Donley T Studlar

School of Government and Public Policy
Government and Public Policy

School of Government and Public Policy
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United Kingdom
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My current research concerns comparative morality policy (abortion, death penalty, gay marriage, ART/stem cells, euthanasia) in Western democracies as well as continuing my work on comparative policy on noncommunicable diseases in Western democracies. The latter now includes obesity and alcohol as well as continuing research into tobacco policy. These topics include work on multi-level governance through the European Union and federal/devolved governments as well as the politics of agenda-setting, policy formulation,and as policy history, within countries. I employ a variety of theoretical approaches, including institutions, interest groups, social cleavages, and diffusion, to help explain these phenomena.

Donley T. Studlar and Gordon J. Burns. 2015. Toward the Permissive Society: Morality Policy and Agenda Directins in Western Democracies. Policy Sciences 48 (3): 273-291.
Abstract: Employing two theories of morality policy, Policy Types and the ‘‘Two Worlds’’ of religious/secular party systems, we describe and attempt to explain the empirical patterns for five morality policy issues (abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, assisted reproductive technology/stem cell research, and same-sex marriage) across 24 Western democracies since World War II. What is the content of policy adoption? Are some countries consistently more permissive or restrictive on morality issues? How long do these issues stay on the political agenda? These issues have been on the agendas of all of the countries for varying time periods, with some being older in vintage (death penalty, abortion, euthanasia) than others (ART/stem cells and same-sex marriage). The general tendency has been toward greater permissiveness, but there still remains considerable policy diversity. While there has been substantial change on morality policies in Western democracies since World War II, the change is more thorough in some jurisdictions and in some regions more than others.
DOI: DOI 10.1007/s11077-015-9218-9
Donley T. Studlar. 2014. Punching Above Their Weight through Policy Learning: Tobacco Control Policies in Ireland. Irish Political Studies 30 (1): 41-78.
Abstract: Ireland’s tobacco control policy today is recognised as one of the strongest in Europe and the world, largely on the basis of its first-in-the-world general workplace smoking ban in 2004. However, it is insufficiently recognised that Ireland has persistently and deliberately developed tobacco control policies since the 1970s, a longer period than most countries. Using a five-fold analysis of factors influencing tobacco policy: agendas, socio-economic setting (including public opinion), networks, institutions, and ideas (including scientific information and diffusion), this paper explains policy development in Ireland over the long term. It demonstrates how a small country, not dependent on tobacco growing or a domestic tobacco industry but also having only a small research and bureaucratic capacity, has managed to create a strong tobacco control policy. Even though it is a European Union member, Ireland has utilised diffusion of research and policy in the English-speaking world, especially paying close attention to the USA, to develop its position as a world policy leader in tobacco control.
Donley T. Studlar. 2015. E.E.Schattschneider: The Semi-Sovereign People. In E.C. Page, M. Lodge and S.J. Balla. The Oxford Handbook of the Classics of Public Policy and Aministration. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 223-236.
Abstract: This chapter reviews the content and continuining influence of Schattschneider's book.
Donley Studlar and Paul Cairney. 2014. Public Health Policy in the United Kingdom: After the War n Tobacco, Is a War on Alcohol Brewing? World Medical and Health Policy 6 (3): 308-321
Abstract: The United Kingdom now has one of the most comprehensive tobacco control policies in the world, a far cry from its status two decades ago. Some influential public health voices have called for a similar campaign against alcohol consumption. But is the comparison appropriate? We identify the factors which were important in the relatively successful campaign for tobacco control, then analyze the obstacles and opportunities facing the movement for more stringent alcohol control. Alcohol policy today often bears a striking resemblance to tobacco policy pre-1990s, when the UK started on its path to becoming a leading regulatory on this policy.
Donley T. Studlar. 2014. “Cancer Prevention through Stealth: Science, Policy Advocacy, and Multilevel Governance in the Establishment of a ‘National Tobacco Control Regime’ in the United States" Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 39 (3): 505-535
Abstract: In the controversy over the importance of public health policies, tobacco control has a prominent role. But the role of the US central government in developing tobacco control through a cooperative, interactive program with state and local private and public organizations called "capacity building" has been under-researched. This paper investigates the process through which the government initiated and sustained this program through the scientific authority of the National Cancer Institute, beginning in the 1980s. There are several major questions to be answered: 1) How did this program manage to be adopted and sustained despite the well-documented hindrances to effective tobacco control policy at the central level? 2) How did a tobacco control policy program become incorporated into the scientific research agenda of the National Cancer Institute? 3) How have science, social factors and government at various levels interacted in this "capacity building" program? 4) What has been the impact of this program? The study emphasizes how the US central government, blocked by a tobacco-friendly Congress from enacting effective tobacco control legislation, utilized its scientific research role and, with the cooperation of other levels of government and large private anti-tobacco organizations, established and sustained a major ongoing policy effort.
DOI: DOI 10.1215/03616878-2682594
Donley T. Studlar and Paul Cairney. 2014. "Conceptualizing Punctuated and Non-Punctuated Policy Change: Tobacco Control in Comparative Perspective" International Review of Administrative Sciences 80 (3): 513-531
Abstract: How should we conceptualize major institutional and policy changes that take place in the absence of crises, shocks or big bangs? This article uses the case study of tobacco policy (in 23 democracies) to highlight the concept of phased transition towards paradigm change. It recognizes the importance of fundamental policy change while going beyond the binary distinction between the world at one point in time replaced by a fundamentally new political world in the next. It uses multiple measures of policy change over time to identify the magnitude and speed of change and considers how the current literature conceptualizes such outcomes.
DOI: DOI: 10.1177/0020852313517997
Donley T. Studlar., Kyle Christensen and Arnita Sitasari. 2011 “Tobacco Control in the EU-15: The Role of Member States and the European Union,” Journal of European Public Policy 18 (5): 728-745 .
Abstract: Various explanations have been advanced for the adoption of increasingly restrictive tobacco control policies in Western democracies, usually based on an examination of individual instruments. Some of the more popular explanations are socioeconomic modernization, interest group politics, political institutions, government ideology, and vertical diffusion from the EU. This paper uses statistical models to test explanations of tobacco control policy across 15 European Union member states adopting instruments of Comprehensive Tobacco Control Policy (CPTC) over two decades. Socioeconomic modernisation, economic interest groups, and domestic political factors all play a role in policy. Although there is declining influence of pro-tobacco domestic constituencies, adoption of CPTC is still inhibited by corporatist practices in member states. Vertical and possibly horizontal diffusion through the EU has aided domestic sources of policy adoption, making tobacco control policy one of multi-level governance and enhancing its comprehensiveness.
Donley T. Studlar, Alessandro Cagossi, and Robert D. Duval, “Is Morality Policy Different? Institutional Explanations for Postwar Western Europe,” accepted for special issue, Journal of European Public Politics 20 (forthcoming, 2013)
Abstract: Although there has been increasing recognition that morality policy in Western democracies is a distinctive field of study, many analyses are relatively narrow in issues and jurisdictions. This paper examines broad empirical patterns for five morality policy issues across 18 West European democracies since World War II. The issues analyzed are abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, assisted reproductive technology (ART, including stem cell research), and same sex marriage. Which of two prominent institutional theories of morality policy, Policy Type and Two Worlds, help explain morality policy processes? The results indicate that morality policy processes do differ from the usual ones of parliamentary government, and that important differences are captured by the Religious/Secular division of party systems, depending on which countries are considered for each category.
Studlar, Donley T. 2012. “Tobacco Control: The End of Europe’s Love Affair with the Cigarette?” In Scott L. Greer and Paulette Kurzer (eds.) European Union Public Health Policy: Regional and Global Trends London: Routledge.
Abstract: This chapter examines the role of the European Union in adopting increasingly stringent policies against tobacco use over the past quarter century. This has been done through its use of the single market as well as competence in public health policy.
Larsen, Lars Thorup, Donley T. Studlar and Christopher Green-Pedersen. 2012. “Morality Politics in the UK: Permissiveness, Pluralism and Pragmatism,” in Isabelle Engeli, Christoffer Green-Pedersen and Lars Thorup Larsen (eds.), The Two Worlds of Morality Politics. London and New York: Palgrave, 2012, pp. 114-136.
Abstract: This chapter argues that morality policy issues in the United Kingdom, traditionally considered 'votes of conscience" on which parliamentary parties do not take unified stands, makes the UK an example of a secular party system in which these issues are de-polilticized, in contrast to a religious party system in other European countries.
Studlar, Donley T. 2012. “Comparing Morality Politics in Europe and the United States,” in Isabelle Engeli, Christoffer Green-Pedersen and Lars Thorup Larsen (eds.), The Two Worlds of Morality Politics. London and New York: Palgrave, pp. 161-184.
Abstract: This essay compares the processes affecting morality policy consideration and outcomes in the United States with those in Western Europe, arguing that, while the processes are more judicial and decentralized in the US, that country resembles those in Europe with a "religious party system" rather than others with a "secular party system".
Cairney, Paul, Donley T. Studlar and Hadii Mamudu. 2012. Global Tobacco Control: Power, Policy, Governance and Transfer.(London: Palgrave/Macmillan.
Abstract: The first major book by political scientists explaining global tobacco control policy. It identifies a history of minimal tobacco control then charts the extent to which governments have regulated tobacco in the modern era. It identifies major policy change from the post-war period and uses theories of public policy to help explain the change.

Substantive Focus:
Health Policy SECONDARY
Social Policy
Comparative Public Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy History
Policy Process Theory PRIMARY
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation SECONDARY