Reforms at Risk: What Happens After Major Policy Changes Are Enacted

Princeton University Press
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Reforms at Risk is the first book to closely examine what happens to sweeping and seemingly successful policy reforms after they are passed. Most books focus on the politics of reform adoption, yet as Eric Patashnik shows here, the political struggle does not end when major reforms become enacted. Why do certain highly praised policy reforms endure while others are quietly reversed or eroded away?

Patashnik peers into some of the most critical arenas of domestic-policy reform--including taxes, agricultural subsidies, airline deregulation, emissions trading, welfare state reform, and reform of government procurement--to identify the factors that enable reform measures to survive. He argues that the reforms that stick destroy an existing policy subsystem and reconfigure the political dynamic. Patashnik demonstrates that sustainable reforms create positive policy feedbacks, transform institutions, and often unleash the ''creative destructiveness'' of market forces.



Reforms at Risk debunks the argument that reforms inevitably fail because Congress is prey to special interests, and the book provides a more realistic portrait of the possibilities and limits of positive change in American government. It is essential reading for scholars and practitioners of U.S. politics and public policy, offering practical lessons for anyone who wants to ensure that hard-fought reform victories survive.

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About the author

Eric M. Patashnik is associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia. His books include Putting Trust in the US Budget: Federal Trust Funds and the Politics of Commitment.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Apr 24, 2014
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781400828852
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / General
Law / Government / General
Political Science / American Government / Legislative Branch
Political Science / Public Policy / General
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Services & Welfare
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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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A brilliant, authoritative, and fascinating history of America’s most puzzling era, the years 1920 to 1933, when the U.S. Constitution was amended to restrict one of America’s favorite pastimes: drinking alcoholic beverages.

From its start, America has been awash in drink. The sailing vessel that brought John Winthrop to the shores of the New World in 1630 carried more beer than water. By the 1820s, liquor flowed so plentifully it was cheaper than tea. That Americans would ever agree to relinquish their booze was as improbable as it was astonishing.

Yet we did, and Last Call is Daniel Okrent’s dazzling explanation of why we did it, what life under Prohibition was like, and how such an unprecedented degree of government interference in the private lives of Americans changed the country forever.

Writing with both wit and historical acuity, Okrent reveals how Prohibition marked a confluence of diverse forces: the growing political power of the women’s suffrage movement, which allied itself with the antiliquor campaign; the fear of small-town, native-stock Protestants that they were losing control of their country to the immigrants of the large cities; the anti-German sentiment stoked by World War I; and a variety of other unlikely factors, ranging from the rise of the automobile to the advent of the income tax.

Through it all, Americans kept drinking, going to remarkably creative lengths to smuggle, sell, conceal, and convivially (and sometimes fatally) imbibe their favorite intoxicants. Last Call is peopled with vivid characters of an astonishing variety: Susan B. Anthony and Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan and bootlegger Sam Bronfman, Pierre S. du Pont and H. L. Mencken, Meyer Lansky and the incredible—if long-forgotten—federal official Mabel Walker Willebrandt, who throughout the twenties was the most powerful woman in the country. (Perhaps most surprising of all is Okrent’s account of Joseph P. Kennedy’s legendary, and long-misunderstood, role in the liquor business.)

It’s a book rich with stories from nearly all parts of the country. Okrent’s narrative runs through smoky Manhattan speakeasies, where relations between the sexes were changed forever; California vineyards busily producing “sacramental” wine; New England fishing communities that gave up fishing for the more lucrative rum-running business; and in Washington, the halls of Congress itself, where politicians who had voted for Prohibition drank openly and without apology.

Last Call is capacious, meticulous, and thrillingly told. It stands as the most complete history of Prohibition ever written and confirms Daniel Okrent’s rank as a major American writer.
The contemporary debate over racial classification has been dominated by fringe voices in American society. Cries from the right say history should be abrogated and public policy made color-blind, while zealots of the left insist that all customs, language, institutions, and practices are racially tinged and that only aggressive, color-conscious programs can reverse the course of American history. The essays in this volume, however, recognize that racial classification is an issue that cuts too deep and poses too many constitutional questions to be resolved by slogans of either the right or the left.

The contributors to this volume are James Alt, Kenneth Benoit, Henry Brady, John Bruce, Rodolfo O. de la Garza, Andrew Gelman, Lani Guinier, Fredrick C. Harris, Gary King, Robert C. Lieberman, David Ian Lublin, David Metz, Paul E. Peterson, Kay Lehman Schlozman, Kenneth Shepsle, Theda Skocpol, Katherine Tate, Richard Valelly, Sidney Verba, and Margaret Weir.

Originally published in 1995.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

From the Outside In examines the profound impact of World War II on American government. The book argues that the wartime and immediate postwar experiences of the 1940s transformed and redirected the policies and government institutions of the New Deal. In a work that makes significant contributions to the study of U.S. politics and history, Bartholomew Sparrow proposes a new model of the state and of "state-building." The author applies this model, which derives from the resource dependence perspective, to the historical record of four areas of public policy: social security, labor-management relations, public finance, and military procurement.

This book is the first to use recently available archival materials documenting the consequences of World War II for the programs and political agendas of the welfare state. It is also the first to apply the resource dependency perspective to the U.S. federal government as a complex organization. The book will lead readers to reevaluate the impact of international factors on American political development, to reappraise the role of the New Deal in shaping the postwar federal government, and to reconsider the application of organizational theory to American government.

From the Outside In will be of particular interest to political scientists, political sociologists, and historians. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in the comprehensive effects of the Second World War on domestic policies and U.S. government itself.

Originally published in 1996.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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