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Title: President Obama, poverty, and the scope and limits of social policy change
Authors: Waddan, A
First Published: 3-Jan-2019
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Citation: Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy, 2019, 35 (1), pp. 96–111
Abstract: There has been a growing discussion in recent years about rising inequality in the U.S. Yet, this discourse, in focusing on the fortunes of the top 1%, distracted attention from the design of policy initiatives aimed at improving socio-economic conditions for the poor. This paper examines the development of anti-poverty politics and policy in the US during the Obama era. It analyses how effective the strategies and programmes adopted were and asks how they fit with models of policy change. The paper illustrates that the Obama administration did adopt an array of anti-poverty measures in the stimulus bill, but these built on existing programmes rather than create new ones and much of the effort was stymied by institutional obstacles. The expansion of the Medicaid program, which was part of the ACA, was also muted by institutional opposition, but it was a more path breaking reform than is often appreciated.
DOI Link: 10.1080/21699763.2018.1563560
ISSN: 2169-9763
eISSN: 2169-978X
Embargo on file until: 3-Jan-2020
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Historical Studies

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