On the Road to Permissiveness?

This book pursues two major research questions. First, it answers the empirical question of how morality policies have been changing in recent decades. Specifically, the aim is to provide a systematic long-term empirical assessment of morality policy change across countries and different fields of moral regulation. The book represents a major extension of the usually rather limited scope of research into comparative public policy. It compares morality policies in nineteen European countries over a period of fifty years (1960–2010). In addition to this cross-national and longitudinal comparison, it involves a comparison across eight different subfields. This research question is answered on the basis of a highly differentiated measurement of policy change that takes into account not only changes in the strictness of rules, but also changes in the way deviations from legal rules are sanctioned. The book is structured into three parts. In the first part, we discuss our conceptual framework and measurement approach, the general analytical puzzle highlighting the necessity of this book as well as the theoretical framework guiding the empirical analyses. The second part of the book is dedicated to the analysis of change and trends in regulatory styles in different areas of morality policy. All of the empirical chapters consistently apply a common analytical and methodological approach, mapping policy developments across a range of different manifest and latent morality issues. The third part of the book develops general theoretical conclusions and implications on the basis of these findings.

Knill, C., Adam, C., & Hurka, S. (Eds.). (2015). On the Road to Permissiveness?: Change and Convergence of Moral Regulation in Europe. Oxford University Press, USA.