Download Rich Democracies: Political Economy, Public Policy, and by Harold L. Wilensky PDF

By Harold L. Wilensky

During this landmark paintings, the fruits of 30 years of systematic, complete comparability of nineteen wealthy democracies, Wilensky solutions uncomplicated questions: (1) what's surprisingly smooth approximately sleek societies--in what methods are they turning into alike? (2) How do diversifications in different types of political financial system form process functionality? He specifies similarities and alterations within the constitution and interaction of presidency, political events, the mass media, undefined, hard work, professions, agriculture, church buildings, and voluntary institutions. He then demonstrates how alterations in bargaining preparations between those teams result in contrasting coverage profiles and styles of taxing and spending, which in flip clarify plenty of results: fiscal functionality, political legitimacy, equality, task protection, defense and hazard, genuine overall healthiness, the relief of poverty and environmental threats, and the effectiveness and equity of regulatory regimes.

Drawing on quantitative info and case reviews masking the final 50 years and greater than four hundred interviews he performed with best decision-makers and advisors, Wilensky presents a richly certain account of the typical social, financial, and exertions difficulties smooth governments confront and their contrasting varieties of clash solution. the result's new gentle at the most likely paths of improvement of wealthy democracies as they turn into richer. Assessing replacement theories, Wilensky deals a robust critique of such photographs of contemporary society as "post-industrial" or "high-tech," "the info age" or the alleged dominance of "globalization."

Because he systematically compares the entire wealthy democracies with not less than 3 million inhabitants, Wilensky can specify what's really extraordinary concerning the usa, what it stocks with Britain and Britain overseas (Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and what it stocks with all or just about all of the West ecu democracies, Israel, and Japan. He offers cautious awareness to which winning social and hard work guidelines are transferable throughout countries and that are not.

Rich Democracies will curiosity either students and practitioners. It combines the views of political financial system (the interaction of markets and politics) and political sociology (the social bases of politics). it will likely be in particular important in classes on comparative political economic climate, comparative politics, eu politics, public coverage, political sociology, the welfare country, American govt, complex commercial societies, and business kinfolk.

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Extra info for Rich Democracies: Political Economy, Public Policy, and Performance

Sample text

1 Think of high-energy technology this way: a hoe increases the effects of the application of human energy to digging a hole for planting far more than the stick that preceded it; a horse-drawn plow continues to multiply the effects of the human hand; the tractor continues the escalation of effects; and an atomic bomb can move a mountain (or destroy a city) with a push of one finger. This idea can be applied to recent information technology. The same fingers that operated the keyboard for a statistical report using the IBM mainframe of the 1950s can with the same energy expenditure now process gargantuan amounts of information—a continuous process of making smaller microprocessors do ever more work.

6. Associated changes in social stratification and mobility. Expansion of uppermiddle-class occupations to about one-fifth of the labor force, the growth of the upper-working class and lower-middle class and their increasing similarity in behavior and orientation. The decline of farmers and unskilled manual workers. 7. The changing organization, schedules, and hours of work. 8. The emergence and growth of the welfare state. Seven or eight similar program packages (discussed in chap. 5). 9. Changes in political systems.

The election of President Kennedy in 1960 symbolized the integration of Catholics into American society. What about the fate of more recent immigrants in the United States? A series of studies by the National esearch Council suggests that even in the past 40 years of accelerated immigration, there is more assimilation than Balkanization. This is evident in the decline of residential, occupational, and educational segregation; the increase in intermarriage rates; and the consequent changed meaning of ethnicity (Smith and Edmonston, 1997, pp.

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