Democracy and the Welfare State: The Two Wests in the Age of Austerity

Democracy and the Welfare State: The Two Wests in the Age of Austerity


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Tuesday, May 11


After World War II, states on both sides of the Atlantic enacted comprehensive social benefits to protect working people and constrain capitalism. A widely shared consensus specifically linked social welfare to democratic citizenship, upholding greater equality as the glue that held nations together. Though the "two Wests," Europe and the United States, differ in crucial respects, they share a common history of social rights, democratic participation, and welfare capitalism. But in a new age of global inequality, welfare-state retrenchment, and economic austerity, can capitalism and democracy still coexist?

In this book, leading historians and social scientists rethink the history of social democracy and the welfare state in the United States and Europe in light of the global transformations of the economic order. Separately and together, they ask how changes in the distribution of wealth reshape the meaning of citizenship in a post-welfare-state era. They explore how the harsh effects of austerity and inequality influence democratic participation. In individual essays as well as interviews with Ira Katznelson and Frances Fox Piven, contributors from both sides of the Atlantic explore the fortunes of the welfare state. They discuss distinct national and international settings, speaking to both local particularities and transnational and transatlantic exchanges. Covering a range of topics—the lives of migrant workers, gender and the family in the design of welfare policies, the fate of the European Union, and the prospects of social movements—Democracy and the Welfare State is essential reading on what remains of twentieth-century social democracy amid the onslaught of neoliberalism and right-wing populism and where this legacy may yet lead us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231180351
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 10/31/2017
Pages: 424
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Alice Kessler-Harris is R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History, emerita, and a professor in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia University. Her books include Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States (1982); In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in Twentieth Century America (2001); A Woman's Wage (2014); and A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman (2012).

Maurizio Vaudagna is professor of contemporary history, emeritus, at the University of Eastern Piedmont. He is the author or editor of several books, including The American Century in Europe (2003) and The New Deal and the American Welfare State: Essays from a Transatlantic Perspective (2014). With Alice Kessler-Harris, he is the editor of Democracy and Social Rights in the "Two Wests" (2009).

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Uneasy Promise of the Welfare State, by Alice Kessler-Harris
1. Historians Interpret the Welfare State, 1975–1995, by Maurizio Vaudagna
Part I. Democracy and the Welfare State in Europe and the United States
2. Reconciling European Integration and the National Welfare State: A Neo-Weberian Perspective, by Maurizio Ferrera
3. Democracy After the Welfare State: An Interview, by Ira Katznelson
Part II. Varieties of Retrenchment
4. Privatization and Self-Responsibility: Patterns of Welfare-State Development in Europe and the United States Since the 1990s, by Christian Lammert
5. Paradise Lost? Social Citizenship in Norway and Sweden, by Gro Hagemann
6. Social Citizenship in the U.S. Affordable Care Act, by Beatrix Hoffman
7. In the Shadow of Employment Precarity: Informal Protection and Risk Transfers in Low-End Temporary Staffing, by Sébastien Chauvin
8. From the Welfare State to the Carceral State: Whither Social Reproduction?, by Mimi Abramovitz
Part III. Gender, the Family, and Social Provision
9. Family Matters: Social Policy, an Overlooked Constraint on the Development of European Citizenship, by Chiara Saraceno
10. Transforming Gendered Labor Policies in Sweden and the United States, 1960s–2000s, by Ann Shola Orloff
11. Breadwinner Liberalism and Its Discontents in the American Welfare State, by Robert O. Self
Part IV. Possibilities of Resistance
12. Nationalism’s Challenge to European Citizenship, Democracy, and Equality: Potential for Resistance from Transnational Civil Society, by Birte Siim
13. Poor-People Power: The State, Social Provision, and American Experiments in Democratic Engagement, by Marisa Chappell
14. Grassroots Challenges to Capitalism: An Interview, by Frances Fox Piven
Selected Bibliography

Customer Reviews