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Progress for the Poor$
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Lane Kenworthy

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199591527

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199591527.001.0001

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The Politics of Helping the Poor

The Politics of Helping the Poor

(p.102) (p.103) 11 The Politics of Helping the Poor
Progress for the Poor

Lane Kenworthy

Oxford University Press

Given its political institutions—a privatized system of campaign financing, a federal government structure, extensive separation of powers within the federal government, a bicameral parliament, the filibuster practice in the Senate, and the lack of a truly left political party, among others—it is not surprising that the United States is a laggard in social policy generosity among the rich countries. Yet the world of social policy is not a deterministic one. Structures and institutions constrain, but they do not dictate outcomes. Examples from America’s past and from recent developments in other rich countries suggest reason for guarded optimism about the potential for policy more conducive to progress for the poor.

Keywords:   American social policy, institutions, public opinion, New Labour

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