Portuguese Healthcare Reforms in the Context of Crisis: External pressure or domestic choice?

by Maria Asensio and Tamara Popic

Do governments have restricted room to manoeuver in the context of crisis and external conditionality for welfare reforms? Analysing Portuguese healthcare reforms in the context of austerity, in an article published in Social Policy & Administration, Asensio and Popic find that they don’t. Even in cases of conditionality and strong external pressures, crisis can be used as a window of opportunity for welfare reforms substantially shaped by domestic policy choices. In the case of Portugal, these choices were based on pre‐existing reform plans aimed on resolving country‐specific deficiencies of the healthcare system and were enabled by the two main political parties’ strategies of tacit cooperation and blame avoidance. Asensio and Popic’s article emphasizes the need for more fine‐grained analysis of welfare reforms in the crisis that pays equal attention to the institutional characteristics and the political context of the affected countries.

Full article at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/spol.12480