Some view the United States as a paradigmatic "liberal market economy", or even the model towards which all affluent democracies are gravitating under the relentless trends of globalization and liberalization. Instead, the U.S. is better seen as an outlier, indeed an increasingly distinctive one. Although significant political forces continue to push the case for extensive social investments, they operate on a terrain shaped by rising inequality, increasing polarization, mounting institutional dysfunction, and growing incentives for rent-seeking; and the recent election of the Trump administration has shown the increasing difficulties progressive reform in the U.S. faces.
This lecture is part of the Global Welfare Futures Lecture Series.
Paul Pierson is the John Gross Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. Pierson’s teaching and research includes the fields of American politics and public policy, comparative political economy, and social theory. His most recent books are Off-Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy (Yale University Press 2005), co-authored by Jacob Hacker, Politics in Time: History, Institutions and Social Analysis (Princeton University Press 2004), and The Transformation of American Politics: Activist Government and the Rise of Conservatism (Princeton University Press 2007), which was co-edited with Theda Skocpol, and Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (Simon and Schuster 2010), also co-authored by Jacob Hacker. Pierson is an active commentator on public affairs, whose writings have recently appeared in such outlets as The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, and The New Republic.
Timo Fleckenstein is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Policy, LSE.
The Department of Social Policy (@LSESocialPolicy) is the longest established in the UK. The Department prides itself in being able to offer teaching based on the highest quality empirical research in the field.
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