How did American welfare policy move from the ambitious and altruistic goals of LBJ's Great Society of the 1960s to the punitive and penurious provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act of 1996? This book explores the power of ideology and rhetoric in the transformation of the American liberal welfare state. Based on historical analysis, detailed public policy critique, and original interview data, the story that unfolds is one of both personality and politics. Author Brendon O'Connor places the American welfare policy debate in wider perspective, showing how America's particular use of ideas and conceptions of economics and politics worked to reshape the national perception of poverty, morality, and economic responsibility over time.
Brendon O'Connor is assistant professor in the School of Politics and Public Policy, Griffith University.
Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 I The Liberal Welfare System Chapter 3 Liberalism and Welfare: The Ideological and Political Roots of the American Welfare System Chapter 4 The Liberal Consensus and the Great Society Chapter 5 The Seeds of Doom for Liberalism Part 6 II The Conservative Attack on Welfare Liberalism Chapter 7 The Neoconservatives Chapter 8 Reagan's Conservatives: The Supply-Siders, George Gilder, and Charles Murray Chapter 9 The New Right Chapter 10 A Populist Backlash? Part 11 III The Emergence of a Conservative Welfare System Chapter 12 Bill Clinton's Third Way Welfare Politics: Innovation, Compromise, and Capitulation Chapter 13 Newt Gingrich, the Contract with Americaand Justifying the PRWORA Chapter 14 Conservative Welfare Policy in Practice