Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology


Christy Glass


The primary question at issue in this paper is the following: given the similarities between the two countries with regard to welfare state institutions, why have the United States and the United Kingdom diverged on the issue of health care? Drawing on sociological institutionalism, a branch of the new institutionalist paradigm, this paper provides an answer to this question: during the formative years of the health care stories in the two countries, variations in institutional and cultural conditions produced contrasting policy outcomes. More specifically, this paper discusses how the combination of institutions (political, labor, and medical) and culture led to private insurance in the United States and public insurance in the United Kingdom. Of course, this paper has implications for several areas of scholarship, as well as for current policy debates on a wide range of issues.


This work made publicly available electronically on December 23, 2010.