Yascha Mounk Book Launch at New America
Transatlantic Academy Fellow Yascha Mounk will discuss his new book The Age of Responsibility: Luck, Choice, and the Welfare State (Harvard University Press) in a happy hour conversation (5:30 to 7:00 pm) on Tuesday, April 18, at New America.
In the postwar years, there was a consensus that many of the duties the state owed to its citizens were largely independent of the choices those citizens had made: For example, if people were hungry, it was the state’s job to feed them—even if their going hungry was the result of poorly managed finances. That’s no longer the case. Today, welfare commitments tend to be conditional on good, or “responsible,” behavior.
But when large swaths of the population feel that--despite their hard work and commitment to being “responsible citizens”--they are no longer making economic progress, and are seeing their standard of living deteriorate, that means we need to find new ways to think and talk about what the role of the welfare state is.
A new understanding of the welfare state must empower citizens facing the deep social upheaval of automation and globalization, and calm some of their well-founded economic anxiety. If policymakers are to re-establish the foundations for the broad-based prosperity on which democracy’s stability has always depended, they must overcome a single-minded focus on personal responsibility that has narrowed what kinds of policy ideas they take seriously, and what kinds of economic institutions they can envisage.
Mounk, also a Senior Fellow in the Political Reform program at New America, will discuss these topics with program director Mark Schmitt. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. New America is located at 740 15th St NW #900, Washington, D.C.
RSVP to New America here.