United States: Social Welfare Policy and Privatization in Post-industrial Society

  • Michael Reisch

It is widely acknowledged that the US welfare state evolved differently from those of other industrialized nations (Karger & Stoesz, 2002; Chatterjee, 1996). Pragmatic, rather than ideological, in origin, it relied less on the national government and more on the private sector than its European counterparts (Midgley, 1997). In comparison to the welfare states of Western Europe, the US version had more limited goals and never developed a national network of services or a fully integrated income maintenance system. Other unique features of the US welfare system include decentralized government intervention and a critical role for the nonprofit sector, as both funder and provider of services (Young, 1999). The US social welfare system has also frequently been used to maintain prevailing racial, gender, and class inequalities (Reisch, 2005; Schram et al., 2003; Schram et al., 2007).


Social Welfare Welfare State Welfare System Nonprofit Sector Welfare Reform 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of MarylandBaltimareUSA

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