Opening Up American Federalism: Improving Welfare the European Way

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The European Union is experimenting with using an Open Method of Coordination (OMC) for pursuing common social policy objectives in the context of the demographic, economic, and institutional diversity of Member States. OMC involves jointly developed and monitored procedures for benchmarking Member State accomplishments, developing goals for improvement, planning action, and assessing achievement. While American federalism differs from EU governing structures, OMC procedures appear applicable to problems of governance in various US social programs. This is illustrated by outlining changes that might occur were OMC procedures applied to joint federal-state management of the High Performance Bonus in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. OMC techniques would help clarify program objectives, encourage performance orientation, and identify successful practices.

Suggested citation
Wiseman, Michael, and Walker, Robert. “Opening Up American Federalism: Improving Welfare the European Way.” Manuscript, January 4, 2006.

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About Michael Wiseman