PG 317

Politics and Policy of the U.S. Welfare State

This course focuses on social welfare policy in the United States. The first section of the course explores ideological debates over the welfare state, theories of welfare state development, and the historical development of the U.S. welfare state in comparative perspective. The middle section of the course explores arguments about challenges to political order created by market dynamics, the question of American exceptionalism, and the intersections of race, gender, and welfare in American political development. Then, we focus on core welfare state policies aimed at addressing problems of unemployment, poverty, access to health care, and old age security. The final section addresses questions about the sustainability of the welfare state, in practical, fiscal as well as ideological terms.

Prerequisites: PG 101; PG 314 recommended.