Skocpol and Finegold, State Capacity and Economic Intervention in the Early New Deal

Please respond to at least one of the following questions. After you have made your own initial post, please also respond to at least one post by a classmate before the end of Thursday. Please cite specific pages from Skocpol and Finegold to support your analysis (direct quotes are also welcome).

1. What do Skocpol and Finegold mean by “state capacity” and why do they think this is so important to understanding what happened with regard to New Deal programs established by the federal government?

2. What opposing scholarly perspectives are Skocpol and Finegold arguing with when they emphasize the importance of “state capacity” to understanding policy successes and failures?

3. Why do they see the Agricultural Adjustment Act (and Administration) as more successful than the National Industrial Recovery Act (and Administration)? How does this contrast with Rauchway’s views?

4. How much Skocpol and Finegold’s analysis complicate the idea that the New Deal was a major break from previous politics and policy interventions at the national level?