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Race, Ethnicity and Welfare States

An American Dilemma? 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.
Extent: 288 pp
Hardback Price: $135.00 Web: $121.50
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 978 1 78471 536 6
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Migration
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Migration
  • Welfare States
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.

Myrdal’s An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy persuaded many scholars that the United States failed to develop a robust welfare state because of its ethnic and racial heterogeneity. Conversely, it argued that homogeneity was a precondition for the creation of strong welfare states in European, especially Nordic, countries. With increasing diversity now challenging these welfare states, the kind of ‘dilemma’ that Myrdal identified no longer appears to be solely an American one.

Students and scholars of contemporary welfare states in the social sciences and policy studies will find this to be an insightful read, as the book challenges current perceptions. It will also be of interest to policy makers and practitioners looking to examine the historical context behind the politics of welfare states in the US and Scandinavia.
'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
Contributors: H. Blomberg-Kroll, G. Brochmann, R. Careja, P. Emmenegger, T. Faist, P. Kettunen, D. King, J. Kvist, S. Michel, M. Morey, H.B. Nassif, A. O’Connor, R.S. Parreñas, S. Pellander, K. Petersen, D. Roberts, A.V. Schwennicke, A.H. Sinno, E. Tatari, S. Williamson
Contents:

Introduction: An American Dilemma?
Pauli Kettunen, Sonya Michel, and Klaus Petersen

PART I MYRDAL IN HIS TIME
1. Swedish Roots to Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma (1944)
Maribel Morey

2. Gunnar Myrdal’s New Deal
Alice O’Connor

PART II DIVERSITY IN THE MAKING OF WELFARE STATES
3. America’s Segregated State: How the Federal Government Shaped America’s Racial and Welfare Orders Desmond King

4. The US Welfare State’s Punishment of Black Women’s Childbearing and Care Giving
Dorothy Roberts

5. Immigration and the Nordic Welfare State: A Tense Companionship
Grete Brochmann

PART III EUROPE’S CURRENT DILEMMA
6. Collective Threats and Individual Rights: Political Debates on Marriage Migration to Finland
Saara Pellander

7. An American Dilemma in Europe? Welfare Reform and Immigration
Romana Careja, Patrick Emmenegger and Jon Kvist

8. Ethnic Diversity and Popular Attitudes Towards the Nordic Welfare State
Helena Blomberg-Kroll

9. Discourses on Muslims and Welfare Across the Atlantic.
Abdulkader H. Sinno, Eren Tatari, Scott Williamson, Antje Schwennicke and Hicham Bou Nassif

PART IV THE AMERICAN DILEMMA GOES GLOBAL
10. Permanent and Transitional Guest Workers: Variations of Partial Citizenship among Migrant Filipina Domestic Workers in the Diaspora Rhacel Salazar Parreñas

11. The Transnational Social Question: Cross-Border Social Protection and Social Inequalities
Thomas Faist

Index