Chapter

American Exceptionalism and Policy Implications

HAROLD L. WILENSKY

in Rich Democracies

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780520231764
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928336 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520231764.003.0018
American Exceptionalism and Policy Implications

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This chapter examines the policy implications of so-called American exceptionalism. It explains that the U.S. is one of six countries that are the least corporatist and its decentralized, fragmented political economy is vulnerable to the mass-society tendencies described in Chapter 3. It shows that there are no necessary trade-offs between the values of dignity, equality, security, family well-being, social integration, and political legitimacy protected by the welfare state, on the one hand, and good economic performance on the other.

Keywords: American exceptionalism; political economy; mass-society tendencies; social integration; welfare state; political legitimacy; economic performance; dignity; equality; security

Chapter.  26041 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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