Welfare reform and citizenship

Lawrence M. Mead

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    WELFARE REFORM has changed the meaning of citizenship and democracy in America. By enforcing work on the adult recipients, reform dramatized that citizenship entails obligations as well as rights. Here I show what work enforcement meant and that it occurred at several levels, not all related to welfare. I suggest how work operates to integrate the poor and to reshape politics. Work demands tend to narrow government aid to the poor, but they may also move political outcomes to the left. I also consider philosophical objections to work enforcement. These arguments have some weight, but they are made at too great a distance from actual politics-a gap we are trying to narrow in this book. If one respects the strong imperative for equal citizenship in American politics, then the need to enforce work to integrate the poor appears overriding.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationWelfare Reform and Political Theory
    PublisherRussell Sage Foundation
    Number of pages28
    ISBN (Print)0871545950, 9780871545886
    StatePublished - 2007

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


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