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November 20 , 2010

The American Political Economy

Institutional Evolution of Market and State


Policy debates are often grounded within the conceptual confines of a state-market dichotomy, as though the two existed in complete isolation. In this innovative text, Marc Allen Eisner portrays the state and the market as inextricably linked, exploring the variety of institutions subsumed by the market and the role that the state plays in creating the institutional foundations of economic activity. Through a historical approach, Eisner situates the study of American political economy within a larger evolutionary-institutional framework that integrates perspectives in American political development and economic sociology.

This volume provides a rich understanding of the complexity of U.S. economic policy, explaining how public policies become embedded in bureaucracy and reinforced by organized beneficiaries and public expectations. This path-dependent layering process helps students better understand the underlying historical dynamics, which provide a clearer sense of the constraints faced by policymakers now and in the future.

The revisions to the second edition include:

  • Complete rewrite of the chapter on the recent financial crisis, adding in commentary on the debt ceiling, the fiscal cliff, and other recent events.
  • New material added and existing material updated in the chapter discussing the two welfare states.
  • Extensive updates to the coverage of the global economy
  • Expanded and updated discussion of Obama’s economic policies.
  • Updates to figures and data throughout the text.
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