American Policy-Making will surely create controversy by challenging the prevailing ethos of humanitarianism. Epstein points to the perils of unrestricted subjectivity-the corruption of both social science and social discourse-and argues for a more disciplined approach to policy-making. This is a uniquely unsentimental analysis of American social policy-making with great scope and depth, particularly in the personal social services, philosophic and historical dimensions. It is also a bold call to action to create more effective policies for social welfare.
William M. Epstein is professor of social work at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Part 1 Introduction Part 2 Preface Part 3 Acknowledgments Chapter 4 1 Political Theory, Ideology, and Social Welfare Chapter 5 2 The Willow World of Virtue: Rationality and Effectiveness in the Personal Social Services Chapter 6 3 The American Ethos 1: Two Civil Religions Chapter 7 4 The American Ethos 2: America Speaks - The Polls and Policy Choice Chapter 8 5 The American Ethos 3: Social Welfare Services as Rituals of the Civil Religion Chapter 9 6 Two Romances: The Enlightenment and the Anti-Enlightenment Chapter 10 7 Science, Limited Science, and Scientism Chapter 11 8 Hiding from the Jacobins Part 12 References Part 13 Afterword