This handbook provides a survey of the American welfare state. It offers an historical overview of U.S. social policy from the colonial era to the present, a discussion of available theoretical perspectives on it, an analysis of social programs, and on overview of the U.S. welfare state's consequences for poverty, inequality, and citizenship.The American welfare state has long been a source of political contention and academic debate. This Oxford Handbook pulls together much of our current knowledge about the origins, development, functions, and challenges of American social policy. It begins by offering an historical overview of U.S. social policy from the colonial era to the present. This is followed by a set of chapters on different theoretical perspectives available for understanding and explaining
the development of U.S. social policy. The three following parts of the volume focus on concrete social programs for the elderly, the poor and near-poor, the disabled, and workers and families. Policy areas covered include health care, pensions, food assistance, housing, unemployment benefits,
disability benefits, workers' compensation, family support, and programs for soldiers and veterans. The final part of the book focuses on some of the consequences of the U.S. welfare state for poverty, inequality, and citizenship. Many of the chapters comprising this handbook emphasize the disjointed patterns of policy making inherent to U.S. policymaking and the public-private mix of social provision in which the government helps certain groups of citizens directly (such as social insurance)
or indirectly (such as tax expenditures and regulations).
With contributions from experts from political science, sociology, history, economics, and other social sciences, The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Social Policy is an invaluable resource for both scholars of social policy in the United States and members of the policymaking world.