Castles, Francis G. 1943–

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Castles, Francis G. 1943–

(Francis Geoffrey Castles)


Born September 16, 1943, in Melbourne, Australia; son of Henry (an engineer) and Fay Castles; married Margaret Norton, August 24, 1963; children: Penelope Ann. Education: University of Leeds, B.A., 1964. Politics: "Of cynicism."


Home—Macquarie, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.


Former faculty member at Australian National University, Canberra.


Political Studies Association (United Kingdom), Australian Political Science Association, Sociological Association of Australia and New Zealand.


Pressure Groups and Political Culture: A Comparative Study, Humanities (New York, NY), 1967.

Politics and Social Insight, Routledge & Kegan Paul (New York, NY), 1971.

(Editor) Decisions, Organizations and Society, Penguin (New York, NY), 1971, 2nd edition, 1976.

Political Stability, Open University Press (Berkshire, England), 1974.

(With Paul Lewis and Susan Saunders) Questions in Soviet Government and Politics, Open University Press (Berkshire, England), 1976.

Power, Coercion and Authority, Open University Press (Berkshire, England), 1976.

The Social Democratic Image of Society: A Study of the Achievements and Origins of Scandinavian Social Democracy in Comparative Perspective, Routledge & Kegan Paul (New York, NY), 1978.

(Editor) The Practice of Comparative Politics, 2nd edition (Castles was not associated with previous edition), Longman (New York, NY), 1978.

Democratic Politics and Policy Outcomes, Open University Press (Berkshire, England), 1980.

(Editor) The Impact of Parties: Politics and Policies in Democratic Capitalist States, Sage Publications (Thousand Oaks, CA), 1982.

Australian Public Policy and Economic Vulnerability: A Comparative and Historical Perspective, Allen & Unwin (London, England), 1988.

The Comparative History of Public Policy, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1989.

(Editor) Australia Compared: People, Policies, and Politics, Allen & Unwin (London, England), 1991.

(Editor) Families of Nations: Patterns of Public Policy in Western Democracies, Dartmouth (Durham, NH), 1993.

(Editor, with Rolf Gerritsen and Jack Vowles) The Great Experiment: Labour Parties and Public Policy Transformation in Australia and New Zealand, Allen & Unwin (London, England), 1996.

Comparative Public Policy: Patterns of Post-war Transformation, Edward Elgar (Northampton, MA), 1998.

(Editor, with Christopher Pierson) The Welfare State: A Reader, Polity Press (Cambridge, MA), 2000, reprinted, 2006.

(Editor, with Geoffrey Brennan) Australia Reshaped: 200 Years of Institutional Transformation, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Future of the Welfare State: Crisis Myths and Crisis Realities, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

(Editor, with Herbert Obinger and Stephan Leibfried) Federalism and the Welfare State: New World and European Experiences, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005.

The Disappearing State? Retrenchment Realities in an Age of Globalisation, Edward Elgar (Northampton, MA), 2007.


Francis G. Castles is an Australian-born writer and educator whose primary interests include the political development of Australia and its various institutions, particularly welfare, and the country's place in the global arena. He has also written more generally about politics and about the social and political development of other countries, including the Soviet Union. Castles is the author or editor of more than twenty books.

In Comparative Public Policy: Patterns of Post-war Transformation, Castles addresses the condition of the welfare state in approximately twenty nations, seeking to determine which approach is the lesser of two evils: one where the country allows its government minimal control and influence over public policy as a result of an effort to globalize, or one where the government is overly controlling in such a way that appears to lead to reckless spending and increased rates of unemployment for the population. He focuses primarily on Anglo/European/Scandinavian countries, and looks at how each country's statistics compare to each other and to the whole. Castles looks at welfare, social security, and money spent toward national health and education, considering these the major components of the welfare systems. Martin Lodge, in a review for West European Politics, wrote that "Castles's book is an important contribution to comparative public policy, offering significant insight into policy areas over time and countries and providing a key source for any analysis of public policy." According to Martin Rhodes, writing for the American Political Science Review: "This is a compelling and convincing analysis. In its combination of scope, ambition, and rigor it is currently unchallenged. It is succinct, concise, and undeviating from its central explanatory thesis."

The Future of the Welfare State: Crisis Myths and Crisis Realities, published in 2004, offers a balanced discussion of the state of the various welfare systems in developed nations, neither praising them nor predicting their imminent collapse. Castles takes a look at the status of the welfare state first by examining how globalization has affected the economies that support such systems. He then addresses the steadily aging world population and the strain that places on various necessary services, and finally the way in which infertility is becoming a more common issue and its potential effect on many welfare systems. Charles Guzetta, in a review for the Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, remarked that "in all the twenty-one nations studied, including the United States, Castles considers the welfare future to be subject to intervention through specific social policies rather than the inexorable laws of economics."

Castle served as editor of Federalism and the Welfare State: New World and European Experiences, along with Herbert Obinger and Stephan Leibfried. The book addresses six case studies based on nations in Europe and North America that can be considered federal systems to determine how their experiences can be applied to other parts of the world. Beryl A. Radin, writing in Publius, remarked of the book: "Although I believe that this volume makes an important contribution to the literature, I had hoped that the authors of the six chapters would have been able to create a common framework for their analyses. Instead, some of the issues found in the concluding chapter are not discussed in individual chapters, and thus these issues often have not been linked across the six settings."



American Political Science Review, June 1, 2000, Martin Rhodes, review of Comparative Public Policy: Patterns of Post-war Transformation, p. 475.

Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, March 1, 2006, Charles Guzetta, review of The Future of the Welfare State: Crisis Myths and Crisis Realities, p. 264.

Publius, September 22, 2006, Beryl A. Radin, review of Federalism and the Welfare State: New World and European Experiences, p. 588.

West European Politics, July 1, 2000, Martin Lodge, review of Comparative Public Policy, p. 235.

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Castles, Francis G. 1943–

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