Up to this point in the book much of the focus has been on what policy makers could do and why they might do it. To a large extent, it has drawn on literature related to social policy in general, being as much about health and social security as about housing policy. The remaining chapters of the book deal with what policy makers have actually done and is thus housing policy specific. Whereas later chapters each focus on individual stages in the production and consumption of housing, the aim of the present chapter is to present the literature that has attempted to compare whole housing policy systems in different countries. In order to achieve this, it presents the work of a number of authors whose writing is either seminal or typical. It thus provides the reader with a broad, not necessarily comprehensive, view of the studies that have attempted to provide comparative statements about housing policy. These examples are organized under a number of headings which mirror those in Chapter Four; as there, the first order headings of convergence, divergence and retrenchment are used. Under each of these at least one example from the literature is presented so that most of the theoretical approaches — Marxism, corporatism and so on — are illustrated.
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