In recent years, government's primary response to the emergent problems of homelessness, hunger, child abuse, health care, and AIDS has been generated through nonprofit agencies funded by taxpayer money. As part of the widespread movement for privatization, these agencies represent revolutionary changes in the welfare state. Steven Smith and Michael Lipsky demonstrate that this massive shift in funds has benefits and drawbacks. Given the breadth of government funding of nonprofit agencies, this first study of the social, political, and organizational effects of this service strategy is an essential contribution to the current raging debates on the future of the welfare state.
Michael Lipsky is Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of Street-Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services.
An insightful analysis of the implications of an important, broad trend of the past thirty years in the social welfare policy of the United States and many other countries...[Smith and Lipsky] demonstrate that we do not have to read about other countries to find a comparative perspective that sheds light on the choices we face in our national health care debate. -- Bradford H. Gray Health Affairs The most comprehensive account we have of the history, extent, nature, and meaning of delivering social services that are paid for by government and delivered through nonprofit organizations. -- H. Brinton Milward Public Administration Review An interesting, absorbing, and important book. -- William T. Gormley, Jr. American Political Science Review An important contribution to welfare state scholarship. -- Kirsten A. Gronbjerg Contemporary Sociology