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Rich Democracies : Political Economy, Public Policy, and Performance (02 Edition)

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Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

In this landmark work, the culmination of 30 years of systematic, comprehensive comparison of 19 rich democracies, Wilensky answers two basic questions: (1) What is distinctly modern about modern societies--in what ways are they becoming alike? (2) How do variations in types of political economy shape system performance? He specifies similarities and differences in the structure and interplay of government, political parties, the mass media, industry, labor, professions, agriculture, churches, and voluntary associations. He then demonstrates how differences in bargaining arrangements among these groups lead to contrasting policy profiles and patterns of taxing and spending, which in turn explain a large number of outcomes: economic performance, political legitimacy, equality, job security, safety and risk, real health, the reduction of poverty and environmental threats, and the effectiveness and fairness of regulatory regimes.

Drawing on quantitative data and case studies covering the last 50 years and more than 400 interviews he conducted with top decision-makers and advisors, Wilensky provides a richly detailed account of the common social, economic, and labor problems modern governments confront and their contrasting styles of conflict resolution. The result is new light on the likely paths of development of rich democracies as they become richer. Assessing alternative theories, Wilensky offers a powerful critique of such images of modern society as "post-industrial" or "high-tech," "the information age" or the alleged dominance of "globalization."

Because he systematically compares all of the rich democracies with at least three million population, Wilensky can specify what is truly exceptional about the United States, what it shares with Britain and Britain abroad (Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and what it shares with all or almost all of the West European democracies, Israel, and Japan. He gives careful attention to which successful social and labor policies are transferable across nations and which are not.

Rich Democracies will interest both scholars and practitioners. It combines the perspectives of political economy (the interplay of markets and politics) and political sociology (the social bases of politics). It will be especially useful in courses on comparative political economy, comparative politics, European politics, public policy, political sociology, the welfare state, American government, advanced industrial societies, and industrial relations.

Synopsis:

This work asks: what is distinctly modern about modern societies - in what ways are they becoming alike?; and how do variations in types of political economy shape system performance? It provides an account of what taxing, spending, and public policies mean for the well-being of people.

Synopsis:

"Rich Democracies will be an instant classic. Chock full of new findings, it provides the definitive account of what taxing, spending, and public policies mean for the wellbeing of people. It is a model of broad comparative research, combining quantitative analysis, case studies, and historical context. Written in an accessible style, it will also serve as a valuable textbook in courses accenting contemporary society, politics, and public policy, both for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. The conclusion that consensual decision-making serves a nations citizens better than confrontation has enormous practical relevance for designing democratic institutions."—Arend Lijphart, former President of the American Political Science Association

"A truly amazing accomplishment; a comprehensive treatment of structure and change in modern societies. Always addressing central questions in the social sciences, always empirically careful and methodologically sensitive, relentlessly comparative, Wilensky provides a powerful explanation of similarities and differences in the institutions, policies, and performance of rich democracies. In lucid, often colorful language, he knocks down widely-accepted ideological accounts of contemporary civilization, left, right, and center."—Neil Smelser, Director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

"A monumental work, brilliant in its breadth and depth. A major contribution to debates about the functions of government, markets, and voluntary associations."—Lowell Turner, Professor of Labor and Industrial Relations, Cornell University

Synopsis:

A comprehensive account of the author's life work.

About the Author

Harold L. Wilensky is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of California at Berkeley. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the author or co-author of twelve previous books, including Industrial Society and Social Welfare (1958, 1965); Organizational Intelligence: Knowledge and Policy in Government and Industry (1967); The Welfare State and Equality (California, 1975); Democratic Corporatism and Policy Linkages (1987); and Intellectuals in Labor Unions (1956). Before joining the University of California in 1963 he taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago, where he received his Ph.D. in sociology.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Appendices

Preface and Acknowledgments

PART I: PATHS OF DEVELOPMENT OF RICH DEMOCRACIES

CHAPTER 1 Convergence Theory

CHAPTER 2 Types of Political Economy

CHAPTER 3 Mass Society, Participation, and the Mass Media

CHAPTER 4 Theories of the Postindustrial Society

PART II: THE WELFARE STATE AND SOCIAL POLICY

CHAPTER 5 The Welfare State: Convergence and Divergence

CHAPTER 6 Sector Spending and Program Emphasis

CHAPTER 7 Types of Political Economy, Party Ideology, and Family Policy: Contrasting Government Responses to a Common Problem

CHAPTER 8 The American Welfare Mess in Comparative Perspective

CHAPTER 9 Bureaucratic Efficiency and Bloat

PART III: SYSTEM PERFORMANCE

CHAPTER 10 Tax-Welfare Backlash: How to Tax, Spend, and Yet Keep Cool

CHAPTER 11 Are Political Parties Declining? An Analysis of National Variation in Dealignment

CHAPTER 12 Types of Political Economy, Spending, Taxing, and Economic Performance

CHAPTER 13 The Great American Job Machine in Comparative Perspective

CHAPTER 14 Risk and Safety: American Mayhem in Comparative Perspective

CHAPTER 15 Types of Political Economy, Regulatory Regimes, and the Environment

CHAPTER 16 Health Performance: Affluence, Political Economy, and Public Policy as Sources of Real Health

CHAPTER 17 Globalization: Does It Subvert Labor Standards, the Welfare State, and Job Security?

CHAPTER 18 American Exceptionalism and Policy Implications

Conclusion

APPENDICES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520232792
Author:
Wilensky, Harold L.
Publisher:
University of California Press
Location:
Berkeley
Subject:
Comparative government
Subject:
Democracy
Subject:
Public Policy
Subject:
Welfare state
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Democracy
Subject:
Public Policy - General
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Politics - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
78-206
Publication Date:
20020631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
18 line illustrations, 89 tables
Pages:
922
Dimensions:
10 x 7 x 1.88 in 55 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General

Rich Democracies : Political Economy, Public Policy, and Performance (02 Edition) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$44.00 In Stock
Product details 922 pages University of California Press - English 9780520232792 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This work asks: what is distinctly modern about modern societies - in what ways are they becoming alike?; and how do variations in types of political economy shape system performance? It provides an account of what taxing, spending, and public policies mean for the well-being of people.
"Synopsis" by ,
"Rich Democracies will be an instant classic. Chock full of new findings, it provides the definitive account of what taxing, spending, and public policies mean for the wellbeing of people. It is a model of broad comparative research, combining quantitative analysis, case studies, and historical context. Written in an accessible style, it will also serve as a valuable textbook in courses accenting contemporary society, politics, and public policy, both for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. The conclusion that consensual decision-making serves a nations citizens better than confrontation has enormous practical relevance for designing democratic institutions."—Arend Lijphart, former President of the American Political Science Association

"A truly amazing accomplishment; a comprehensive treatment of structure and change in modern societies. Always addressing central questions in the social sciences, always empirically careful and methodologically sensitive, relentlessly comparative, Wilensky provides a powerful explanation of similarities and differences in the institutions, policies, and performance of rich democracies. In lucid, often colorful language, he knocks down widely-accepted ideological accounts of contemporary civilization, left, right, and center."—Neil Smelser, Director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

"A monumental work, brilliant in its breadth and depth. A major contribution to debates about the functions of government, markets, and voluntary associations."—Lowell Turner, Professor of Labor and Industrial Relations, Cornell University

"Synopsis" by , A comprehensive account of the author's life work.
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