Domestic Politics and International Expertise in the History of American Disability Policy

Architects of American disability policy partly emulated British and German social insurance programs through the New Deal’s early years. Thereafter, social planners failed to tailor European manpower and income-maintenance programs to gain American lawmakers’ approval. Distrust between the planners and legislators, intrafederal bureaucratic competition, congressional responsiveness to particular interests, and revitalized federalism all politically hindered Social Security from becoming a full-fledged social insurance program. Public/private-sector linkages, court actions, and voluntaryism constitute other salient American means of aiding persons with disabilities.

Author(s): Edward D. Berkowitz

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Volume 67, Issue S2 (pages 195–227)
Published in 1989