Reconstructing The American Welfare State: Pragmatic Responses to the Welfare Crisis

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There is widespread agreement that the American welfare state is in crisis. Derived piecemeal from the New Deal, the welfare state is faced with numerous problems, including severe fiscal constraint, programmatic fragmentation, rigid bureaucratization and proceduralism which hinders effective service delivery, diminishing political and social legitimacy, disaffection among welfare recipients, and numerous other difficulties. The authors of this book argue that clinging to old and outmoded policy approaches do not offer workable remedies to the welfare crisis. They also believe that 'new Right' policies for drastic welfare cuts are unrealistic and contrary to wider social interests. Instead, Reconstructing the American Welfare State offers innovative, imaginative, and pragmatic solutions. They argue that principles such as equity, economic and political feasibility, effectiveness, and productivity should guide a reconstructed welfare state, and advocate a paradigm emphasizing access to services, social choice, the revitalization of the private sector, voluntarization, community redevelopment, the rekindling of social obligations, and other policy approaches.

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Editorial Reviews

Public Administration Review is definitely a worthwhile addition to the literature....the book makes clear that there is a consensus on the need for and desire for change.
Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
. . . the book succeeds and is well worth reading.
Raymond Albert
...Stoesz and Karger are to be commended for a wonderfully thoughtful, lucid, and critical analysis of the challenges confronting the American social welfare state.
Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare
. . . the book succeeds and is well worth reading.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847677276
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/23/1991
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

David Stoesz is an Associate Professor at San Diego State University. Howard Karger is Professor of Social Work at Louisiana State University.

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Table of Contents

Figures and Tables
1 The Idea of the Welfare State 3
2 The Crisis of the Welfare State 23
3 Responding to the Crisis: Conservative Prescriptions 43
4 Responding to the Crisis: Liberal Prescriptions 75
5 Reconstructing the Welfare State 103
6 Options in Social Welfare Policy 119
7 The Civic Welfare State 161
Selected Bibliography 175
Index 189
About the Authors 199
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