This special double issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law is a collection of papers presented at meetings held by the European Health Care Systems Discussion group--a forum for health system scholars from throughout Europe who meet regularly to discuss intra- and intercountry analyses of health care system reform. Reaching beyond simple descriptive reporting on the health care system of their particular country, contributors from across Europe develop a much deeper understanding of health sector reforms by placing emphasis on how the health care system of their country promotes--and has been reformed to promote--efficiency, equity, accountability and responsiveness within the specific political, historical, and cultural contexts of their countries (including Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden).
Editor's Note / Mark SchlesingerEuropean Health Systems Reforms: Looking Backward to See Forward? / Adam Oliver & Elias Mossialos; Health Policy in Denmark: Leaving the Decentralized Welfare Path? / Karsten Vrangbaek & Terkel Christiansen; The Interplay between Economic and Political Logics: Path Dependency in Health Care in England / Gwyn Bevan & Ray Robinson; Reform, Change, and Continuity in Finnish Health Care / Unto Hakkinen & Juhani Lehto; State Autonomy, Policy Paralysis: Paradoxes of Institutions and Culture in the French Health Care System / Lise Rochaix & David Wilsford; Health Care Reform in Germany: Patchwork Change within Established Governance Structures / Christa Altenstetter & Reinhard Busse; Plus ca Change: Health Sector Reforms in Greece / Konstantina Davaki & Elias Mossialos; The Evolution of Health-Policy Making in Italy / George France & Francesco Taroni; Market-Oriented Health Care Reforms and Policy Learning in the Netherlands / Jan-Kees Helderman, Frederik T. Schut, Tom E. D. van der Grinten, & Wynand P. M. M. van de Ven; Nondecision Making and Inertia in Portuguese Health Policy / Monica D. Oliveira, Jose M. Magone, & Joao A. Pereira; Power Rather Than Path Dependency? The Dynamics of Institutional Change under Health Care Federalism / Ana Rico & Joan Costa-Font; Renovating the Commons: Swedish Health Care Reforms in Perspective / Richard B. Saltman & Sven-Eric Bergman; Commentary: Fellow Travelers on a Contested Path: Power, Purpose, and the Evolution of European Health Care Systems / Robert G. Evans Books: The Divided Welfare State: The Battle over Public and Private Social Benefits in the United States, by Jacob Hacker / Brian K. Gran--Review Essay; Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health Care in Twentieth-Century America, by Colin Gordon / Nancy Tomes--Review News and Notes; News from Affiliated Organizations; Contributors