Caroline de la Porte, J. Timo Weishaupt
The Open Method of Co-ordination for Social Inclusion and Social Protection: Theoretical and Empirical State-of-the-Art

Pp. 41-60 in: Jordi Garcés, Irene Monsonís Payá (Eds.): Sustainability and Transformation in European Social Policy. 2013. Oxford: Peter Lang

This chapter first reviews the theoretical literature on the OMC by identifying key mechanisms of OMC influences and effects. The analytical aim is to contribute to the wide body of literature the role of ideas in policy change. A distinction is made between strategic and reflexive mechanisms of change, which can yield different types of effects: ideational, participatory, institutional, and policy. Secondly, it presents illustrative evidence about how the OMC influenced national policy making in social inclusion, pensions, as well as health and long-term care. The empirical evidence from several European Union member states shows that not only are the mechanisms combined in yielding effects, but there are often several effects, which could be considered cumulatively. The chapter thus provides ample evidence that the OMC presents exciting terrain for analysing the power of ideas through a non-coercive instrument and hope to bring the study of the OMC to the attention of scholars interested in the role of ideas in policy change.