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Rich DemocraciesPolitical Economy, Public Policy, and Performance$
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Harold Wilensky

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520231764

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520231764.001.0001

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American Exceptionalism and Policy Implications

American Exceptionalism and Policy Implications

(p.675) 18 American Exceptionalism and Policy Implications
Rich Democracies


University of California Press

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

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