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Double Standard


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Table of Contents

Introduction: From Social Problems to Social Policies Part I: The Development of Social Policy 1 The Social Worldview of Medieval Christianity as Prologue 2 Secular Transitions and Assumptions 3 The Limits of Laissez-Faire Capitalism 4 From Theory to Ideology and Politics 5 Origins of Social Policy in Europe and the United States 6 Comparative Welfare States Part II: Key Social Policies 7 Inequality and Social Cohesion 8 Poverty 9 Unemployment: The Sword of Damocles 10 Support for Child Raising and Education 11 Retirement and Disability 12 Health Care 13 Race and Immigration 14 Incarceration as Social Policy Summary: Principles for Progressive Social Policy

About the Author

James W. Russell is adjunct professor of political science at Portland State University, Hatfield School of Government. He previously served as University Professor of Sociology at Eastern Connecticut State University and is author of eight books, including Social Insecurity: 401(k)s and the Retirement Crisis. He is a regular blogger at the Huffington Post.


James W. Russell has written a sober, well-informed, and temperate overview of the divergent development of social welfare programs in Europe and the United States. As these programs have become more important, the political battles over them have also become more heated. This book is a remarkably sensible antidote to the inflamed politics of the moment. -- Frances Fox Piven, distinguished professor of sociology and political science, CUNY Graduate Center; author of Poor People's Movements
This updated, new edition of James Russell's Double Standard proudly takes its place next to the earlier editions as the eye-opening, go to text for all those committed to self-education and the education of others in the political economy of everyday life. -- Levon Chorbajian, University of Massachusetts; editor of Power and Inequality: A Critical Reader
Double Standard is accessible, responsible, historically-minded, and classically informed comparative social policy and political sociology. One can only hope others take Russell's example of how to write and do the social sciences. -- Robert J. S. Ross, Clark University
In an era of rising income inequality and neoliberal policy solutions, Russell provides a timely, thoughtful analysis of policy differences in the United States and Europe. By the end of this book it is clear how various approaches to social policy are possible but carry 'dramatically different consequences' for individuals and society. -- Jennifer Hook, University of Southern California
In this closely argued, detailed, and meticulous book Russell compares the development of social policies in the United States and in European states, pointing out areas where there are significant differences of approach but also those where one has borrowed from another. The strong historical and philosophical basis for Russell's analysis continues to make this a novel, engaging, and challenging addition to the comparative literature and an important source book for scholars of the US welfare system. -- Gary Craig, professor emeritus, University of Hull, United Kingdom
Russell allows American students to see that there are a variety of forms of capitalism, some more humane than others. Kudos to Russell for making a complex topic understandable, even enjoyable, without over-simplifying. -- Peter Dreier, E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, Occidental College
In remarkably clear and succinct language, Russell sets forth the contributions of central social policy theorists and highlights critical differences in how the United States and European nations address social and economic problems. His treatment of the ideological "isms" is especially useful. -- Robert B. Hudson, Boston University

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