“Blood is Stronger than Class”: Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Global Culture of Poverty


This article examines the continuities between Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s critique of the US welfare state and the War on Poverty in the 1960s, and his response to the New International Economic Order and North-South politics in the 1970s. The connections between these two episodes help explain why neoconservatives embraced a sharply different view of political economy by the 1980s, and grew increasingly invested in foreign policy questions. The article argues that Moynihan’s ideas across these decades were united by an insistence on cultural and racial explanations for radicalism, which marginalized the economic arguments for structural change made by actors in the US and abroad at a critical historical juncture.

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