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Privatizing the Polity
  • Holona LeAnne Ochs, Lehigh University

The primary purpose of this book is to link the discrete literatures on poverty, governance, and privatization to understand the systemic patterns and practices that are more likely to alleviate poverty. A central goal of “Privatizing the Polity” is to describe the details of welfare policy changes over time and analyze what welfare reforms mean for people living in poverty by examining opportunities to move out of poverty. This study utilizes data across US states over 18 years and demonstrates that the net effects of welfare reforms that increasingly subsidize the private sector and compel work are not producing broad-based opportunities to move out of poverty. In fact, the more people living in poverty work, the more intense poverty is in the aggregate over time, and programs such as Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) have not significantly aided in the transition out of poverty. This book outlines the extent of variation within the system of poverty governance across states so that the best evidence from various levels of analysis may be compiled to assess how different policy choices, implementation structures, and enactment practices may affect change in impoverishment, and provides a framework for analyzing the increasingly privatized practice of poverty governance.

  • poverty governance,
  • social policy,
  • social welfare,
  • privatization,
  • social entrepreneurship,
  • devolution,
  • privatization
Publication Date
SUNY Press
Citation Information
Holona LeAnne Ochs. Privatizing the Polity. Albany(2015)
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