By emphasizing the role of intellectual elites in social policy developments, the book is a timely contribution to the recent literature about the emergence and production of 'social knowledge'...Socializing Security
is a contribution of great relevance to ongoing theoretical debates as well as to the studies of the development of the American welfare state. (Isabela Mares Social Policy
From the Back Cover
Socializing Security examines the early movement for worker-security legislation in the United States. It focuses on a group of academic economists who became leading proponents of social insurance and protective labor legislation during the first decades of the twentieth century. These economists - including John R. Commons and Richard T. Ely - founded the American Associates for Labor Legislation (AALL). As intellectuals and political activists, they theorized about the social efficiency of security legislation, proposed policies, and drafted model bills. They campaigned vigorously for industrial safety laws, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, and compulsory health insurance. The AALL reformers were successful in some of their legislative campaigns, but failed in two of their most important ones, those for unemployment insurance and health insurance. In examining the obstacles that the reformers faced, David Moss highlights a variety of political and institutional constraints, including the constitutional doctrine of federalism and gender-biased judicial decisions.