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Divide and Deal: The Politics of Distribution in Democracies

NYU Press

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ISBN 10: 0814740596 / ISBN 13: 9780814740590
Published by NYU Press, 2010
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Divide and Deal: The Politics of ...

Publisher: NYU Press

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title

Synopsis:

Why are democracies so unequal? Despite the widespread expectation that democracy, via expansion of the franchise, would lead to redistribution in favor of the masses, in reality majorities regularly lose out in democracies. Taking a broad view of inequality as encompassing the distribution of wealth, risk, status, and well-being, this volume explores how institutions, individuals, and coalitions contribute to the often surprising twists and turns of distributive politics.


The contributors hail from a range of disciplines and employ an array of methodologies to illuminate the central questions of democratic distributive politics: What explains the variety of welfare state systems, and what are their prospects for survival and change? How do religious beliefs influence people’s demand for redistribution? When does redistributive politics reflect public opinion? How can different and seemingly opposed groups successfully coalesce to push through policy changes that produce new winners and losers?


The authors identify a variety of psychological and institutional factors that influence distributive outcomes. Taken together, the chapters highlight a common theme: politics matters. In seeking to understand the often puzzling contours of distribution and redistribution, we cannot ignore the processes of competition, bargaining, building, and destroying the political alliances that serve as bridges between individual preferences, institutions, and policy outcomes.

Review:

"Michele Barrett engages timely issues in great range and depth: humanism, anti-humanism, and ecological responsibility; the disciplinary constitution of objects of study and the writerliness of theory; the relationship of politics and aspiration. She supplements Marxism, interacts with post-structuralism, situates postmodernism in postmodernity, and remains firmly focused on historical change within feminism. She brings us all the way into popular culture, and ends with a virtuoso encounter between Virginia Woolf and Michel Foucault." -Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak,

"In this astute and lively book, Michele Barrett takes the reader on a memorable and informed trip through the highs and lows of twentieth-century culture and its analysis. Imagination in Theory explores the dynamism of the century-long association of literature and theory, and provides one of the best arguments for the productive energy of that alliance." -Cora Kaplan,

"Imagination has not been contemporary social theory's strongest suit. Michele Barrett is one of the few theorists who has consistently argued for its importance, and in these elegantly written, lucidly formulated, vigorously argued essays, she develops and enlarges her exploration of this complex terrain of inquiry." -Stuart Hall,

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