Poverty, Inequality, and the Future of Social Policy

Western States in the New World Order
Katherine McFate
Roger Lawson
William Julius Wilson
Paperback or Ebook
6.63 x9.25 in.
768 pages
July, 1996

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"Extremely coherent and useful, this much needed volume is concerned with the current status of the poor in Western industrial states. Its closely linked essays allow comparisons between case studies and are often themselves cross-national comparisons....The essays also comment on the meaning of globalization for social policy." —Choice

"Excellent and tightly integrated articles by a group of prominent international scholars....A timely and important book, which will surely become the basic reference point for all future research on inequality and social policy." —Contemporary Sociology

The social safety net is under strain in all Western nations, as social and economic change has created problems that traditional welfare systems were not designed to handle. Poverty, Inequality, and the Future of Social Policy provides a definitive analysis of the conditions that are fraying the social fabric and the reasons why some countries have been more successful than others in addressing these trends. In the United States, where the poverty rate in the 1980s was twice that of any advanced nation in Europe, the social protection system—and public support for it—has eroded alarmingly. In Europe, the welfare system more effectively buffered the disadvantaged, but social expenditures have been indicted by many as the principal cause of high unemployment.

Concluding chapters review the progress and goals of social welfare programs, assess their viability in the face of creeping economic, racial, and social fragmentation, and define the challenges that face those concerned with social cohesion and economic prosperity in the new global economy. This volume illuminates the disparate effects of government intervention on the incidence and duration of poverty in Western countries. Poverty, Inequality, and the Future of Social Policy is full of lessons for anyone who would look beyond the limitations of the welfare debate in the United States.

KATHERINE McFATE is associate director for social policy at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington.

ROGER LAWSON is senior lecturer in social policy at the University of Southampton, England.

WILLIAM JULIUS WILSON is Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at Harvard University.

CONTRIBUTORS: Timothy Smeeding, Lee Rainwater, Greg J. Duncan, Bjorn Gustafsson, Richard Hauser, Gunter Schmaus, Stephen Jenkins, Hans Messinger, Ruud Muffels, Brian Nolan, Jean-Claude Ray, Wolfgang Voges, Susan Mayer, Guy Standing, Peter Gottschalk, Mary Joyce, Sheila B. Kamerman, Nadine Lefaucheur, Siv Gustafsson, Ruth Rose, Sara McLanahan, Irwin Garfinkel, aul Osterman, Bernard Casey, Enrico Pugliese, Troy Duster, Alejandro Portes, Min Zhou,Ian Gordon, Loic Wacquant, Sophie Body-Gendrot, Colin Brown, Justus Veenman, Hugh Heclo, Roger Lawson, William Julius Wilson. 


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