Democracy and the Welfare State

The Two Wests in the Age of Austerity

Edited by Alice Kessler-Harris and Maurizio Vaudagna

Columbia University Press

Democracy and the Welfare State

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Pub Date: October 2017

ISBN: 9780231180351

424 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£27.95

Pub Date: October 2017

ISBN: 9780231180344

424 Pages

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List Price: $105.00£87.95

Pub Date: October 2017

ISBN: 9780231542654

424 Pages

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List Price: $34.99£27.95

Democracy and the Welfare State

The Two Wests in the Age of Austerity

Edited by Alice Kessler-Harris and Maurizio Vaudagna

Columbia University Press

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.
Has neoliberalism effectively ended the (always uneasy) marriage of capitalism and democracy? Taking the measure of welfare-state decline across the “Two Wests,” the contributors to this authoritative volume offer subtle and probing reckonings of the fate of democracy in an age of exclusion. The result is a complex and disturbing portrait of our times. Nancy Fraser, New School for Social Research
In this very fine volume, scholars from Europe and the United States join in examining the damage to, the prospects for, and the lacunae of the welfare state. The book offers a penetrating historical, economic, social, and ideological analysis that significantly reassesses the domestic role of the state in the face of growing twenty-first-century uncertainties. Michael Freeden, University of Oxford
Linking questions of democracy to those of social provision through the generative concept of the "Two Wests," Kessler-Harris, Vaudagna, and their contributors offer a primer on the crisis of the welfare state, the grip of austerity politics, and the rise of right-wing nationalism that mark our times. An important contribution! Eileen Boris, University of California, Santa Barbara
Democracy and the Welfare State is a vigorous interdisciplinary inquiry into the transformation of European and American welfare states by a distinguished group of scholars. This timely volume offers thoughtful and provocative observations about the recent spread of neoliberal policy reforms and the implications for the social rights and protections previously afforded by the welfare state. Neil Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley
This wonderfully wide-ranging but focused volume covers it all: the debates about the origins of the welfare state, its limits, its inclusions and exclusions, its gendered and racial biases. Better yet, it does so with thoughtful comparisons about the European and U.S. “models,” and it ends with a vivacious discussion about the possibilities of change. All between two covers. Nancy Green, L'École des hautes études en sciences sociales
Acknowledgments
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
Contributors
Index

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).