Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of What American Government Does
Cover image of What American Government Does
Share this Title:

What American Government Does

Stan Luger and Brian Waddell

Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy

Government does much more than you may think.

It has become all too easy to disparage the role of the US government today. Many Americans are influenced by a simplistic anti-government ideology that is itself driven by a desire to roll back the more democratically responsive aspects of public policy. But government has improved the lives of Americans in numerous ways, from providing income, food, education, housing, and healthcare support, to ensuring cleaner air, water, and food, to providing a vast infrastructure upon which economic growth depends.

In What American Government Does, Stan Luger…

Government does much more than you may think.

It has become all too easy to disparage the role of the US government today. Many Americans are influenced by a simplistic anti-government ideology that is itself driven by a desire to roll back the more democratically responsive aspects of public policy. But government has improved the lives of Americans in numerous ways, from providing income, food, education, housing, and healthcare support, to ensuring cleaner air, water, and food, to providing a vast infrastructure upon which economic growth depends.

In What American Government Does, Stan Luger and Brian Waddell offer a practical understanding of the scope and function of American governance. They present a historical overview of the development of US governance that is rooted in the theoretical work of Charles Tilly, Karl Polanyi, and Michael Mann. Touching on everything from taxes, welfare, and national and domestic security to the government’s regulatory, developmental, and global responsibilities, each chapter covers a main function of American government and explains how it emerged and then evolved over time. Luger and Waddell are careful to both identify the controversies related to what government does and those areas of government that should elicit concern and vigilance. Analyzing the functions of the US government in terms of both a tug-of-war and a collaboration between state and societal forces, they provide a reading of American political development that dispels the myth of a weak, minimal, non-interventionist state.

What American Government Does represents a major contribution to the scholarly debate on the nature of the American state and the exercise of power in America.

Jump to
Quick Add
What American Government Does

Stan Luger and Brian Waddell

Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy
Related

Related Books

Cover image of Making Government Manageable
Making Government Manageable

edited by Thomas H. Stanton and Benjamin Ginsberg

$29.00
Quick Add
Making Government Manageable

edited by Thomas H. Stanton and Benjamin Ginsberg

Publication Date
Binding Type
Cover image of The State of Disunion
The State of Disunion

Nicole Mellow

$34.00
Quick Add
The State of Disunion

Nicole Mellow

Publication Date
Binding Type
Cover image of Bureaucracy and Self-Government
Bureaucracy and Self-Government

Brian J. Cook

second edition
$32.00
Quick Add
Bureaucracy and Self-Government

Brian J. Cook

second edition
Publication Date
Binding Type
Cover image of Before the Oath
Before the Oath

Martha Joynt Kumar

$42.00
Quick Add
Before the Oath

Martha Joynt Kumar

Publication Date
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of The Conversation on Water
The Conversation on Water

edited by Andrea K. Gerlak

$16.95
Quick Add
The Conversation on Water

edited by Andrea K. Gerlak

Publication Date: June 6, 2023
Binding Type
Reviews

Reviews

A rounded, empirically based, and theoretically framed analysis of the multiple dimensions of US government policy.

An original and scholarly contribution to the field of American politics, What American Government Does takes a sophisticated approach to big questions. Luger and Waddell's refreshingly open stance equips them to assess the huge role of government in American life in an illuminating way.

By asking the obvious but far too overlooked question of what American government does and why it does it, this book brings relevancy back to the discipline while making a significant contribution to political science.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6.125
x
9.25
Pages
400
ISBN
9781421422596
Illustration Description
2 charts, 2 graphs
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. The Significant State
Chapter 3. The Tax State
Chapter 4. The Welfare State
Chapter 5. The National Security State
Chapter 6. The Domestic Security State
C

Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. The Significant State
Chapter 3. The Tax State
Chapter 4. The Welfare State
Chapter 5. The National Security State
Chapter 6. The Domestic Security State
Chapter 7. The Regulatory State
Chapter 8. The Developmental State
Chapter 9. The Moral State
Chapter 10. The Bailout State
Chapter 11. The Global State
Chapter 12. Conclusion
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Stan Luger

Stan Luger is a professor and the chair of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Northern Colorado. He is the author of Corporate Power, American Democracy, and the Automobile Industry.
Featured Contributor

Brian Waddell

Brian Waddell is an associate professor of political science at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of The War against the New Deal: World War II and American Democracy and Towards the National Security State: Civil-Military Relations During World War II.