin compares the two types of political systems to show how municipalities in Is-rael, as in the United States, ex-ert considerable influence on implementation of national do-mestic policies. He argues con-vincingly that unitary systems have many of the same diffi-culties that their federal coun-terparts have in implementing social welfare policies.
This study provides a the-oretical basis for understanding how administrative institutional system and socioeconomic sta-tus variables affect the potential influence of municipalities and make implementation of policies so problematic. It develops a model for policy implementation in unitary systems which then serves as a framework of analy-sis for a series of case studies of social welfare, education, and health policy in Israel. Com-parisons are then made with the federal political system of the United States in which the na-tional government needs the cooperation of local authorities to implement its policies. Refer-ence is made to federal housing policies and programs for low-in-come Americans. Similarities as well as differences are noted be-tween the two systems in order to reach conclusions about pol-icy implementation regardless of type of political system.
The book contributes both to the general literature on policy implementation as well as to the politics of unitary versus federal systems. It provides a unique and important analysis of prob-lems confronting both types of system in the area of policy im-plementation of social welfare programs, which remain impor-tant concerns in political sys-tems throughout the world.
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