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The Political Sociology of the Welfare State: Institutions, Social Cleavages, and Orientations

The Political Sociology of the Welfare State: Institutions, Social Cleavages, and Orientations 464–Politics and the State so neatly compartmentalized within national undermining) and income inequality (class “systems.” Yet this is a book of meticulous, differences within countries are very small), case-by-case documentation rather than political alienation (retrenchment leads to alienation), and nationalist feelings (these are sweeping, cross-case conclusions: what there [not yet] affected by recent institutional might have been in the form of an integrative changes). One thought-provoking, connecting narrative arc is pretty much sacrificed to the theme between all chapters (though not cookie-cutter research design, while the wel- always highlighted as such) is the argument come embrace of street-level analysis period- that the political setting determines which top- ically lapses into rather pedestrian execution. ics become political. This is best explained in Characteristically, the book ends on a method- chapter 6, where Svallfors analyses institu- ological, rather than a substantive note, as if to tional feedback effects on attitudes towards allow the juxtaposed cases to speak for them- income inequality. selves. There was more to say here, though. Political cleavages in the United States are Amongst all the polyvocal administrative chat- not based on economic inequalities, which is ter, the language of reform seems to have far more the case http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews SAGE

The Political Sociology of the Welfare State: Institutions, Social Cleavages, and Orientations

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2008 American Sociological Association
ISSN
0094-3061
eISSN
1939-8638
DOI
10.1177/009430610803700539
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

464–Politics and the State so neatly compartmentalized within national undermining) and income inequality (class “systems.” Yet this is a book of meticulous, differences within countries are very small), case-by-case documentation rather than political alienation (retrenchment leads to alienation), and nationalist feelings (these are sweeping, cross-case conclusions: what there [not yet] affected by recent institutional might have been in the form of an integrative changes). One thought-provoking, connecting narrative arc is pretty much sacrificed to the theme between all chapters (though not cookie-cutter research design, while the wel- always highlighted as such) is the argument come embrace of street-level analysis period- that the political setting determines which top- ically lapses into rather pedestrian execution. ics become political. This is best explained in Characteristically, the book ends on a method- chapter 6, where Svallfors analyses institu- ological, rather than a substantive note, as if to tional feedback effects on attitudes towards allow the juxtaposed cases to speak for them- income inequality. selves. There was more to say here, though. Political cleavages in the United States are Amongst all the polyvocal administrative chat- not based on economic inequalities, which is ter, the language of reform seems to have far more the case

Journal

Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of ReviewsSAGE

Published: Sep 1, 2008

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