Type: Public event

Policy Change as Political Strategy: America’s Health Reform Mosaics in Comparative Perspective


Carolyn Hughes Tuohy, Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow, University of Toronto Professor Emeritus of Political Science and founding fellow in public policy Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto

Date & time

Oct 24, 2018, 11:30 am-12:50 pm EDT


Weill Hall, Betty Ford Classroom 1110
735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091

Free and open to the public. Pizza lunch provided.

Carolyn Hughes Tuohy will speak about her new book, Remaking Policy: Scale, Pace and Political Strategy in Health Care Reform (University of Toronto Press 2018). The book presents a new theoretical framework for addressing perennial questions about the drivers of policy change. It argues that the scale and pace of major policy change - change that alters the balance of power, the methods of control or the organizing principles of a policy arena – are fundamentally driven by political calculations at the centre of government, as political actors assess their ability to overcome vetoes not only in the present but also over time. The book develops this argument by drawing on ten cases of health policy change across seven decades (1945-2017) and four nations (the United States, Britain, the Netherlands and Canada). In her talk Prof. Tuohy will pay particular attention to the American cases, showing why the US is especially prone to “mosaic” bursts of simultaneous small-scale changes, and why both “big-bang” (large scale, fast paced) and “blueprint” (large scale, slow paced) strategies have proved elusive.

Carolyn Hughes Tuohy specializes in comparative public policy, particularly social policy. She holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University. In addition to Remaking Policy, her publications include Accidental Logics: the Dynamics of Change in the Health Care Arena in the United States, Britain and Canada (Oxford University Press 1999) and Policy and Politics in Canada: Institutionalized Ambivalence (Temple University Press 1992), a treatment of Canadian public policy in comparative perspective. She is the co-editor of Exploring Social Insurance: Can a Dose of Europe Cure Canadian Health Care Finance? (McGill-Queen’s University Press 2008) and Taking Public Universities Seriously (University of Toronto Press 2005).

In addition she is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters in the areas of health and social policy, professional regulation, and comparative approaches in public policy, and is frequently consulted by government and related agencies on public policy matters. From 1992-2005 she held a number of senior administrative positions at the University of Toronto, including Deputy Provost and Vice-President, Government and Institutional Relations. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Sponsored by: Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP)
Co-sponsored by: School of Public Health

For more information contact [email protected] or call 734-647-4091.