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Explaining New Deal Labor Policy

Theda Skocpol, Kenneth Finegold and Michael Goldfield
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 84, No. 4 (Dec., 1990), pp. 1297-1315
DOI: 10.2307/1963265
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1963265
Page Count: 19
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Explaining New Deal Labor Policy
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Abstract

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935 represented a turning point in modern labor relations policy in the United States. In the December 1989 issue of this Review, Michael Goldfield examined the effects of worker insurgency and radical organization on the enactment of the new labor law and rejected theories that emphasized the autonomy of the state from societal forces. In this Controversy, Theda Skocpol and Kenneth Finegold argue that the growing strength of liberal Democrats in Congress following the 1934 election and the failure of the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) as an economic recovery measure provided the most important causes for the passage of the NLRA in mid-1935. In response Goldfield argues that the results of the 1934 election were themselves influenced by the protest environment and that the passage of the NLRA was a foregone conclusion before the NIRA was struck down.

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