William Galston

William A. Galston is a senior fellow and Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution.

Recent Articles

Kuttner, Galston, and the Debate Over the Social Safety Net

Robert Kuttner and William Galston round out our forum on the future of entitlement programs.

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Thoughts on a Center-Left Entitlements Strategy

How we might shape Social Security and Medicare for the future

div#sidebar-first { margin-top:1610px; } div.introduction { position:absolute; width:285px; left:675px; margin-top:1150px !important; padding:15px; border:1px solid #cccccc; height:300px; overflow-y:scroll; } div.introduction p { font-size:12px !important; line-height:18px !important; font-family: 'droid sans'; } div#table-of-contents { display:block; margin-top:0px; } #table-of-contents { position:absolute; width:285px; left:675px; padding:15px; border:1px solid #cccccc; } #table-of-contents h4 { font-size:28px; text-align:center; font-family:'Oswald', sans-serif;; } #table-of-contents p { font-family: 'Oswald', sans-serif; } Table of Contents Introduction: The Future of the Social Safety Net Triumph and Tribulation Henry Aaron When Public Opinions Collide Andrew Levison Social Insurance: The Real Crisis Robert Kuttner Thoughts on a Center-Left Entitlements Strategy William Galston Fiscal Policy, the Long-Term Budget, and Inequality Dean Baker "Entitlements" Are Just a Budget...

How Big Government Got Its Groove Back

The New Democrats' intellectual architect argues that today's economy requires an expanded role for government and a commitment to ensuring economic growth benefits everyone.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton proclaimed that the era of big government was over. It is now clear that the era of the end of big government is over. The post–World War II social contract--an expanding public safety net, provision of health care and retirement benefits through a substantially unionized private sector, and robust personal savings--is under severe stress. To respond effectively to our long-term challenges, the federal government must command an increased share of gross domestic product and extend its reach in other ways as well. The public sector will be called upon to provide new forms of insurance against economic risks and volatility and to assume more responsibility for health insurance and retirement security. To the extent that markets cannot police themselves or provide reasonable returns for workers, government will have to step in. Through the public mobilization of capital and will, we must supply the public goods--investment in infrastructure, research, and...

Rules of Attack

Did September 11 signal the end of liberal internationalism -- the polestar of American foreign policy from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton -- as the Bush administration claims?

Striking First: Preemption and Prevention in International Conflict by Michael w. Doyle, Princeton University Press, 175 pages, $24.95 Heads in the Sand: How the Republicans Screw up Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Screws Up the Democrats by Matthew Yglesias, Wiley, 272 pages, $25.95 Did September 11 "change everything"? Did it change anything ? Did September 11 signal the end of liberal internationalism -- the polestar of American foreign policy from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton -- as the Bush administration claims? Did it underscore the need for an amended view of the threats America faces and the international norms that should govern the uses of American power, as Michael Doyle suggests? Or did it create a political climate that obscured the continuing validity of existing norms, as Matthew Yglesias insists? Liberal internationalism is the effort to subject the anarchy of nation-state relations to common rules and institutions. For legal purposes, states are regarded as...

Is the Common Good Good?

“Party in Search of a Notion,” the essay by Prospect editor Michael Tomasky, provoked a tremendous response from readers, other writers, and political leaders. Press attention included a front-page article in The New York Times on May 9. To keep the conversation going, we invited five people to write responses. The ideologically diverse group includes William A. Galston, Jedediah Purdy, Fred Seigel, Amy Sullivan, and Ron Walters. We publish them here. We want our print readers to be aware of an important essay we published on our Web site, “The Politics of Definition,” by John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira. This essay, also much-discussed, is available at www.prospect.org . * * * William A. Galston: After a generation of conservative ascendancy, the astonishing crack-up of the Bush administration has created a real opportunity for progressives. The question is how best to seize it. Michael Tomasky is surely right to argue that tactics and policies alone cannot create a sustainable...

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