Steven KleinJul 20, 2021
The Work of Politics
Making a Democratic Welfare State
Cambridge University Press 2020
The Work of Politics: Making a Democratic Welfare State (Cambridge University Press 2020) advances a new understanding of how democratic social movements work with welfare institutions to challenge structures of domination. Steven Klein develops a novel theory that depicts welfare institutions as “worldly mediators,” or sites of democratic world-making fostering political empowerment and participation within the context of capitalist economic forces. Drawing on the writings of Weber, Arendt, and Habermas, and historical episodes that range from the workers' movement in Bismarck's Germany to post-war Swedish feminism, the book challenges us to rethink the distribution of power in society, as well as the fundamental concerns of democratic theory. Ranging across political theory and intellectual history, The Work of Politics provides a vital contribution to contemporary thinking about the future of the welfare state.
Tejas Parasher is Junior Research Fellow in Political Thought and Intellectual History at King’s College, University of Cambridge.