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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

Chapter:
(p.675) 18 American Exceptionalism and Policy Implications
Source:
Rich Democracies
Author(s):

HAROLD L. WILENSKY

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520231764.003.0018

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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