The Unsustainable American State

Overview

The complexity of the American economy and polity has grown rapidly in recent decades, but as the 2008 financial crisis revealed, the evolution of the American state has not proceeded apace. Covering the period from the early nineteenth century to the present, The Unsustainable American State offers an unsettling account of the dysfunctionalities that accelerated the erosion of American state capacity in the post-1970s era: persistent racial division, growing economic inequality, democratic decline, and imperial ...

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Overview

The complexity of the American economy and polity has grown rapidly in recent decades, but as the 2008 financial crisis revealed, the evolution of the American state has not proceeded apace. Covering the period from the early nineteenth century to the present, The Unsustainable American State offers an unsettling account of the dysfunctionalities that accelerated the erosion of American state capacity in the post-1970s era: persistent racial division, growing economic inequality, democratic decline, and imperial overreach.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195392142
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence Jacobs is the Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies and director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota.

Desmond King is the Andrew Mellon Professor of American Government and Professorial Fellow of Nuffield College at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the British Academy.

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Table of Contents

Contributors ix

Part I The Strains of Governance

1 The Political Crisis of the American State: The Unsustainable State in a Time of Unraveling Lawrence R. Jacobs Desmond King 3

2 Is Inequality a Threat to Democracy? John Ferejohn 34

Part II From Nineteenth-Century Legacies to Twentieth-Century Orthodoxy

3 The Resilient Power of the States across the Long Nineteenth Century: An Inquiry into a Pattern of American Governance Gary Gerstle 61

4 The First New Federalism and the Development of the Modern American State: Patchwork, Reconstitution, or Transition? Kimberley S. Johnson 88

5 The Missing State in Postwar American Political Thought Desmond King Marc Stears 116

Part III The Modern American State

6 No Class War: Economic Inequality and the American Public Benjamin I. Page Lawrence R. Jacobs 135

7 Economic Inequality and Political Representation Larry M. Bartels 167

8 Promoting Inequality: The Politics of Higher Education Policy in an Era of Conservative Governance Suzanne Mettler 197

9 Moving Feminist Activists Inside the American State: The Rise of a State-Movement Intersection and Its Effects on State Policy Lee Ann Banaszak 223

10 From Kanye West to Barack Obama: Black Youth, the State, and Political Alienation Cathy J. Cohen 255

Part IV The Inherited State Moving Forward

11 American State Building: The Theoretical Challenge Desmond King Robert C. Lieberman 299

12 A Historian's Reflection on the Unsustainable American State Lizabeth Cohen 323

13 Taking Stock Stephen Skowronek 330

339

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