The consolidation of public finance has become the most prevalent topic in recent policy discourse in the United States. However, the political debate about fiscal "belt-tightening" stretches back to the last decades of the past millennium, induced by deteriorating economic conditions which followed the first oil price shock in the early 1970s. In Retrenchment in the American Welfare State, Martin Schuldes investigates to what extent different welfare state programs in the United States were affected by cutbacks during the Republican Reagan era on the one hand and during the Democratic Clinton era on the other, to what extent these cutbacks reveal certain "patterns" of retrenchment and how the measured discrepancies can best be explained.
Martin Schuldes studied Politics and Public Administration at the University of Konstanz (Germany) and Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA). Since 1997, he has been working for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), currently dealing with Afghanistan.