Regulating the Social: The Welfare State and Local Politics in Imperial Germany

Princeton University Press
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Why does the welfare state develop so unevenly across countries, regions, and localities? What accounts for the exclusions and disciplinary features of social programs? How are elite and popular conceptions of social reality related to welfare policies? George Steinmetz approaches these and other issues by exploring the complex origins and development of local and national social policies in nineteenth-century Germany. Generally regarded as the birthplace of the modern welfare state, Germany experimented with a wide variety of social programs before 1914, including the national social insurance legislation of the 1880s, the "Elberfeld" system of poor relief, protocorporatist policies, and modern forms of social work. Imperial Germany offers a particularly useful context in which to compare different programs at various levels of government.

Looking at changes in welfare policy over the course of the nineteenth century, differences between state and municipal interventions, and intercity variations in policy, Steinmetz develops an account that focuses on the specific constraints on local and national policymakers and the different ways of imagining the "social question." Whereas certain aspects of the pre-1914 welfare state reinforced social divisions and even foreshadowed aspects of the Nazi regime, other dimensions actually helped to relieve sickness, poverty, and unemployment. Steinmetz explores the conditions that led to both the positive and the objectionable features of social policy. The explanation draws on statist, Marxist, and social democratic perspectives and on theories of gender and culture.

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About the author

George Steinmetz is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago.
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Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Aug 9, 1993
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Pages
404
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ISBN
9781400820962
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / History & Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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George Steinmetz
The revelation that the U.S. Department of Defense had hired anthropologists for its Human Terrain System project—assisting its operations in Afghanistan and Iraq—caused an uproar that has obscured the participation of sociologists in similar Pentagon-funded projects. As the contributors to Sociology and Empire show, such affiliations are not new. Sociologists have been active as advisers, theorists, and analysts of Western imperialism for more than a century.

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George Steinmetz
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George Steinmetz
The revelation that the U.S. Department of Defense had hired anthropologists for its Human Terrain System project—assisting its operations in Afghanistan and Iraq—caused an uproar that has obscured the participation of sociologists in similar Pentagon-funded projects. As the contributors to Sociology and Empire show, such affiliations are not new. Sociologists have been active as advisers, theorists, and analysts of Western imperialism for more than a century.

The collection has a threefold agenda: to trace an intellectual history of sociology as it pertains to empire; to offer empirical studies based around colonies and empires, both past and present; and to provide a theoretical basis for future sociological analyses that may take empire more fully into account. In the 1940s, the British Colonial Office began employing sociologists in its African colonies. In Nazi Germany, sociologists played a leading role in organizing the occupation of Eastern Europe. In the United States, sociology contributed to modernization theory, which served as an informal blueprint for the postwar American empire. This comprehensive anthology critiques sociology's disciplinary engagement with colonialism in varied settings while also highlighting the lasting contributions that sociologists have made to the theory and history of imperialism.

Contributors. Albert Bergesen, Ou-Byung Chae, Andy Clarno, Raewyn Connell, Ilya Gerasimov, Julian Go, Daniel Goh, Chandan Gowda, Krishan Kumar, Fuyuki Kurasawa, Michael Mann, Marina Mogilner, Besnik Pula, Anne Raffin, Emmanuelle Saada, Marco Santoro, Kim Scheppele, George Steinmetz, Alexander Semyonov, Andrew Zimmerman

George Steinmetz
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Contributors explore and contrast some of the major alternatives to positivist epistemologies, including Marxism, psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, narrative theory, and actor-network theory. Almost all the essays are written by well-known practitioners of the fields discussed. Some essayists approach positivism and anti-positivism via close readings of texts influential in their respective disciplines. Some engage in ethnographies of the present-day human sciences; others are more historical in method. All of them critique contemporary social scientific practice. Together, they trace a trajectory of thought and method running from the past through the present and pointing toward possible futures.

Contributors. Andrew Abbott, Daniel Breslau, Michael Burawoy, Andrew Collier , Michael Dutton, Geoff Eley, Anthony Elliott, Stephen Engelmann, Sandra Harding, Emily Hauptmann, Webb Keane, Tony Lawson, Sophia Mihic, Philip Mirowski, Timothy Mitchell, William H. Sewell Jr., Margaret R. Somers, George Steinmetz, Elizabeth Wingrove

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Ming-Cheng Lo
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Ann Shola Orloff
Nader Sohrabi
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Lyn Spillman
George Steinmetz

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