Is the United States currently going through a period of critical realignment in class-political coalitions that favor welfare state expansion?

by | Apr 24, 2022 | Political science

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Since the 2008 recession, widening wealth inequality, higher costs of housing, health, and education, and economic precarity has resulted in a resurgence of socialist and progressive politics demanding everything from universal healthcare to free college tuition to public housing and a “Green New Deal.” Relatedly, some observers argue that the 2008 financial crisis marked the beginning of the end of the neoliberal consensus, e.g., the end of a “movement of laissez-faire,” especially with Trumpism’s partial break with conservative orthodoxy and the ongoing crises of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on your takeaways of the major theoretical approaches and empirical studies in this course, what is the likelihood that a growing “movement of protection” on the left and center-left will be able to transform the U.S. welfare state? Consider at least one of the following in your argument: A) Is the United States currently going through a period of critical realignment in class-political coalitions that favor welfare state expansion? B) What sort of welfare regime do you think would have the best chance at resolving the social antagonisms, intraclass conflict, and racialized (and gendered) patterns of socioeconomic inequality that characterizes U.S. politics?

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