Race, Ethnicity and Welfare States

An American Dilemma?

Globalization and Welfare series

Edited by Pauli Kettunen, Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland, Sonya Michel, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park, US and Klaus Petersen, Centre for Welfare State Research, University of Southern Denmark

In this interdisciplinary volume, leading and emerging scholars examine the relationship between homogeneity and welfare state development. They trace Gunnar Myrdal’s influence on thinking about race in the US and explore current European states’ approaches to the strangers in their midst, and what social citizenship looks like from a global perspective.

'A hugely important contribution to one of the key questions of our time: how to combine, in a socially just way, the universalism embodied in national welfare states with the diversity and transnational mobility of populations. Using Myrdal’s 1944 analysis, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy, as a launch, the chapters circumnavigate this question 360 degrees across twentieth century history, across the Atlantic, and across the contemporary world, tracking the arguments this way and that. A must read.'
– Fiona Williams, University of Leeds, UK

‘Each individual chapter of Race, Ethnicity and Welfare States is interesting and well argued. Taken together, they raise many fascinating and pressing questions...This book sets an excellent example illustrating why cross-national comparison is important.’
– Czech Sociological Review

‘Gathering excellent contributors, this book explores the contested relationship between social policy and ethnic-racial diversity. Adopting an historical perspective and starting from Gunnar Myrdal’s seminal book An America Dilemma, the volume compares the American experience with the European situation, where the implications of ethnic and racial diversity for social policy are now widely debated. Students of ethnic relations and of social policy from both sides of the Atlantic should read and engage with this unique and outstanding volume.’
– Daniel Béland, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

‘Has racial and ethnic fragmentation undermined American social solidarity and undercut the US welfare state? Even more pertinently, now that we are all multiculturalists and every nation is a melting pot, do the formerly so-homogenous Europeans face similar dilemmas? Are they joining in a race to the social policy bottom, or have they found ways to overcome these divisions? Such questions are pursued by these fascinating essays that have relevance for both sides of the Atlantic, and for scholars and policy makers alike.’
– Peter Baldwin, Global Distinguished Professor, New York University, US

2015 288 pp Hardback 978 1 78471 536 6 £90.00 £100.00 $130.50 $145.00

Elgaronline 978 1 78471 537 3

Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. is registered in the UK at: The Lypiatts, 15 Lansdown Road,
Cheltenham, Glos GL50 2JA. Registered number: 2041703

How To Order



Get up to 20% discount when you order online

By Email

UK/ROW: [email protected]

N/S America: [email protected]

By Phone

UK/ROW: +44 (0) 1242 226934

N/S America: +1 413-584-5551

Connect With Us

Find us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter

For news, views and offers


Read our Blog

For news, views and debate from our authors and readers.


For More Information

UK/ROW: [email protected]

N/S America: [email protected]