How Do Ideas Transform Institutions?: The Reform of the French Pension System

Published 02 Jan 2006
Reference 5336
Region Europe
Summary

This case describes the partial transformation of the French social security system, and provides a basis for discussion of reform processes in complex organisations. The case raises questions about institutional lethargy, the sources of reform (are they demographic, economic, sociological, ideational?), and suggests conditions required to lock in reform.

Teaching objectives

The teaching objectives relate to the transformation and reform processes of a complex organisation. It is predicated on a simple model of a path dependent process, which is resilient to radical proposals, and focuses on the importance of the "battle of ideas" and the re-definition of the rules of the game, as well as of key participants in the reform process and their relative weightings.

Keywords
  • Social security
  • Transformation
  • Reform process
  • Role of ideas
  • Agenda setting
  • France
  • RD0106
  • AR0506
  • AR2006