Modern economics does not explain capitalism. Quite the reverse: both introductory texts and advanced scholarship presuppose capitalism as a universal, natural entity. Capitalist Economics is the first and only book to attempt this essential explanation. This involves, first, showing how capitalist economic forces are historically unique. Under feudalism, economic forces and relations work totally differently than under capitalism. Second, it requires a close analysis of the primary elements of capitalist economics: money, commodities, and profit. Third and finally, it entails close examination of the complex interactions between entrepreneurs, bankers, and workers, all to give a clearer sense of the dominant forces and general patterns of capitalist economics.
Prisms of the People
Grassroots organizing and collective action have always been fundamental to American democracy but have been burgeoning since the 2016 election, as people struggle to make their voices heard in this moment of societal upheaval. Unfortunately much of that action has not had the kind of impact participants might want, especially among movements representing the poor and marginalized who often have the most at stake when it comes to rights and equality. Yet, some instances of collective action have succeeded. What’s the difference between a movement that wins victories for its constituents, and one that fails? What are the factors that make collective action powerful?
Latecomer State Formation
Latin American governments systematically fail to provide the key public goods for their societies to prosper. Sebastián Mazzuca argues this is because nineteenth-century Latin American state formation occurred in a period when commerce, rather than war, was the key driver forging countries. Latin American leaders pursued the benefits of international trade at the cost of long-term liabilities built into the countries they forged, notably patrimonial administrations and dysfunctional regional combinations.
Political science emerged as a response to the challenges of imperial administration and the demands of colonial rule. While not all political scientists were colonial cheerleaders, their thinking was nevertheless framed by colonial assumptions that influence the study of politics to this day.
This book offers students a lens through which to decolonize the main themes and issues of political science – from human nature, rights, and citizenship, to development and global justice. Not content with revealing the colonial legacies that still inform the discipline, the book also introduces students to a wide range of intellectual resources from the (post)colonial world that will help them think through the same themes and issues more expansively.
Decolonizing Politics is a much-needed critical guide for students of political science. It shifts the study of political science from the centers of power to its margins, where the majority of humanity lives. Ultimately, the book argues that those who occupy the margins are not powerless. Rather, marginal positions might afford a deeper understanding of politics than can be provided by mainstream approaches.
The Imperial Presidency and American Politics: Governance by Edicts and Coups
Those who saw Donald Trump as a novel threat looming over American democracy and now think the danger has passed may not have been paying much attention to the political developments of the past several decades. Trump was merely the most recent—and will surely not be the last—in a long line of presidents who expanded the powers of the office and did not hesitate to act unilaterally when so doing served their purposes. Unfortunately, Trump is also unlikely to be the last president prepared to do away with his enemies in the Congress and transform the imperial presidency from a theory to a reality.
America’s State Governments: A Critical Look at Disconnected Democracies
This timely and important new work takes a critical look at government in the American states and illustrates the disconnect between state government institutions and their constituents. The text illuminates three basic political problems of state governments: weak constitutional and institutional foundations; a lack of civic engagement; and long histories of unchecked public corruption. In addition, the book explains why some states did and others did not respond promptly to the COVID-19 pandemic and examines America’s long-standing problem of police and prosecutorial misconduct – providing a context for understanding demonstrations and protests that rocked American cities in the summer of 2020. For students and citizens of state politics, the book concludes with a proposal aimed at civic literacy and action.
Armed Guests: Territorial Sovereignty and Foreign Military Basing
In the wake of World War II, the United States and its allies developed a new type of security arrangement in which a state could maintain a long-term, peacetime military presence on the territory of another equally sovereign state that, unlike earlier practice, was not tied to occupational regimes or colonial rule. The impact of this development on international politics is hard to overstate, and it has become a constitutive feature of contemporary security dynamics.
Immigrant Incorporation in East Asian Democracies
Despite labour shortages and rapidly shrinking working-age populations, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan shared restrictive immigration policies and exclusionary practices toward immigrants until the early 2000s. While Taiwan maintained this trajectory, Japan took incremental steps to expand immigrant services at the grassroots level, and South Korea enacted sweeping immigration reforms. How did convergent policies generate these divergent patterns of immigrant incorporation? Departing from the dominant scholarship that focuses on culture, domestic political elites, and international norms, this book shows the important role of civil society actors – including immigrants themselves – in giving voice to immigrant interests, mobilizing immigrant actors, and shaping public debate and policy on immigration. Based on more than 150 in-depth interviews and focus groups with over twenty immigrant communities, Immigrant Incorporation in East Asian Democracies examines how the civic legacies of past struggles for democracy shape current movements for immigrant rights and recognition.
Influx & Efflux: Writing up with Walt Whitman
In influx & efflux Jane Bennett pursues a question that was bracketed in her book Vibrant Matter: how to think about human agency in a world teeming with powerful nonhuman influences? “Influx & efflux”—a phrase borrowed from Whitman’s “Song of Myself”—refers to everyday movements whereby outside influences enter bodies, infuse and confuse their organization, and then exit, themselves having been transformed into something new. How to describe the human efforts involved in that process? What kinds of “I” and “we” can live well and act effectively in a world of so many other lively materialities? Drawing upon Whitman, Thoreau, Caillois, Whitehead, and other poetic writers, Bennett links a nonanthropocentric model of self to a radically egalitarian pluralism and also to a syntax and style of writing appropriate to the entangled world in which we live. The book tries to enact the uncanny process by which we “write up” influences that pervade, enable, and disrupt us.
A Middle-Quality Institutional Trap: Democracy and State Capacity in Latin America (Elements in Politics and Society in Latin America)
Latin America is currently caught in a middle-quality institutional trap, combining flawed democracies and low-to-medium capacity States. Yet, contrary to conventional wisdom, the sequence of development – Latin America has democratized before building capable States – does not explain the region’s quandary. States can make democracy, but so too can democracy make States. Thus, the starting point of political developments is less important than whether the State-democracy relationship is a virtuous cycle, triggering causal mechanisms that reinforce each other. However, the State-democracy interaction generates a virtuous cycle only under certain macroconditions. In Latin America, the State-democracy interaction has not generated a virtuous cycle: problems regarding the State prevent full democratization and problems of democracy prevent the development of state capacity. Moreover, multiple macroconditions provide a foundation for this distinctive pattern of State-democracy interaction. The suboptimal political equilibrium in contemporary Latin America is a robust one.
Dark Skies: Space Expansionism, Planetary Geopolitics, and the Ends of Humanity
Space is again in the headlines. E-billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are planning to colonize Mars. President Trump wants a “Space Force” to achieve “space dominance” with expensive high-tech weapons. The space and nuclear arms control regimes are threadbare and disintegrating.
Would-be asteroid collision diverters, space solar energy collectors, asteroid miners, and space geo-engineers insistently promote their Earth-changing mega-projects. Given our many looming planetary catastrophes (from extreme climate change to runaway artificial superintelligence), looking beyond
the earth for solutions might seem like a sound strategy for humanity. And indeed, bolstered by a global network of fervent space advocates-and seemingly rendered plausible, even inevitable, by oceans of science fiction and the wizardly of modern cinema-space beckons as a fully hopeful path for
human survival and flourishing, a positive future in increasingly dark times.
But despite even basic questions of feasibility, will these many space ventures really have desirable effects, as their advocates insist? In the first book to critically assess the major consequences of space activities from their origins in the 1940s to the present and beyond, Daniel Deudney argues
in Dark Skies that the major result of the “Space Age” has been to increase the likelihood of global nuclear war, a fact conveniently obscured by the failure of recognize that nuclear-armed ballistic missiles are inherently space weapons. The most important practical finding of Space Age science,
also rarely emphasized, is the discovery that we live on Oasis Earth, tiny and fragile, and teeming with astounding life, but surrounded by an utterly desolate and inhospitable wilderness stretching at least many trillions of miles in all directions. As he stresses, our focus must be on Earth and
nowhere else. Looking to the future, Deudney provides compelling reasons why space colonization will produce new threats to human survival and not alleviate the existing ones. That is why, he argues, we should fully relinquish the quest. Mind-bending and profound, Dark Skies challenges virtually all
received wisdom about the final frontier.
Worldviews in Science, Technology and Art in International Relations
- 2019 , Routledge
- Renée Marlin-Bennett, co-editor
This volume brings together 19 original chapters, plus four substantive introductions, which collectively provide a unique examination of the issues of science, technology, and art in international relations. The overarching theme of the book links global politics with human interventions in the world: We cannot disconnect how humans act on the world through science, technology, and artistic endeavors from the engagements and practices that together constitute IR. There is science, technology, and even artistry in the conduct of war – and in the conduct of peace as well. Scholars and students of international relations are beginning to explore these connections, and the authors of the chapters in this volume from around the world are at the forefront.
Congress: The First Branch
In this accessible overview of the United States Congress’s past and present, Ginsberg and Hill introduce students to the country’s most democratic institution. This text surveys Congressional elections, the internal structure of Congress, the legislative process, Congress and the President, and Congress and the courts. Congress: The First Branch offers a fresh approach to the First Branch grounded in a historical, positive frame.
Scientific Cosmology and International Orders
Scientific Cosmology and International Orders shows how scientific ideas have transformed international politics since 1550. Allan argues that cosmological concepts arising from Western science made possible the shift from a sixteenth century order premised upon divine providence to the present order centered on economic growth. As states and other international associations used scientific ideas to solve problems, they slowly reconfigured ideas about how the world works, humanity’s place in the universe, and the meaning of progress. The book demonstrates the rise of scientific ideas across three cases: natural philosophy in balance of power politics, 1550–1815; geology and Darwinism in British colonial policy and international colonial orders, 1860–1950; and cybernetic-systems thinking and economics in the World Bank and American liberal order, 1945–2015. Together, the cases trace the emergence of economic growth as a central end of states from its origins in colonial doctrines of development and balance of power thinking about improvement.
There’s No Such Thing as “The Economy”: Essays on Capitalist Value
Every Economics textbook today teaches that questions of values and morality lie outside of, are in fact excluded from, the field of Economics and its proper domain of study, “the economy.” Yet the dominant cultural and media narrative in response to major economic crisis is almost always one of moral outrage. How do we reconcile this tension or explain this paradox by which Economics seems to have both everything and nothing to do with values?
The discipline of modern economics hypostatizes and continually reifies a domain it calls “the economy”; only this epistemic practice makes it possible to falsely separate the question of value from the broader inquiry into the economic. And only if we have first eliminated value from the domain of economics can we then transform stories of financial crisis or massive corporate corruption into simple tales of ethics.
But if economic forces establish, transform, and maintain relations of value then it proves impossible to separate economics from questions of value, because value relations only come to be in the world by way of economic logics. This means that the “positive economics” spoken of so fondly in the textbooks is nothing more than a contradiction in terms, and as this book demonstrates, there’s no such thing as “the economy.” To grasp the basic logic of capital is to bring into view the unbreakable link between economics and value.
Democracy and the Cartelization of Political Parties
Political parties have long been recognized as essential institutions of democratic governance. Both the organization of parties, and their relationships with citizens, the state, and each other have evolved since the rise of liberal democracy in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Going into the 21st century, it appears that parties losing popular support, putting both parties, and potentially democracy, in peril. This book traces the evolution of parties from the model of the mass party, through the catch-all party model, to argue that by the late 20th century the principal governing parties and (and their allied smaller parties – collectively the political ‘mainstream’) were effectively forming a cartel, in which the form of competition might remain, and indeed even appear to intensify, while its substance was increasingly hollowed out. The spoils of office were increasingly shared rather than restricted to the temporary winners; contentious policy questions were kept off the political agenda, and competition shifted from large questions of policy to minor questions of managerial competence. To support this cartel, the internal arrangements of parties changed to privilege the party in public office over the party on the ground. The unintended consequence has been to stimulate the rise of extra-cartel challengers to these cozy arrangements in the form of anti-party-system parties and populist oppositions on the left, but especially on the right.
Race and the Undeserving Poor: From Abolition to Brexit
Over recent years, British tabloid readers have become familiar with the concept of the “white working class,” and those who have been “left behind” by the metropolitan elites in their multicultural enclaves of the south. Such sentiments were weaponized by politicians on all sides of the political spectrum to fuel the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Brexit campaign. This racialized narrative has emerged again and again in mature democracies―in the political campaigns of Trump, Le Pen, and others―and continues to gain traction and legitimacy in the guise of economic nationalism and populism.
This book examines the historical development over the past two hundred years of a shifting postcolonial settlement in which the racialization of the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor persists, and through which the white working class emerges. By situating his analysis within a postcolonial genealogy of British empire, Shilliam shows that the white working class is not an indigenous constituency, but a product of the struggles to consolidate and defend British imperial order that have shaped British society since the abolition of slavery. The book warns that by re-racializing the deserving poor as white, the political class is risking the well-being of all working classes and undermining any progress towards a multicultural Britain.
Analytics, Policy and Governance
This first textbook on the increasingly important field of government analytics provides invaluable knowledge and training for students of government in the synthesis, interpretation, and communication of “big data”, which is now an integral part of governance and policy making. Integrating all the major components of this rapidly growing field, this invaluable text explores the intricate relationship of data analytics to governance while providing innovative strategies for the retrieval and management of information.
Building a Business of Politics: The Rise of Political Consulting and the Transformation of American Democracy
Political races in the United States rely heavily on highly paid political consultants who carefully curate the images of politicians, advise candidates on polling and analytics, and shape voters’ perceptions through marketing and advertising techniques. More than half of the $6 billion spent in the 2012 election went to consultants who controlled virtually every aspect of the campaigns, from polling, fundraising, and media to more novel techniques of social media and micro-targeting. These consultants play a central role in political campaigns-determining not only how the public sees politicians, but also how politicians see the public.
In Building a Business of Politics, author Adam Sheingate traces the history of political consultants from its origins in the publicity experts and pollsters of the 1920s and 1930s to the strategists and media specialists of the 1970s who transformed political campaigns into a highly profitable business. Today, consultants command a hefty fee from politicians as they turn campaign cash from special interest groups and wealthy donors into advertisements, polls, and direct mail solicitations characteristic of modern campaigns.
The implications of this system on the state of American democracy are significant: the rise of the permanent campaign brings with it the rise of a permanent campaign industry. A professional political class stands between the voters and those who claim to represent them, influencing messages on both sides. Sheingate not only shows how political consultants have reshaped politics, though; he also covers recent developments like the commercialization of digital campaign tools and the consolidation of the political consulting industry into global media conglomerates. Building a Business of Politics is both a definitive account of the consulting profession and a powerful reinterpretation of how political professionals reshaped American democracy in the modern era.
Money Talks: Discourse, Networks, and Structure in Militant Organizations
- 2016 , Perspectives on Politics, 14 (4): 976–94. doi:10.1017/S1537592716002875.
- Sarah Parkinson, author
- Purchase Online
Scholarship on militant organizations and rebel movements emphasizes the effects of fragmentation and disunity on military and political outcomes. Yet this scholarship’s focus on formal, durable, and externally observable aspects of organizational structure omits the social practices that constitute, reinforce, and reproduce intra-group schisms. How do intra-organizational divisions calcify into permanent cleavages? What processes reproduce factions over time? Using the case of Fatah in Lebanon, I argue that informal discursive practices—e.g., gossip, jokes, complaints, storytelling—contribute to the maintenance and reproduction of intra-organizational factions. Specifically, I focus on how networks of meaning-laden, money-centric discourse structure relations among militants who identify as being “Old Fatah.” I demonstrate that while these practices frequently originate in the organizational realm, cadres subsequently reproduce them within kinship, marriage, and friendship networks. This “money talk” between age cohorts within the quotidian realm connects younger members of Fatah to older cadres through collective practices and conceptions of organizational membership. These practices both exemplify an intra-organizational schism and constitute, in part, the faction called Old Fatah. Examining how symbolic practice comprises social structure thus provides important insight into the politics of organizations such as militant groups, social movements, and political parties.
Noted political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg has written an essential text for courses on the United States presidency. An invaluable resource, Ginsberg’s comprehensive analysis emphasizes the historical, constitutional, and legal dimensions of presidential power. He explores the history and essential aspects of the office, the president’s relationship to the rest of the executive branch and to a subordinated Congress, and the evolution of the American president from policy executor to policy maker. Compelling photo essays delve into topics of special interest, including First Spouses, Presidential Eligibility, and Congressional Investigations of the White House.
What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People
Each year unelected federal administrators write thousands of regulations possessing the force of law. What do these civil servants know about the American people whom they ostensibly serve? Not much, according to this enlightening and disturbing study. The authors surveyed federal agency officials, congressional and White House staffers, and employees of various policy-making organizations about their attitudes toward and knowledge of the public. They found a significant chasm between what official Washington assumes they know about average Americans and the actual opinions and attitudes of American citizens.
When Movements Anchor Parties: Electoral Alignments in American History
Throughout American history, some social movements, such as organized labor and the Christian Right, have forged influential alliances with political parties, while others, such as the antiwar movement, have not. When Movements Anchor Parties provides a bold new interpretation of American electoral history by examining five prominent movements and their relationships with political parties.
Taking readers from the Civil War to today, Daniel Schlozman shows how two powerful alliances—those of organized labor and Democrats in the New Deal, and the Christian Right and Republicans since the 1970s—have defined the basic priorities of parties and shaped the available alternatives in national politics. He traces how they diverged sharply from three other major social movements that failed to establish a place inside political parties—the abolitionists following the Civil War, the Populists in the 1890s, and the antiwar movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Moving beyond a view of political parties simply as collections of groups vying for preeminence, Schlozman explores how would-be influencers gain influence–or do not. He reveals how movements join with parties only when the alliance is beneficial to parties, and how alliance exacts a high price from movements. Their sweeping visions give way to compromise and partial victories. Yet as Schlozman demonstrates, it is well worth paying the price as movements reorient parties’ priorities.
Timely and compelling, When Movements Anchor Parties demonstrates how alliances have transformed American political parties.
Bearing Society in Mind: Theories and Politics of the Social Formation
Political and economic models of society often operate at a level of abstraction so high that the connections between them, and their links to culture, are beyond reach. Bearing Society in Mindchallenges these disciplinary boundaries and proposes an alternative framework—the social formation.
The theory of social formation demonstrates how the fabric of society is made up of threads that are simultaneously economic, political, and cultural. Drawing on the work of theorists including Marx, Althusser, Butler, Žižek and Rancière, Bearing Society in Mind makes the strongest case possible for the theoretical importance and political necessity of this concept. It simultaneously demonstrates that the social formation proves to be a very particular and peculiar type of “concept”—it is not a reflection or model of the world, but is definitively and concretely bound up with and constitutive of the world.
The Lessons of Rancière
“Liberal democracy” is the name given to a regime that much of the world lives in or aspires to, and both liberal and deliberative theorists focus much of their intellectual energy on working to reshape and perfect this regime. But what if “liberal democracy” were a contradiction in terms?
Taking up Jacques Rancière’s polemical claim that democracy is not a regime, Samuel A. Chambers argues that liberalism and democracy are not complementary, but competing forces. By way of the most in-depth and rigorous treatment of Rancière’s writings to date, The Lessons of Rancière seeks to disentangle democracy from liberalism. Liberalism is a logic of order and hierarchy, of the proper distribution of responsibilities and rights, whereas democratic politics follows a logic of disordering that challenges and disrupts any claims that the allocation of roles could be complete. This book mobilizes a Rancièrean understanding of politics as leverage against the tendency to collapse democracy into the broader terms of liberalism. Chambers defends a vision of “impure” politics, showing that there is no sphere proper to politics, no protected political domain. The job of political theory is therefore not to say what is required in order for politics to occur, not to develop ideal “normative” models of politics, and not even to create new political ontologies. Instead, political theory is itself an enactment of politics in Rancière’s sense of dissensus: politics thwarts any social order of domination. Chambers shows that the logic of politics depends on the same principle as Rancière’s radical pedagogy: the presupposition of equality. Like traditional critical theory, traditional pedagogy relies on a model of explanation in which the student is presumed to be blind. But what if anyone can understand without additional explanation from a master? The Lessons of Rancière uses this pedagogy as a guide to envision a critical theory beyond blindness and to explore a democratic politics beyond liberalism.
The Worth of War
Although war is terrible and brutal, history shows that it has been a great driver of human progress. So argues political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg in this incisive, well-researched study of the benefits to civilization derived from armed conflict. Ginsberg makes a convincing case that war selects for and promotes certain features of societies that are generally held to represent progress. These include rationality, technological and economic development, and liberal forms of government.
Contrary to common perceptions that war is the height of irrationality, Ginsberg persuasively demonstrates that in fact it is the ultimate test of rationality. He points out that those societies best able to assess threats from enemies rationally and objectively are usually the survivors of warfare. History also clearly reveals the technological benefits that result from war—ranging from the sundial to nuclear power. And in regard to economics, preparation for war often spurs on economic development; by the same token, nations with economic clout in peacetime usually have a huge advantage in times of war. Finally, war and the threat of war have encouraged governments to become more congenial to the needs and wants of their citizens because of the increasing reliance of governments on their citizens’ full cooperation in times of war.
However deplorable the realities of war are, the many fascinating examples and astute analysis in this thought-provoking book will make readers reconsider the unmistakable connection between war and progress.
The Power of Memory in Democratic Politics
George Orwell famously argued that those who control the past control the future, and those who control the present control the past. In this study of the relationship between democracy and memory, P. J. Brendese examines Orwell’s insight, revealing how political power affects what is available to be remembered, who is allowed to recall the past, and when and where past events can be commemorated. Engaging a diverse panoply of thinkers that includes Sophocles, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, Brendese considers the role of disavowed memory and the politics of collective memory in democratic processes throughout history. Among the cases treated are democracy in ancient Athens, South Africa’s effort to transition from apartheid via its landmark Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Mexico’s struggle to fortify democratic accountability after the “dirty war,” and the unresolved legacy of slavery in US race relations. The Power of Memory in Democratic Politics draws on these national histories to develop a theory of memory that accounts for the ways the past lives on in unconscious, habituated practices, shaping the possibilities of freedom, action, and political imagination.
Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control
Winner of the Dennis Judd Best Book in Urban Politics Award
Never before has American government exhibited so strong an urge to punish, and so vast a network of institutions dedicated to the control, confinement and supervision of its citizens. Citizen contact with criminal justice is unmatched in American history and around the world. How does our view of American democracy change once we account for the growth of its punitive apparatus? How do citizens experience government and democratic citizenship when the most visible face of the state is punitive?
In this book, we argue that the modern criminal justice system embodies a set of values that are antithetical to democratic norms.
Through the detailed narratives of over one hundred custodial citizens, along with careful analyses of large-scale survey data, we demonstrate that contact with police, courts, prisons and jails produces a “carceral lifeworld”—a particular sense of the state, conception of citizenship, and orientation toward the democratic polity. The result of criminal justice contact is decreased trust in political institutions and a reduced faith that the state will respond to the will of the people. Worse, custodial citizens not only disengage and feel disempowered, they actively fear and avoid interactions with government.
At the same time, contact with criminal justice shapes citizens’ racial transcripts, constructing ideas not only about blacks in custody, but about the condition of blacks in America—perceptions of their worth, standing, and citizenship. Blacks who undergo law enforcement interventions are more pessimistic about racial equality in America.
Our focus is not simply criminal justice as a distinct policy domain, separable from American governance more broadly. Our inquiry must instead also prompt us to revisit core assumptions about the character of the American state and the increasingly defining role of its least democratic institutions. Our central claim is that the growth of criminal justice has fundamentally recast the citizen-state relationship.
- Review from Prison Policy Institute.
- Review in American Journal of Sociology.
- Review in the American Prospect.
How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century
Why are some civic associations better than others at getting–and keeping–people involved in activism? From MoveOn.org to the National Rifle Association, Health Care for America Now to the Sierra Club, membership-based civic associations constantly seek to engage people in civic and political action. What makes some more effective than others?
Using in-person observations, surveys, and field experiments, this book compares organizations with strong records of engaging people in health and environmental politics to those with weaker records. To build power, civic associations need quality and quantity (or depth and breadth) of activism. They need lots of people to take action and also a cadre of leaders to develop and execute that activity. Yet, models for how to develop activists and leaders are not necessarily transparent. This book provides these models to help associations build the power they want and support a healthy democracy. In particular, the book examines organizing, mobilizing, and lone wolf models of engagement and shows how highly active associations blend mobilizing and organizing to transform their members’ motivations and capacities for involvement.
This is not a simple story about the power of offline versus online organizing. Instead, it is a story about how associations can blend both online and offline strategies to build their activist base. In this compelling book, Hahrie Han explains how civic associations can invest in their members and build the capacity they need to inspire action.
Groundbreakers: How Obama’s 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning In America
Much has been written about the historic nature of the Obama campaign. The multi-year, multi-billion dollar operation elected the nation’s first black president, raised and spent more money than any other election effort in history, and built the most sophisticated voter targeting technology ever before used on a national campaign. What is missing from most accounts of the campaign is an understanding of how Obama for America recruited, motivated, developed, and managed its formidable army of 2.2 million volunteers. Unlike previous field campaigns that drew their power from staff, consultants, and paid canvassers, the Obama campaign’s capacity came from unpaid local citizens who took responsibility for organizing their own neighborhoods months–and even years–in advance of election day. In so doing, Groundbreakers argues, the campaign engaged citizens in the work of practicing democracy. How did they organize so many volunteers to produce so much valuable work for the campaign? This book describes how.
Elizabeth McKenna and Hahrie Han argue that the legacy of Obama for America extends beyond big data and micro-targeting; it also reinvigorated and expanded traditional models of field campaigning. Groundbreakers makes the case that the Obama campaign altered traditional ground games by adopting the principles and practices of community organizing. Drawing on in-depth interviews with OFA field staff and volunteers, this book also argues that a key achievement of the OFA’s field organizing was its transformative effect on those who were a part of it. Obama the candidate might have inspired volunteers to join the campaign, but it was the fulfilling relationships that volunteers had with other people–and their deep belief that their work mattered for the work of democracy–that kept them active.
Groundbreakers documents how the Obama campaign has inspired a new way of running field campaigns, with lessons for national and international political and civic movements.
American Government: Power and Purpose
- 2013 , W. W. Norton & Company; Brief Thirteenth Edition
- Benjamin Ginsberg, co-author
- Purchase Online
Based on the Full Edition of American Government: Power and Purpose but with a simpler framework, the Brief 13th Edition includes new content on how race, gender, and group identity intersect with political behavior and institutions. Additionally, leading scholars have contributed new “Analyzing the Evidence” features that engage students with the questions and methods that political students use themselves.
How the Jews Defeated Hitler: Exploding the Myth of Jewish Passivity in the Face of Nazism
One of the most common assumptions about World War II is that the Jews did not actively or effectively resist their own extermination at the hands of the Nazis. In this powerful book, Benjamin Ginsberg convincingly argues that the Jews not only resisted the Germans but actually played a major role in the defeat of Nazi Germany. The question, he contends, is not whether the Jews fought but where and by what means. True, many Jews were poorly armed, outnumbered, and without resources, but Ginsberg shows persuasively that this myth of passivity is solely that—a myth.
The author describes how Jews resisted Nazism strongly in four major venues. First, they served as members of the Soviet military and as engineers who designed and built many pivotal Soviet weapons, including the T-34 tank. Second, a number were soldiers in the U.S. armed forces, and many also played key roles in discrediting American isolationism, in providing the Roosevelt administration with the support it needed for preparing for war, and in building the atomic bomb. Third, they made vital contributions to the Allies—the Soviet Union, the United States, and Britain—in espionage and intelligence (especially cryptanalysis), and fourth, they assumed important roles in several European anti-Nazi resistance movements that often disrupted Germany’s fragile military supply lines. In this compelling, cogent history, we discover that the Jews were an important factor in Hitler’s defeat.
The Value of Violence
Though violence is commonly deplored, political scientist Ginsberg argues that in many ways it is indispensable, unavoidable, and valuable.
Ginsberg sees violence manifested in society in many ways. “Law-preserving violence” (using Walter Benjamin’s phrase) is the chief means by which society preserves social order. Behind the security of a stable society are the blunt instruments of the police, prisons, and the power of the bureaucratic state to coerce and manipulate.
Ginsberg also discusses violence as a tool of social change, whether used in outright revolution or as a means of reform in public protests or the threat of insurrection. He notes that even groups committed to nonviolent tactics rely on the violent reactions of their opponents to achieve their ends. And to avoid the threat of unrest, modern states resort to social welfare systems (a prudent use of the carrot instead of the stick).
Emphasizing the unavoidability of violence to create major change, Ginsberg points out that few today would trade our current situation for the alternative had our forefathers not resorted to the violence of the American Revolution and the Civil War.
Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why it Matters
Until very recently, American universities were led mainly by their faculties, which viewed intellectual production and pedagogy as the core missions of higher education. Today, as Benjamin Ginsberg warns in this eye-opening, controversial book, “deanlets”–administrators and staffers often without serious academic backgrounds or experience–are setting the educational agenda.
The Fall of the Faculty examines the fallout of rampant administrative blight that now plagues the nation’s universities. In the past decade, universities have added layers of administrators and staffers to their payrolls every year even while laying off full-time faculty in increasing numbers–ostensibly because of budget cuts. In a further irony, many of the newly minted–and non-academic–administrators are career managers who downplay the importance of teaching and research, as evidenced by their tireless advocacy for a banal “life skills” curriculum. Consequently, students are denied a more enriching educational experience–one defined by intellectual rigor. Ginsberg also reveals how the legitimate grievances of minority groups and liberal activists, which were traditionally championed by faculty members, have, in the hands of administrators, been reduced to chess pieces in a game of power politics. By embracing initiatives such as affirmative action, the administration gained favor with these groups and legitimized a thinly cloaked gambit to bolster their power over the faculty.
As troubling as this trend has become, there are ways to reverse it. The Fall of the Faculty outlines how we can revamp the system so that real educators can regain their voice in curriculum policy.
The Fragility of Things: Self-Organizing Processes, Neoliberal Fantasies, and Democratic Activism
In The Fragility of Things, eminent theorist William E. Connolly focuses on several self-organizing ecologies that help to constitute our world. These interacting geological, biological, and climate systems, some of which harbor creative capacities, are depreciated by that brand of neoliberalism that confines self-organization to economic markets and equates the latter with impersonal rationality. Neoliberal practice thus fails to address the fragilities it exacerbates. Engaging a diverse range of thinkers, from Friedrich Hayek, Michel Foucault, Hesiod, and Immanuel Kant to Voltaire, Terrence Deacon, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Alfred North Whitehead, Connolly brings the sense of fragility alive as he rethinks the idea of freedom. Urging the Left not to abandon the state but to reclaim it, he also explores scales of politics below and beyond the state. The contemporary response to fragility requires a militant pluralist assemblage composed of those sharing affinities of spirituality across differences of creed, class, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity.
Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places: Why State Constitutions Contain America’s Positive Rights
Unlike many national constitutions, which contain explicit positive rights to such things as education, a living wage, and a healthful environment, the U.S. Bill of Rights appears to contain only a long list of prohibitions on government. American constitutional rights, we are often told, protect people only from an overbearing government, but give no explicit guarantees of governmental help. Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places argues that we have fundamentally misunderstood the American rights tradition. The United States actually has a long history of enshrining positive rights in its constitutional law, but these rights have been overlooked simply because they are not in the federal Constitution.
Emily Zackin shows how they instead have been included in America’s state constitutions, in large part because state governments, not the federal government, have long been primarily responsible for crafting American social policy. Although state constitutions, seemingly mired in trivial detail, can look like pale imitations of their federal counterpart, they have been sites of serious debate, reflect national concerns, and enshrine choices about fundamental values. Zackin looks in depth at the history of education, labor, and environmental reform, explaining why America’s activists targeted state constitutions in their struggles for government protection from the hazards of life under capitalism.
Shedding much-needed light on the variety of reasons that activists pursued the creation of new state-level rights, Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places challenges us to rethink our most basic assumptions about the American constitutional tradition.
Imperial Rule and the Politics of Nationalism: Anti-Colonial Protest in the French Empire
Why did colonial subjects mobilize for national independence from the French empire? This question has rarely been posed because the answer appears obvious: in the modern era, nationalism was bound to confront colonialism. This book argues against taking nationalist mobilization for granted. Contrary to conventional accounts, it shows that nationalism was not the only or even the primary form of anti-colonialism. Drawing on archival sources, comparative historical analysis, and case studies, Lawrence examines the movements for political equality that emerged in the French empire during the first half of the twentieth century. Within twenty years, they had been replaced by movements for national independence in the majority of French colonies, protectorates, and mandates. Lawrence shows that elites in the colonies shifted from demands for egalitarian reforms to calls for independent statehood only where the French refused to grant political rights to colonial subjects. Where rights were granted, colonial subjects opted for further integration and reform. Nationalist discourses became dominant as a consequence of the failure to reform. Mass protests then erupted in full force when French rule was disrupted by war or decolonization.
We the People
We the People is the best text for showing students that politics is relevant to their lives and that political participation matters—especially in the digital age. Based on the full-length text, this low-priced, very brief text offers authoritative coverage of the core topics in American politics. New co-author Caroline Tolbert brings expertise in political behavior to deep revisions of key chapters, and new Digital Citizens boxes highlight the role of new media in politics.
Playing the Market: A Political Strategy for Uniting Europe, 1985-2005
In the 1980s and 1990s, Nicolas Jabko suggests, the character of European integration altered radically, from slow growth to what he terms a “quiet revolution.” In Playing the Market, he traces the political strategy that underlay the move from the Single Market of 1986 through the official creation of the European Union in 1992 to the coming of the euro in 1999. The official, shared language of the political forces behind this revolution was that of market reforms—yet, as Jabko notes, this was a very strange “market” revolution, one that saw the building of massive new public institutions designed to regulate economic activity, such as the Economic and Monetary Union, and deeper liberalization in economic areas unaffected by external pressure than in truly internationalized sectors of the European economy.
What held together this remarkably diverse reform movement? Precisely because “the market” wasn’t a single standard, the agenda of market reforms gained the support of a vast and heterogeneous coalition. The “market” was in fact a broad palette of ideas to which different actors could appeal under different circumstances. It variously stood for a constraint on government regulations, a norm by which economic activities were (or should be) governed, a space for the active pursuit of economic growth, an excuse to discipline government policies, and a beacon for new public powers and rule-making. In chapters on financial reform, the provision of collective services, regional development and social policy, and economic and monetary union, Jabko traces how a coalition of strange bedfellows mobilized a variety of market ideas to integrate Europe.
Zainichi gaikokujin to shiminken: Imin hen’nyū no seijigaku, trans. Atsuko Abe
Alker and IR: Global Studies in an Interconnected World
International Relations have rarely been considered a synthesis of humanistic and social sciences approaches to understand the complex connections of a global, and globalizing, world. One of the few scholars to have accomplished this creative blend was Hayward R. Alker.
Alker and IR presents a set of visionary and original essays from scholars who have been profoundly influenced by Alker’s approach to global studies. They build on the foundation he laid, demonstrating the practicality and usefulness of ethically grounded, theoretically informed and interdisciplinary research for producing knowledge. They show how substantive boundaries can be crossed and methodological rules rewritten in the search for a deeper, more contextualized approach to global politics.
This book will be of interest to researchers and students of international relations and global politics.
Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America
The American racial order—the beliefs and practices that organize relationships among the nation’s many races and ethnicities—is undergoing its greatest transformation since the 1960s. Creating a New Racial Order takes a groundbreaking look at the reasons behind this dramatic change, from the late twentieth century to today, and considers what parts of the American population have been affected. Through original analysis, revealing narrative, and striking research, the authors show that the personal and political choices of Americans will be critical to how the racial hierarchy is redefined in decades to come.
The authors examine the components that make up a racial order and focus on the specific mechanisms influencing shifting demographics in the United States: immigration, multiracialism, genomic science, and generational change. Cumulatively, these mechanisms increase heterogeneity within each racial or ethnic group, and decrease the distance separating groups from each other. The authors show that individuals are moving across group boundaries and that genomic science is challenging the whole concept of race. Economic variation within groups is increasing and the traditional hierarchy of whites on the top and blacks at the bottom is breaking down. Above all, young adults understand and practice race differently from their elders: their formative memories are 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Obama’s election—not civil rights marches, riots, or the early stages of immigration.
Portraying a vision, not of a postracial America, but of a different racial America, Creating a New Racial Order examines how the structures of race and ethnicity are altering a nation.
Named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2012.
Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics
A Guide to the United States Constitution (second edition)
In lively prose, Professors Ackerman and Ginsberg explain the origins of each constitutional provision, assess the ways in which each has been used and interpreted over time, and examine the controversies that continue to surround key constitutional principles such as the president’s powers to regulate interstate commerce. The authors also address a number of long-standing American political principles and practices that are not discussed in the Constitution, though many Americans think they are. A selection of related documents is included, as well as a list of recommended online resources for further reading and research. The Second Edition includes expanded headnotes, coverage of recent Supreme Court decisions, and other important updates.
A World Becoming
In A World of Becoming William E. Connolly outlines a political philosophy suited to a world whose powers of creative evolution include and exceed the human estate. This is a world composed of multiple interacting systems, including those of climate change, biological evolution, economic practices, and geological formations. Such open systems, set on different temporal registers of stability and instability, periodically resonate together to produce profound, unpredictable changes. To engage such a world reflectively is to feel pressure to alter established practices of politics, ethics, and spirituality. In pursuing such a course, Connolly draws inspiration from philosophers such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Alfred North Whitehead, and Gilles Deleuze, as well as the complexity theorist of biology Stuart Kauffman and the theologian Catherine Keller.
Attunement to a world of becoming, Connolly argues, may help us address dangerous resonances between global finance capital, cross-regional religious resentments, neoconservative ideology, and the 24-hour mass media. Coming to terms with subliminal changes in the contemporary experience of time that challenge traditional images can help us grasp how these movements have arisen and perhaps even inspire creative counter-movements. The book closes with the chapter “The Theorist and the Seer,” in which Connolly draws insights from early Greek ideas of the Seer and a Jerry Lewis film, The Nutty Professor, to inform the theory enterprise today.
Immigration and Citizenship in Japan
Japan is currently the only advanced industrial democracy with a fourth-generation immigrant problem. As other industrialized countries face the challenges of incorporating postwar immigrants, Japan continues to struggle with the incorporation of prewar immigrants and their descendants. Whereas others have focused on international norms, domestic institutions, and recent immigration, this book argues that contemporary immigration and citizenship politics in Japan reflect the strategic interaction between state efforts to control immigration and grassroots movements by multi-generational Korean resident activists to gain rights and recognition specifically as permanently settled foreign residents of Japan. Based on in-depth interviews and fieldwork conducted in Tokyo, Kawasaki, and Osaka, this book aims to further our understanding of democratic inclusion in Japan by analyzing how those who are formally excluded from the political process voice their interests and what factors contribute to the effective representation of those interests in public debate and policy.
Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things
In Vibrant Matter the political theorist Jane Bennett, renowned for her work on nature, ethics, and affect, shifts her focus from the human experience of things to things themselves. Bennett argues that political theory needs to do a better job of recognizing the active participation of nonhuman forces in events. Toward that end, she theorizes a “vital materiality” that runs through and across bodies, both human and nonhuman. Bennett explores how political analyses of public events might change were we to acknowledge that agency always emerges as the effect of ad hoc configurations of human and nonhuman forces. She suggests that recognizing that agency is distributed this way, and is not solely the province of humans, might spur the cultivation of a more responsible, ecologically sound politics: a politics less devoted to blaming and condemning individuals than to discerning the web of forces affecting situations and events.
Moses of South Carolina: A Jewish Scalawag During Radical Reconstruction
Franklin Moses Jr. is one of the great forgotten figures in American history. Scion of a distinguished Jewish family in South Carolina, he was a firebrand supporter of secession and an officer in the Confederate army. Moses then reversed course. As Reconstruction governor of South Carolina, he shocked and outraged his white constituents by championing racial equality and socializing freely with former slaves. Friends denounced him, his family disowned him, and enemies ultimately drove him from his home state.
In Moses of South Carolina, Benjamin Ginsberg rescues this protean figure and his fascinating story from obscurity. Though Moses was far from a saint—he was known as the “robber governor” for his corrupt ways—Ginsberg suggests that Moses nonetheless deserves better treatment in the historical record. Despite his moral lapses, Moses launched social programs, integrated state institutions, and made it possible for blacks to attend the state university.
As a Jew, Moses grew up on the fringe of southern plantation society. After the Civil War, Moses envisioned a culture different from the one in which he had been raised, one that included the newly freed slaves. From the margins of southern society, Franklin Moses built America’s first black-Jewish alliance, a model, argues Ginsberg, for the coalitions that would help reshape American politics in the decades to come.
Revisiting the story of the South’s “most perfect scalawag,” Ginsberg contributes to a broader understanding of the essential role southern Jews played during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Do the Jews Have a Future in America?
Powerful but Vulnerable Jews wield a good deal of power in contemporary America but cannot assume this to be a permanent state of affairs. Despite their power, many Jews feel a growing sense of unease. A wealthy and successful American Jew recently asked me where the Jews could go if and when they had to leave the United States. Good question.
Rethinking Violence: States and Non-State Actors in Conflict; BCSIA Studies in International Security Series
States, nationalist movements, and ethnic groups in conflict with one another often face a choice between violent and nonviolent strategies. Although major wars between sovereign states have become rare, contemporary world politics has been rife with internal conflict, ethnic cleansing, and violence against civilians. This book asks how, why, and when states and non-state actors use violence against one another, and examines the effectiveness of various forms of political violence.
In the process of addressing these issues, the essays make two conceptual moves that illustrate the need to reconsider the way violence by states and non-state actors has typically been studied and understood. The first is to think of violence not as dichotomous, as either present or absent, but to consider the wide range of nonviolent and violent options available and ask why actors come to embrace particular strategies. The second is to explore the dynamic nature of violent conflicts, developing explanations that can account for the eruption of violence at particular moments in time. The arguments focus on how changes in the balance of power between and among states and non-state actors generate uncertainty and threat, thereby creating an environment conducive to violence. This innovative way of understanding violence deemphasizes the role of ethnic cleavages and nationalism in modern conflict.
Contributors: Kristin M. Bakke, Emily Beaulieu, H. Zeynep Bulutgil, Erica Chenoweth, Kathryn McNabb Cochran, Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, Alexander B. Downes, Erin K. Jenne, Adria Lawrence, Harris Mylonas, Wendy Pearlman, Maria J. Stephan
The Queer Politics of Television
This is a radical book, which brings together the fields of political theory and television studies. In one of the first books to do so, Samuel A. Chambers exposes and explores the cultural politics of television by treating television shows—including Six Feet Under, Buffy, Desperate Housewives, The L Word, and Big Love—as serious, important texts and reading them in detail through the lens of queer theory.
Samuel A. Chambers makes the case for the profound significance of “the cultural politics of television,” the way in which a television show’s text itself engages with the politics of its day. He argues for queer theory’s essential contribution to any understanding of the political, and initiates a larger project of queer television studies. This is an important and fresh contribution to queer theory and to the understanding of television as politics.
States of Violence: War, Capital Punishment, and Letting Die
The book brings together scholarship on three different forms of state violence, examining each for what it can tell us about the conditions under which states use violence and the significance of violence to our understanding of states. The contributors to this book demonstrate that states of violence thus have a history and sociology. Yet wherever the state acts violently, the legitimacy of its acts must be engaged with the real facts of war, capital punishment, and the ugly realities of death. This book calls into question the legitimacy of state uses of violence and mounts a sustained effort at interpretation, sense making, and critique. It suggests that condemning the state’s decisions to use lethal force is not a simple matter of abolishing the death penalty or – to take another exemplary example of the killing state – demanding that the state engage only in just (publicly declared and justified) wars, pointing out that even such overt instances of lethal force are more elusive as targets of critique than one might think. Indeed, altering such decisions may do little to change the essential relationship of the state to violence. To change that relationship we must also attend to the violent state as a state of mind, a state of mind that is not just a social or psychological condition but also a moral commitment and/or a philosophical position.
Moved to Action: Motivation, Participation, and Inequality in American Politics
Wealthy, educated, and more privileged people are more likely to participate and be represented in politics than their poorer, less educated, and less privileged counterparts. To reduce these inequalities, we need a better understanding of how the disadvantaged become motivated to participate. Moved to Action fills the current gap in this area of research by examining the commitments and pathways through which the underprivileged become engaged in politics. Drawing on original, in-depth interviews with political activists and large-scale survey data, author Hahrie C. Han contests the traditional idea that people must be politicized before they participate and that only idiosyncratic factors outside the control of the political system can drive motivation. Her findings show that that highly personal commitments, such as the quality of children’s education or the desire to help a friend, have a disproportionately large impact in motivating political participation among people with fewer resources. Han makes the case that civic and political organizations can lay the foundation for greater citizen participation by helping people recognize the connections between their personal commitments and politics.
Judith Butler and Political Theory: Troubling Politics
Over the past 25 years the work of Judith Butler has had an extraordinary impact on numerous disciplines and interdisciplinary projects across the humanities and social sciences. This original study is the first to take a thematic approach to Butler as a political thinker. Starting with an explanation of her terms of analysis, Judith Butler and Political Theory develops Butler’s theory of the political through an exploration of her politics of troubling given categories and approaches. By developing concepts such as normative violence and subversion and by elaborating her critique of heteronormativity, this book moves deftly between Butler’s earliest and most famous writings on gender and her more recent interventions in post-9/11 politics.
This book, along with its companion volume, Judith Butler’s Precarious Politics, marks an intellectual event for political theory, with major implications for feminism, women’s studies, gender studies, cultural studies, lesbian and gay studies, queer theory, and anyone with a critical interest in contemporary American “great power” politics.
Catastrophic Consequences: Civil Wars and American Interests
Civil war and other types of radical domestic upheaval are replacing international war as the preeminent threat to American security and economic well being, according to Steven R. David. Catastrophic Consequences argues that civil conflicts are of even greater importance than deliberate efforts to harm the United States because the damage they inflict is unintended and therefore impossible to deter.
David examines the prospects for and potential aftereffects of instability in four nations vital to U.S. national interests—Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, and Mexico. It is not, he argues, a rising China that threatens America, but one that is falling apart. Likewise, it is not a hostile Pakistani regime over which the United States should worry, rather it is one that cannot keep the country together. Similarly, a conflict-torn Mexico or Saudi Arabia poses a far greater danger to America than does either of those states growing stronger.
In assessing these threats, David contends that the United States’s only viable option is to view other-state civil upheaval similarly to natural disasters and to develop a coherent, effective emergency response mechanism, which does not exist today in any systemic, nationwide form.
Bounding Power: Republican Security Theory from the Polis to the Global Village
Realism, the dominant theory of international relations, particularly regarding security, seems compelling in part because of its claim to embody so much of Western political thought from the ancient Greeks to the present. Its main challenger, liberalism, looks to Kant and nineteenth-century economists. Despite their many insights, neither realism nor liberalism gives us adequate tools to grapple with security globalization, the liberal ascent, and the American role in their development. In reality, both realism and liberalism and their main insights were largely invented by republicans writing about republics.
The main ideas of realism and liberalism are but fragments of republican security theory, whose primary claim is that security entails the simultaneous avoidance of the extremes of anarchy and hierarchy, and that the size of the space within which this is necessary has expanded due to technological change.
In Daniel Deudney’s reading, there is one main security tradition and its fragmentary descendants. This theory began in classical antiquity, and its pivotal early modern and Enlightenment culmination was the founding of the United States. Moving into the industrial and nuclear eras, this line of thinking becomes the basis for the claim that mutually restraining world government is now necessary for security and that political liberty cannot survive without new types of global unions.
Unique in scope, depth, and timeliness, Bounding Power offers an international political theory for our fractious and perilous global village.
Capitalism and Christianity, American Style
Capitalism and Christianity, American Style is William E. Connolly’s stirring call for the democratic left to counter the conservative stranglehold over American religious and economic culture in order to put egalitarianism and ecological integrity on the political agenda. An eminent political theorist known for his work on identity, secularism, and pluralism, Connolly charts the path of the “evangelical-capitalist resonance machine,” source of a bellicose ethos reverberating through contemporary institutional life. He argues that the vengeful vision of the Second Coming motivating a segment of the evangelical right resonates with the ethos of greed animating the cowboy sector of American capitalism. The resulting evangelical-capitalist ethos finds expression in church pulpits, Fox News reports, the best-selling Left Behind novels, consumption practices, investment priorities, and state policies. These practices resonate together to diminish diversity, forestall responsibility to future generations, ignore urban poverty, and support a system of extensive economic inequality.
Connolly describes how the evangelical-capitalist machine works, how its themes resound across class lines, and how it infiltrates numerous aspects of American life. Proposing changes in sensibility and strategy to challenge this machine, Connolly contends that the liberal distinction between secular public and religious private life must be reworked. Traditional notions of unity or solidarity must be translated into drives to forge provisional assemblages comprised of multiple constituencies and creeds. The left must also learn from the political right how power is infused into everyday institutions such as the media, schools, churches, consumption practices, corporations, and neighborhoods. Connolly explores the potential of a “tragic vision” to contest the current politics of existential resentment and political hubris, explores potential lines of connection between it and theistic faiths that break with the evangelical right, and charts the possibility of forging an “eco-egalitarian” economy. Capitalism and Christianity, American Style is William E. Connolly’s most urgent work to date.
Dead Certainty: The Death Penalty and the Problem of Judgment
Dead Certainty is about the challenge of judging matters of public concern without a common sense of the good or other shared criteria that validate final decisions. Examining both the philosophical and the practical aspects of this challenge, this book focuses on United States Supreme Court opinions that authorize and regulate the practice of sentencing people to death. Unlike other books that discuss capital punishment, it does not argue for or against the death penalty. Instead, Dead Certainty contributes to a larger project in contemporary political and legal philosophy: re-imagining how people in today’s world give coherence and meaning to their shared experience. Culbert’s work will be of interest to scholars of political theory, jurisprudence, law and society, rhetoric, continental philosophy, and ethics.
Presidential Power: Unchecked & Unbalanced
Recent presidents have exploited the power of the American presidency more fully than their predecessors—and with greater consequence than the framers of the Constitution anticipated.
This book, in the tradition of Arthur Schlesinger’s great work The Imperial Presidency (1973), explores how American presidents—especially those of the past three decades—have increased the power of the presidency at the expense of democracy. Matthew Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg provide a fascinating history of this trend, showing that the expansion of presidential power dates back over one hundred years. Presidential Power also looks beyond the president’s actions in the realm of foreign policy to consider other, more hidden, means that presidents have used to institutionalize the power of the executive branch.
The American Lie: Government By The People and Other Political Fables
Going all the way back to the time of George Washington, much of what we see and hear in the political world consists of lies and deceptions. Despite assurances to the contrary, politics is not about truth, justice, and principle. It is about money, power, and status. As astute political commentator Ben Ginsberg convincingly demonstrates, politicians habitually lie, pretending to fight for principles, in order to conceal their true selfish motives. Citizens who need the frequent injunctions to participate in politics and abjure political cynicism are likely to be duped into contributing their tax dollars and even their lives for dubious purposes. Most individuals gain little from political participation. Participants are the foot soldiers of political warfare, but even if their side is victorious, they receive few of the spoils of war. Thus, in this new political season, Ginsberg encourages citizens to think outside the (ballot) box, finding new ways to act on behalf of their interests and the public good. But if they do vote, their motto should be “when in doubt vote them out.”
Capitalism without Democracy: The Private Sector in Contemporary China
Over the past three decades, China has undergone a historic transformation. Once illegal, its private business sector now comprises 30 million businesses employing more than 200 million people and accounting for half of China’s Gross Domestic Product. Yet despite the optimistic predictions of political observers and global business leaders, the triumph of capitalism has not led to substantial democratic reforms.
In Capitalism without Democracy, Kellee S. Tsai focuses on the activities and aspirations of the private entrepreneurs who are driving China’s economic growth. The famous images from 1989 of China’s new capitalists supporting the students in Tiananmen Square are, Tsai finds, outdated and misleading. Chinese entrepreneurs are not agitating for democracy. Most are working eighteen-hour days to stay in business, while others are saving for their one child’s education or planning to leave the country. Many are Communist Party members. “Remarkably,” Tsai writes, “most entrepreneurs feel that the system generally works for them.”
Tsai regards the quotidian activities of Chinese entrepreneurs as subtler and possibly more effective than voting, lobbying, and protesting in the streets. Indeed, major reforms in China’s formal institutions have enhanced the private sector’s legitimacy and security in the absence of mobilization by business owners. In discreet collaboration with local officials, entrepreneurs have created a range of adaptive informal institutions, which in turn, have fundamentally altered China’s political and regulatory landscape. Based on years of research, hundreds of field interviews, and a sweeping nationwide survey of private entrepreneurs funded by the National Science Foundation, Capitalism without Democracy explodes the conventional wisdom about the relationship between economic liberalism and political freedom.
Political Institutions in the United States
Political Institutions in the United States guides students through the different institutions of American government. It covers the electoral and party systems, the separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, and the division of powers between the federal government and the states. It also explores the internal organization of each institution. This unique text gives students a solid understanding of the “rules” of the American political game, the “field” on which the game is played, and the basic characteristics and orientations of the “teams” that are playing the game. It enables students to study contemporary American politics with greater understanding, and to see the differences between the government of the United States and the governments of other democracies.
Party/Politics: Horizons in Black Political Thought
In this fascinating treatment of “party” life, Michael Hanchard traces the many different forms of communal expression that underlie black parties. Party/Politics reveals new dimensions to the way we think about the cultural and political sphere, both nationally and transnationally. The author draws broadly on examples from popular culture, literature, social movements, and daily life to explore an array of themes ranging from black ideologies, the demise of Black power and Third Worldism as emancipatory projects for liberation, to more contemporary issues and debates on multiculturalism and transnational forms of identity. Capturing what is often overlooked due to an emphasis on nations, on surveys, and on formal institutions, Hanchard offers an expansive, integrated framework for the study of not only black politics but of political and social theory the world over.
Over the past two decades, the renowned political theorist William E. Connolly has developed a powerful theory of pluralism as the basis of a territorial politics. In this concise volume, Connolly launches a new defense of pluralism, contending that it has a renewed relevance in light of pressing global and national concerns, including the war in Iraq, the movement for a Palestinian state, and the fight for gay and lesbian rights. Connolly contends that deep, multidimensional pluralism is the best way to promote justice and inclusion without violence. He advocates a deep pluralism—in contrast to shallow, secular pluralism—that helps to create space for different groups to bring their religious faiths into the public realm. This form of deep pluralism extends far beyond faith, encompassing multiple dimensions of social and personal lives, including household organization and sexuality.
Connolly looks at pluralism not only in light of faith but also in relation to evil, ethics, relativism, globalization, and sovereignty. In the process, he engages many writers and theorists—among them, Spinoza, William James, Henri Bergson, Marcel Proust, Gilles Deleuze, Giorgio Agamben, Talal Asad, Michael Hardt, and Antonio Negri. Pluralism is the first book in which Connolly explains the relationship between pluralism and the experience of time, and he offers readings of several films that address how time is understood, including Time Code, Far from Heaven, Waking Life, and The Maltese Falcon. In this necessary book Connolly brings a compelling, accessible philosophical critique together with his personal commitment to an inclusive political agenda to suggest how we might—and why we must—cultivate pluralism within both society and ourselves.
Downsizing Democracy: How America Sidelined Its Citizens and Privatized Its Public
In Downsizing Democracy, Matthew A. Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg describe how the once powerful idea of a collective citizenry has given way to a concept of personal, autonomous democracy. Today, political change is effected through litigation, lobbying, and term limits, rather than active participation in the political process, resulting in narrow special interest groups dominating state and federal decision-making. At a time when an American’s investment in the democratic process has largely been reduced to an annual contribution to a political party or organization, Downsizing Democracy offers a critical reassessment of American democracy.
Making Government Manageable
What are the basic concepts of executive organization and management? How does executive organization affect management? How can executive organization and management be improved? In Making Government Manageable, Thomas H. Stanton and Benjamin Ginsberg bring together a distinguished group of authorities from both the academic and political worlds to explore problems relating to the organization and management of government.
The authors begin with a brief overview of the development of executive organization and management to the present day. They then offer examples of problems in federal department organization and management. They also raise the question of the effectiveness of third-party government—cases in which the private sector under contract with the government performs services for which the government is responsible and, in the process, makes policy for which the government becomes responsible. The authors conclude with a discussion of cases in which agencies have enjoyed some measure of success through reforming and reorganizing their internal structures and processes.
Knowledge Power: Intellectual Property, Information, and Privacy
Knowledge Power introduces the interconnected roles of intellectual property, information, and privacy and explores the evolution of the domestic and international rules that govern them. What roles are played by governments, individuals, firms, and others in shaping our knowledge world? How will the rules that we create – or unquestioningly accept – affect the contours of global society and of our own lives? Marlin-Bennett’s provocative exposition highlights the tensions between market interests and privacy, and between property rights and obligations, that have been exacerbated by the new digital technologies. It is an impressively clear introduction to an exceedingly difficult subject.
The Rise of the Agricultural Welfare State: Institutions and Interest Group Power in the United States, France, and Japan
A long-dominant reading of American politics holds that public policy in the United States is easily captured by special interest groups. Countering this view, Adam Sheingate traces the development of government intervention in agriculture from its nineteenth-century origins to contemporary struggles over farm subsidies. His considered conclusion is that American institutions have not given agricultural interest groups any particular advantages in the policy process, in part because opposing lobbies also enjoy access to policymakers. In fact, the high degree of conflict and pluralism maintained by American institutions made possible substantial retrenchment of the agricultural welfare state during the 1980s and 1990s. In Japan and France–two countries with markedly different institutional characters than the United States–powerful agricultural interests and a historically close relationship between farmers, bureaucrats, and politicians continue to preclude a roll-back of farm subsidies.
This well-crafted study not only puts a new spin on agricultural policy, but also makes a strong case for the broader claim that the relatively decentralized American political system is actually less prone to capture and rule by subgovernments than the more centralized political systems found in France and Japan. Sheingate’s historical, comparative approach also demonstrates, in a widely useful way, how past institutional developments shape current policies and options.
The standard, linear view of history is founded on the belief that political outcomes are predetermined by what has gone before. This book challenges this view, arguing for what Samuel A. Chambers calls an untimely politics which renders the past problematic and the future unpredictable. This pathbreaking argument is advanced through a close reading of key texts in political theory and by entering into debates involving metaphysics, philosophy of language, and psychoanalysis versus discursive analysis.
Chambers focuses on the theme of the relevance of language analysis to political debate, answering those critics who insist discourse approaches to politics are irrelevant. Heidegger, Nietzsche, Foucault and Derrida are used to challenge the political burden which is placed on language analysis to prove its value in the real world. Drawing from political theory and cultural studies Chambers takes on the same-sex marriage debate, showing how the use and misuse of language has contributed to an impasse that is not likely to be broken.
Wide ranging and insightful, Untimely Politics makes a timely plea for a more politically relevant and culturally engaged form of intellectual engagement.
Politics by Other Means: Politicians, Prosecutors, and the Press from Watergate to Whitewater
As scandals increasingly dominate the political agenda, Benjamin Ginsberg and Martin Shefter argue in this illuminating book, the United States is entering an era of postelectoral politics, with media revelations, congressional investigations, and judicial proceedings replacing elections as the primary tools of political competition.
In a far-reaching shift of the political landscape, contenders now seek to discredit or take hostage their opponents rather than to expand the electorate or otherwise compete for votes.
In this new edition, which includes a full chapter on the politics of Bush v. Gore, the authors discuss the long-term significance of the decline of electoral competition: voters are increasingly alienated, the government’s effectiveness is weakened, and the democratic process is threatened.
Thoreau’s Nature: Ethics, Politics, and the Wild
Thoreau’s Nature: Ethics, Politics, and the Wild explores how Thoreau crafted a life open to ‘the Wild,’ a term that marks the startling element of foreignness in every object of experience, however familiar. Thoreau’s encounters with nature, Bennett argues, allowed him to resist his all-too-human tendency toward intellectual laziness, social conformity, and political complacency. Bennett pursues this theme by constructing a series of dialogues between Thoreau and our contemporaries: Foucault on identity and power, Haraway on the nature/culture of division, Hollywood celebrities on the Walden Woods Project, the National Endowment for the Humanities on politics and art, and Kafka on the question of political idealism. The pertinence to the late 20th century of Thoreau’s pursuit of independent judgment, ecological foresight, and moral nobility becomes apparent through these engagements.
Back-Alley Banking: Private Entrepreneurs in China
Chinese entrepreneurs have founded more than thirty million private businesses since Beijing instituted economic reforms in the late 1970s. Most of these private ventures, however, have been denied access to official sources of credit. State banks continue to serve state-owned enterprises, yet most private financing remains illegal. How have Chinese entrepreneurs managed to fund their operations? In defiance of the national banking laws, small business owners have created a dizzying variety of informal financing mechanisms, including rotating credit associations and private banks disguised as other types of organizations. Back-Alley Banking includes lively biographical sketches of individual entrepreneurs; telling quotations from official documents, policy statements, and newspaper accounts; and interviews with a wide variety of women and men who give vivid narratives of their daily struggles, accomplishments, and hopes for future prosperity. Kellee S. Tsai’s book draws upon her unparalleled fieldwork in China’s world of shadow finance to challenge conventional ideas about the political economy of development. Business owners in China, she shows, have mobilized local social and political resources in innovative ways despite the absence of state-directed credit or a well-defined system of private property rights. Entrepreneurs and local officials have been able to draw on the uncertainty of formal political and economic institutions to enhance local prosperity.
Neuropolitics: Thinking, Culture, Speed
Why would a political theorist venture into the nexus between neuroscience and film? According to William Connolly-whose new book is itself an eloquent answer-the combination exposes the ubiquitous role that technique plays in thinking, ethics, and politics. By taking up recent research in neuroscience to explore the way brain activity is influenced by cultural conditions and stimuli such as film technique, Connolly is able to fashion a new perspective on our attempts to negotiate-and thrive-within a deeply pluralized society whose culture and economy continue to quicken.
In Neuropolitics Connolly draws upon recent brain/body research to explore the creative potential of thinking, the layered character of culture, the cultivation of ethical sensibilities, and the critical role of technique in all three. He then shows how a series of films-including Vertigo, Five Easy Pieces, and Citizen Kane-enhances our appreciation of technique and contests the linear image of time now prevalent in cultural theory.
Connolly deftly brings these themes together to support an ethos of deep pluralism within the democratic state and a politics of citizen activism across states. His book is an original and rigorous study that attends to the creative possibilities of thinking in identity, culture, and ethics.
The Enchantment of Modern Life
It is a commonplace that the modern world cannot be experienced as enchanted–that the very concept of enchantment belongs to past ages of superstition. Jane Bennett challenges that view. She seeks to rehabilitate enchantment, showing not only how it is still possible to experience genuine wonder, but how such experience is crucial to motivating ethical behavior. A creative blend of political theory, philosophy, and literary studies, this book is a powerful and innovative contribution to an emerging interdisciplinary conversation about the deep connections between ethics, aesthetics, and politics.
As Bennett describes it, enchantment is a sense of openness to the unusual, the captivating, and the disturbing in everyday life. She guides us through a wide and often surprising range of sources of enchantment, showing that we can still find enchantment in nature, for example, but also in such unexpected places as modern technology, advertising, and even bureaucracy. She then explains how everyday moments of enchantment can be cultivated to build an ethics of generosity, stimulating the emotional energy and honing the perceptual refinement necessary to follow moral codes. Throughout, Bennett draws on thinkers and writers as diverse as Kant, Schiller, Thoreau, Kafka, Marx, Weber, Adorno, and Deleuze. With its range and daring, The Enchantment of Modern Life is a provocative challenge to the centuries-old ”narrative of disenchantment,” one that presents a new ”alter-tale” that discloses our profound attachment to the human and nonhuman world.
Why I Am Not a Secularist
Religion’s influence in American politics is obvious in recent debates about school prayer, abortion, and homosexuality, as well as in the success of grassroots religious organizations in mobilizing voters. Many liberal secularists decry this trend, rejecting any interaction between politics and religion. But in Why I Am Not a Secularist, distinguished political theorist William E. Connolly argues that secularism, although admirable in its pursuit of freedom and diversity, too often undercuts these goals through its narrow and intolerant understandings of public reason. In response, he crafts a new model of public life that more accurately reflects the needs of contemporary politics.
Connolly first shows how the secular division between public and private life conceals the vital role of “the visceral register” in public life itself. Then, while elaborating an ethos of engagement that appreciates this element, he examines capital punishment, the War on Drugs, the liberal idea of the nation, the public role of atheism, and the right to die. The traditional formulations of secularism, Connolly contends, underestimate the vitality and complexity of real-life political judgments. At its best, secularism remains immodest in its claim to provide the authoritative basis for public reason; at its worst, it overlooks possibilities for selective collaboration between religious and nonreligious perspectives in politics.
To correct these limitations, Connolly advances a bold new vision of public diversity that acknowledges questions about its own ideology, incorporates a wider variety of ethical views, and honors the desire of believers and nonbelievers alike to represent their faiths openly in the civic forum. Throughout this provocative volume, Connolly presents convincing evidence of the need to refashion secularism to foster a more responsive public life and a more generous political culture.
Party Discipline and Parliamentary Government (Parliaments and Legislatures Series)
Parliamentary government is generally taken to mean party government. Party cohesion and discipline are usually seen as central to the maintenance of parliamentary democracy. This overlap, between disciplined parties on the one hand and parliamentary government on the other, is often seen as so complete and so automatic that the question of party discipline is pushed to the sidelines and rarely studied. Yet, if individual legislators remain an undisciplined mob, parliaments could easily become unruly and anarchical.How and why party discipline arises and is maintained are thus central questions of importance in legislative, and especially parliamentary, studies. Our knowledge of these topics, however, suffers from substantial gaps, especially with regard to the practice of party cohesion outside the relatively familiar Anglo-American setting.This book marks a step toward filling some of those gaps. The collection of essays presented here provides theoretical background and comparative studies of legislatures in a wide range of settings. Well-developed democracies such as Britain, Finland, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland are covered, as are the more recent democracies of Spain and Hungary, and the unique case of the transnational European Parliament.
Contested Grounds: Security and Conflict in the New Environmental Politics
Since the end of the Cold War, the relationship between international security and the environment has been subject to intensive policy concern, scholarly debate and research. Contested Grounds brings together many of the best known researchers on this emerging topic as they present sharply conflicting views on the relationship between the environment and security and conflict.
The book puts the contemporary debate in historical and theoretical perspective by demonstrating the important, but overlooked, role that environmental factors have placed in historical developments and in earlier geopolitical theories. The contributors present diverse and often conflicting answers to three questions: What are the relationships between environmental change, degradation and protection and traditional natural security concepts and organizations? How useful are security concepts and organizations in mobilizing political responses to environmental problems? What role do environmental factors play in stimulating international conflict and cooperation?
In-depth case studies on transboundary resource issues are explored as well as the implications of Chinese environmental decay for political conflict, and the use of military satellites for environmental monitoring.
Democracy and Elections
This book addresses the relationship between four values of democratic theory–popular sovereignty, liberalism, personal development, and community–and the electoral institutions used to implement them. After a chapter sketching the electoral institutions of Athens, the Roman Republic, the medieval church, and pre-reform Britain, the book examines what role elections are expected to play in a variety of democratic theories. The major theme of this section is that the four values are largely incompatible; therefore, different choices must be made between them. Part II addresses the empirical consequences of electoral institutions by examining electoral systems worldwide with the objective of finding the institutions most appropriate to each model of democracy. This impressive study provides empirical information on more electoral institutions in more countries than has ever been available in one volume before.
Embattled Democracy: Politics and Policy in the Clinton Era
Democrats Return to Power: Politics and Policy in the Clinton Era
The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State
In this provocative book, Benjamin Ginsberg examines the cycle of Jewish success and anti-Semitic attack throughout the history of the Diaspora, with a concentrated focus on the “special case” of America. For Ginsberg, the essential issue is not anti-Jewish feeling, but the conditions under which such sentiment is likely to be used in the political arena. The Fatal Embrace identifies the political dynamics that, historically, have set the stage for the persecution of Jews.
Food Fights: International Regimes and the Politics of Agricultural Trade Disputes
First published in 1993, this title explores the underlying ideologies and decision-making procedures that codify the rules of the post-World War II liberal, now defunct Soviet socialist, mercantilist and South preferential trade regimes. Food Fights presents a rich case study and rigorous data analysis of organized agricultural trade that uncovers similarities between these diverse economic systems and identifies the principle trends governing the new global economy.
Choosing Sides: Alignment and Realignment in the Third World
By examining Third World leaders who switched alignment from one superpower to the other, the author demonstrates inadequacies of existing theories of alignment and realignment and develops an alternative theory that takes into account domestic as well as external relations. (booknews.com)
Do Elections Matter?
This text provides an analysis of the variety of consequences that elections may have for the operation of American political institutions and the formulation and administration of policy.
The Captive Public: How Mass Opinion Promotes State Power
Unthinking Faith and Enlightenment
Explores the boundaries of contemporary debates over the environment and the state, and argues that in each of these debates, one side exaggerates the possibility of harmony between humans and the natural and social worlds, while the other insists upon the possibility of human mastery.
Third World Coups d’Etat and International Security
The Consequences of Consent: Elections, Citizen Control and Popular Acquiescence
A Theory of Parties and Electoral Systems
Political parties and elections are the mainsprings of modern democracy. In this classic volume, Richard S. Katz explores the problem of how a given electoral system affects the role of political parties and the way in which party members are elected. He develops and tests a theory of the differences in the cohesion, ideological behavior, and issue orientation of Western parliamentary parties on the basis of the electoral systems under which they compete. A standard in the field of political theory and thought, The Theory of Parties and the Electoral System contributes to a better understanding of parliamentary party structures and demonstrates the wide utility of the rationalistic approach for explaining behavior derived from the self-interest of political actors.
The provocative book, originally published in 1976 by Macmillan, provides a case history of public policy-making pressures that emerge when national, state and local governments cooperate in a project that virtually dismantles a local community. As relevant today as when it was first published, Poliscide carefully examines the web of political relationships that originally selected Weston, Illinois, as the site of the world’s largest atom smasher. It tells how the Atomic Energy Commission, the state government, DuPage County, the Midwest Alliance, realtors, scientific advisors, and local town officials played a crucial role in unwittingly uprooting this small farm community. The book provides unique coverage of land acquisition involving governmental projects; the behavior of scientists in governmental policy making; the role and the power of county government; and the way state governments lobby in Washington for public works projects. This edition contains a new preface by the authors.