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The recent failure of Congress to “repeal and replace” the 2010 Affordable Care Act brought renewed attention to the longstanding debate over the strengths and limits of the American welfare state. The object of a vast scholarship, it has been called at different times “(neo-)liberal,” “hidden,” “maternalist,” “divided,” “laggard,” or “two-track.” Regardless of the various adjectives used to describe it, one of the key features of the U.S. welfare state has been the extent to which its history was shaped by actors not just within the state—such as government experts or lawmakers—but in civil society as well—ranging from intellectuals to activists and interest groups. Each advancing their own definition of freedom, social movements advocating for the rights of groups such as women, the poor, or racial minorities have helped expand (but also narrow) the boundaries of welfare policy.
This panel aims to promote the latest scholarship on the interaction between social movements (broadly defined as any “sustained campaign of claim-making, using repeated performances that advertise the claim, based on organizations, networks, traditions, and solidarities that sustain these activities”) and the American welfare state from the colonial era to the present. Interdisciplinary proposals are encouraged. Submissions on all aspects of U.S. history are welcome, including but not limited to gender, race, ethnicity, mass incarceration, the military, taxation, the environment, sexuality, religion, labor, disability, business and capitalism, and global or transnational influences.
The 2019 Conference of the Organization of American Historians will be held in Philadelphia at the Downtown Marriott May 4-6, 2019. More details about the conference are available here.
Please send 250-word proposals for papers to firstname.lastname@example.org in Microsoft Word or PDF format by October 15, 2017. Proposals must include the following information:
- A complete mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, and affiliation for each participant
- A biography of no more than 500 words
Olivier Burtin (Princeton University)