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Why are the truly disadvantaged American, when the UK is bad enough? A political economy analysis of local autonomy in criminal justice, education, residential

Lacey, Nicola and Soskice, David (2013) Why are the truly disadvantaged American, when the UK is bad enough? A political economy analysis of local autonomy in criminal justice, education, residential. LSE law, society and economy working papers (11-2013). Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

In terms of key criminal justice indices such as the rate of the most serious violent crime and the imprisonment rate, the United States not only performs worse than other advanced democracies, but does so to a startling degree. Moreover these differences have become more extreme over the last half century. For example, the imprisonment rate, which was double that in England and Wales in 1970, is today five times higher, notwithstanding the fact that the rate in England and Wales has itself more than doubled during that period. And while, at between four and five times the English level, the American homicide rate is broadly comparable today with that in 1950 (when it was nearly six times the English level), it reached ten times that level in the late 1970s. These differences are widely recognised. What is less often recognised in comparative criminal justice scholarship is that these differences in criminal justice variables sit alongside stark differences in other key social indicators, notably in inequality of educational outcomes and in residential socio-economic and racial segregation, where the United States also does worse than other liberal market countries with similar economic and welfare systems. The comparison with other Liberal Market Economies such as the UK and New Zealand is even more striking in the light of their own poor performance on all these variables as compared to the Co-ordinated Market Economies of Northern Europe and Japan. In this paper, we present a thesis about what explains each of these distinctive American outcomes, and about how they relate to one another.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/law/wps/wps1.htm
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Divisions: Law
Subjects: J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > K Law (General)
Sets: Departments > Law
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2013 08:57
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 04:38
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/52326

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