Remaking America: Democracy and Public Policy in an Age of Inequality

Overview

Over the past three decades, the contours of American social, economic, and political life have changed dramatically. The post-war patterns of broadly distributed economic growth have given way to stark inequalities of income and wealth, the GOP and its allies have gained power and shifted U.S. politics rightward, and the role of government in the lives of Americans has changed fundamentally. Remaking America explores how these trends are related, investigating the complex ...

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Overview

Over the past three decades, the contours of American social, economic, and political life have changed dramatically. The post-war patterns of broadly distributed economic growth have given way to stark inequalities of income and wealth, the GOP and its allies have gained power and shifted U.S. politics rightward, and the role of government in the lives of Americans has changed fundamentally. Remaking America explores how these trends are related, investigating the complex interactions of economics, politics, and public policy.

Remaking America explains how the broad restructuring of government policy has both reflected and propelled major shifts in the character of inequality and democracy in the United States. The contributors explore how recent political and policy changes affect not just the social standing of Americans but also the character of democratic citizenship in the United States today. Lawrence Jacobs shows how partisan politics, public opinion, and interest groups have shaped the evolution of Medicare, but also how Medicare itself restructured health politics in America. Kimberly Morgan explains how highly visible tax policies created an opportunity for conservatives to lead a grassroots tax revolt that ultimately eroded of the revenues needed for social-welfare programs. Deborah Stone explores how new policies have redefined participation in the labor force—as opposed to fulfilling family or civic obligations—as the central criterion of citizenship. Frances Fox Piven explains how low-income women remain creative and vital political actors in an era in which welfare programs increasingly subject them to stringent behavioral requirements and monitoring. Joshua Guetzkow and Bruce Western document the rise of mass incarceration in America and illuminate its unhealthy effects on state social-policy efforts and the civic status of African-American men.

For many disadvantaged Americans who used to look to government as a source of opportunity and security, the state has become increasingly paternalistic and punitive. Far from standing alone, their experience reflects a broader set of political victories and policy revolutions that have fundamentally altered American democracy and society. Empirically grounded and theoretically informed, Remaking America connects the dots to provide insight into the remarkable social and political changes of the last three decades.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871548160
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
  • Publication date: 3/28/2010
  • Pages: 287
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

JOE SOSS is the Cowles Professor for the Study of Public Service at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota.

JACOB S. HACKER is professor of political science at Yale University and resident fellow of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies.

SUZANNE METTLER is Clinton Rossiter Professor of American Institutions in the Government Department at Cornell University.

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Table of Contents


Introduction
Chapter 1. The New Politics of Inequality: A Policy-Centered Perspective
Jacob S. Hacker, Yale University
Suzanne Mettler, Syracuse University
Joe Soss, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Policies and Institutions in the New Politics of Inequality
Chapter 2. Constricting the Welfare State: Tax Policy and the Political Movement Against Government
Kimberly J. Morgan, George Washington University
Chapter 3. Entrepreneurial Litigation: Advocacy Coalitions and Strategies in the Fragmented American Welfare State
R. Shep Melnick, Boston College
Elite Efforts to Reshape the Political Landscape
Chapter 4. The Implementation and Evolution of Medicare: The Distributional Effects of "Positive" Policy Feedbacks
Lawrence R. Jacobs, University of Minnesota
Chapter 5. A Public Transformed? Welfare Reform as Policy Feedback
Joe Soss, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sanford F. Schram, Bryn Mawr College

Policies and Participation: The Interplay of Structure and Agency
Chapter 6. Universalism, Targeting, and Participation
Andrea Louise Campbell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Chapter 7. Institutions and Agents in the Politics of Welfare Cutbacks
Frances Fox Piven, City University of New York
The People that Policies Make: Roles, Identities, and Democracies
Chapter 8. Policies of Racial Classification and the Politics of Racial Inequality
Jennifer Hochschild, Harvard University
Vesla Weaver, Harvard University
Chapter 9. Welfare Policy and the Transformation of Care
Deborah Stone, Dartmouth College
The State¿s New Look: Decentralization, Inequality, and Social Control
Chapter 10. The Promise of Progressive Federalism
Richard B. Freeman, Harvard University
Joel Rogers, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Chapter 11. The Political Consequences of Mass Imprisonment
Josh Guetzkow, Harvard University
Bruce Western, Princeton University
Putting the Pieces Together: Constructivist and Institutionalist Perspectives
Chapter 12. Poverty, Policy, and the Social Construction of Target Groups
Helen Ingram, University of California-Irvine

Chapter 13. Policy, Politics, and the Rise of Inequality
Paul Pierson, University of California-Berkeley

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