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On the Road to Permissiveness?Change and Convergence of Moral Regulation in Europe$
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Christoph Knill, Christian Adam, and Steffen Hurka

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198743989.001.0001

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Theoretical expectations regarding sources and directions of morality policy change

Theoretical expectations regarding sources and directions of morality policy change

(p.45) 4 Theoretical expectations regarding sources and directions of morality policy change
On the Road to Permissiveness?

Christian Adam

Christoph Knill

Steffen Hurka

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the theoretical framework guiding the upcoming empirical analyses. This framework distinguishes between two different mechanisms of morality policy destabilization: cultural pressure imposed by social movements and noncompliance-induced legal pressure imposed by courts. These mechanisms differ from the problem pressure that typically destabilizes the regulatory status quo of non-morality, i.e. instrumental, policies. Furthermore, we argue that cultural pressure typically precedes noncompliance-induced legal pressure. Finally, we distinguish between four different types of directions of morality policy change: absorption, transmission, filtered transmission, and compensation. These are defined by the relationship between the ambiguity of the impulse, destabilizing the regulatory status quo, the direction into which this impulse hints, and the actual policy direction of the policy shift. Compensation—where changes of rules in one direction are compensated by changes of sanctions in the opposite direction—is argued to be a unique feature of morality policy change.

Keywords:   policy direction, policy shift, impulse, transmission, compensation, absorption

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