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Laboratories of Democracy

Osborne, David (David E.)

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ISBN 10: 0875841929 / ISBN 13: 9780875841922
Published by Harvard Business School, Boston, MA, 1988
Condition: very good, fair
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25 cm, 380, DJ worn at edges and corners. Bookseller Inventory # 20977

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Laboratories of Democracy

Publisher: Harvard Business School, Boston, MA

Publication Date: 1988

Book Condition: very good, fair

Edition: First Printing.

About this title


The future of American politics is already visible. To see it, one must look beyond Washington to America's "laboratories of democracy," the states. Today's governors are hammering out a wide range of new approaches to the economic and social problems created by the transition to a post-industrial economy. In the process, they are constructing a new political paradigm: a post-Great Society, post-Reagan politics molded to the realities of the 1980s and 1990s. The bottom-up innovation is reminiscent of the Progressive Era, when America's governors-responding to the birth of an industrial economy-laid the groundwork for the New Deal. Laboratories of Democracy looks at six governors who sponsored innovative programs in the 1980s: Mario Cuomo of New York, Bill Clinton of Arkansas, Bruce Babbitt of Arizona, Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, James Blanchard of Michigan, and Richard Thornburg of Pennsylvania. Osborne explores their experimental economic and social programs, from technology development to welfare reform. He argues that the new roles played by state governments foreshadow a new role for the federal government-just as the Progressive Era foreshadowed the New Deal.

From Publishers Weekly:

Osborne, a freelancer who frequently writes for the New Republic and Atlantic, maintains that the real ferment and innovation in politics today is taking place at the state level. In argument, he offers mini-case histories of six governorsMichael Dukakis (Mass.), Mario Cuomo (N.Y.), Bruce Babbitt (Ariz.), Bill Clinton (Ark.), James Blanchard (Mich.) and Richard Thornburgh (Pa.). He applauds their sundry efforts to create venture-capital funds, restructure welfare, spur technological advances and build partnerships between the public and private sectors. But his insistent claim that a number of these governors are "neoprogressives" whose ideas go well beyond traditional party politics is arguable, judging from his own pointed critiques of their spotty administrations. Drawing up a balance sheet, Osborne recommends decentralized community-development programs that would invest in the capacity of the poor to hold jobs and create businesses.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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