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The Unsustainable American State$
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Lawrence Jacobs and Desmond King

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195392135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392135.001.0001

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A Historian's Reflection on the Unsustainable American State

A Historian's Reflection on the Unsustainable American State

Chapter:
(p.323) 12 A Historian's Reflection on the Unsustainable American State
Source:
The Unsustainable American State
Author(s):

Lizabeth Cohen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392135.003.0012

Looking at the rising economic inequality of the last quarter century and how it undermines Americans' confidence that their democratic capitalist system remains sufficient in distributing political and economic benefits to its citizens, the chapter begins by explaining the complex connections between the state and inequality through time. It argues that a better understanding can be attained only if the issue is historically contextualized and considered as part of the long evolution of the American state. Thus, in this chapter, a schema of five regimes of state building and their consequences for the shifting nature of inequality in American society is presented.

Keywords:   economic inequality, democratic capitalist system, American state, American society

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