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Poverty is not simply the result of an individual's characteristics, behaviors or abilities. Rather, as David Brady demonstrates, poverty is the result of politics. In Rich Democracies, Poor People, Brady investigates why poverty is so entrenched in some affluent democracies whereas it is a solvable problem in others. Drawing on over thirty years of data from eighteen countries, Brady argues that cross-national and historical variations in poverty are principally driven by differences in the generosity of the welfare state. An explicit challenge to mainstream views of poverty as an inescapable outcome of individual failings or a society's labor markets and demography, this book offers institutionalized power relations theory as an alternative explanation.
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.
Almost all advanced democracies have launched significant privatization programs over the last three decades. However, while there was a global run into privatization, substantial cross-national differences in the divesture of state-owned enterprises can be observed. This book focuses on the political economy of privatization, and addresses the questions 'What are the driving forces behind this development and how can the variation be explained?' which are of both theoretical and empirical interest. While the topic itself is not new, the existing comparative literature on the political economy of privatization suffers from at least two major shortcomings: First, recent macro-quantitative analysis in political science and economics has only focused on material privatization; formal privatization has hitherto been neglected due to an absence of data, even though this type of privatization is of eminent relevance in the public utility sectors. Second, most of the empirical studies in this area treat countries as independent units. In reality, however, policy decisions are likely to be interdependent. Policy decisions taken in one country influence the decision-making process in others. Given these shortcomings in the existing literature, the idea of this volume is to supply a fresh and comprehensive overview of the political economy of privatization using a new data set, the REST database. The empirical analysis covers 20 OECD countries in the period between 1980 and the advent of the global economic crisis in 2008. The recent economic crisis provides a good opportunity to take stock of the changing role of government in economic over the last three decades.
For a very large part of the world’s population, poverty and war are still part of everyday life. Drawing on insights from several disciplines, this book attempts to find scientific answers to explain the relationship between conflict and poverty. This interdisciplinary volume brings together a range of arguments that synthesize both democratic and capitalist peace theory. Supported by a large body of research, contributors contend that nations with institutions that maximize individual political and civil rights minimize the probability of fighting each other. The volume includes: contributors from leading and award winning scholars in the field, including Bruce Russett and Erik Gartzke topics such as democratization and economic development, situated within the broader contexts of globalization and modernization contributions supported by empirical analyses, systematizing democratic and capitalist peace theories This book will be vital reading for students and scholars of International Relations and globalization, and also for a broader range of subjects including sociology, political science and economics.
For more than thirty years, Kevin Phillips' insight into American politics and economics has helped to make history as well as record it. His bestselling books, including The Emerging Republican Majority (1969) and The Politics of Rich and Poor (1990), have influenced presidential campaigns and changed the way America sees itself. Widely acknowledging Phillips as one of the nation's most perceptive thinkers, reviewers have called him a latter-day Nostradamus and our "modern Thomas Paine." Now, in the first major book of its kind since the 1930s, he turns his attention to the United States' history of great wealth and power, a sweeping cavalcade from the American Revolution to what he calls "the Second Gilded Age" at the turn of the twenty-first century. The Second Gilded Age has been staggering enough in its concentration of wealth to dwarf the original Gilded Age a hundred years earlier. However, the tech crash and then the horrible events of September 11, 2001, pointed out that great riches are as vulnerable as they have ever been. In Wealth and Democracy, Kevin Phillips charts the ongoing American saga of great wealth–how it has been accumulated, its shifting sources, and its ups and downs over more than two centuries. He explores how the rich and politically powerful have frequently worked together to create or perpetuate privilege, often at the expense of the national interest and usually at the expense of the middle and lower classes. With intriguing chapters on history and bold analysis of present-day America, Phillips illuminates the dangerous politics that go with excessive concentration of wealth. Profiling wealthy Americans–from Astor to Carnegie and Rockefeller to contemporary wealth holders–Phillips provides fascinating details about the peculiarly American ways of becoming and staying a multimillionaire. He exposes the subtle corruption spawned by a money culture and financial power, evident in economic philosophy, tax favoritism, and selective bailouts in the name of free enterprise, economic stimulus, and national security. Finally, Wealth and Democracy turns to the history of Britain and other leading world economic powers to examine the symptoms that signaled their declines–speculative finance, mounting international debt, record wealth, income polarization, and disgruntled politics–signs that we recognize in America at the start of the twenty-first century. In a time of national crisis, Phillips worries that the growing parallels suggest the tide may already be turning for us all. From the Hardcover edition.
First published to great acclaim in 2000, Rich Media, Poor Democracy is Robert W. McChesney’s magnum opus. Called a “rich, penetrating study” by Noam Chomsky, the book is a meticulously researched exposition of how U.S. media and communication empires are threatening effective democratic governance. What happens when a few conglomerates dominate all major aspects of mass media, from newspapers and magazines to radio and broadcast television? Since the publication of this prescient work, which won Harvard’s Goldsmith Book Prize and the Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award, the concentration of media power and the resultant “hypercommercialization of culture” has only intensified. McChesney lays out his vision for what a truly democratic society might look like, offering compelling suggestions for how the media can be reformed as part of a broader program of democratic renewal. Rich Media, Poor Democracy remains as vital and insightful as ever and continues to serve as an important resource for researchers, students, and anyone who has a stake in the transformation of our digital commons. This new edition includes a major new preface by McChesney, where he offers both a history of the transformation in media since the book first appeared; a sweeping account of the organized efforts to reform the media system; and the ongoing threats to our democracy as journalism has continued its sharp decline.
A monument of Victorian classical scholarship, this valuable work will continue to be read by scholars and students of Aristotle.

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