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The Unsustainable American State$
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Lawrence Jacobs and Desmond King

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195392135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392135.001.0001

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Taking Stock

Taking Stock

(p.330) 13 Taking Stock
The Unsustainable American State

Stephen Skowronek

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that many scholars still have failed to understand the American state as a “state” and that issues before regarding “sustainability”, “fiscal crisis”, and “legitimation crisis” are still eminent up to now. This raises questions about the state' capacity and responsibility. In addition, the American state remains to be described in terms of false dichotomies–strong versus weak, active versus passive, conservative versus liberal, even state versus society. Also, the chapter presents how the American state appears to be increasingly egalitarian but continues to be hierarchal. The American state's apparent changeability and un-state-like characteristics such as volatility, unpredictability, and reversibility may likely be exacerbated than resolved by the Obama administration.

Keywords:   American state, legitimation crisis, egalitarian, Obama administration, fiscal crisis, sustainability

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