Course Description

This class is about the design of an egalitarian-democratic affirmative or “welfare” state consistent with the rule of law. As treated here, the activities of the welfare state include not only income maintenance and social insurance programs but those many other policies and programs, characteristic of all modern capitalist democracies, that supplement or replace unregulated markets and formal rights and procedural democracy in the pursuit of improved living standards and more substantive equality of opportunity and outcome among their members. We will examine the welfare state origin and evolution, current problems, and strategies to address those problems.

By the end of this course, students should be able to articulate and defend a view, informed by comparative experience, of the democratic affirmative state’s:
(1) origins and politics,
(2) challenge to legal order,
(3) crisis of operation and legitimacy, and
(4) most promising strategies of renewal.

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