the faculty bookshelf
Judging Inequality: State Supreme Courts and the Inequality Crisis
Social scientists have convincingly documented soaring levels of political, legal, economic, and social inequality in the United States. Missing from this picture of rampant inequality, however, is any attention to the significant role of state law and courts in establishing policies that either ameliorate or exacerbate inequality. In Judging Inequality, political scientists James L. Gibson and Michael J. Nelson demonstrate the influential role of the fifty state supreme courts in shaping the widespread inequalities that define America today, focusing on court-made public policy on issues ranging from educational equity and adequacy to LGBT rights to access to justice to worker’s rights.
The Chain of Representation: Preferences, Institutions, and Policy in Presidential Systems
In this major contribution to the power debate, Clarissa Rile Hayward challenges the prevailing view of power as something powerful people have and use. Rather than seeing it as having a "face," she argues for a view of power as a complex network of social boundaries--norms, identities, institutions--which define individual freedom, for "powerful" and "powerless" alike. The book's argument is supported by a comparative analysis of relationships within two ethnically-diverse educational settings--a low-income, predominantly African-American urban school; and an affluent, predominantly white, suburban school.
Curbing Bailouts: Bank Crises and Democratic Accountability in Comparative Perspective
In this comparative analysis of late-twentieth-century banking crises, Guillermo Rosas identifies political regime type as the determining factor. During a crisis, powerful financial players demand protection of their assets. Rosas maintains that in authoritarian regimes, government officials have little to shield them from such demands and little incentive for rebuffing them, while in democratic regimes, elected officials must weigh these demands against the interests of the voters---that is, the taxpayers. As a result, compared with authoritarian regimes, democratic regimes show a lower propensity toward dramatic, costly bailouts.
Repairing Paradise: The Restoration of Nature in America's National Parks
By the turn of the millennium, it had become painfully apparent that the United States had made some serious misjudgments in its interactions with the natural world. The country's treasured national parks, while remaining immensely popular tourist destinations, were not immune to the damage. Preservation alone would no longer be enough; by this time, repair and restoration were necessary.
Latin American Party Systems
Political parties provide a crucial link between voters and politicians. This link takes a variety of forms in democratic regimes, from the organization of political machines built around clientelistic networks to the establishment of sophisticated programmatic parties. Latin American Party Systems provides a novel theoretical argument to account for differences in the degree to which political party systems in the region were programmatically structured at the end of the twentieth century. Based on a diverse array of indicators and surveys of party legislators and public opinion, the book argues that learning and adaptation through fundamental policy innovations are the main mechanisms by which politicians build programmatic parties. Marshalling extensive evidence, the book's analysis shows the limits of alternative explanations and substantiates a sanguine view of programmatic competition, nevertheless recognizing that this form of party system organization is far from ubiquitous and enduring in Latin America.
A General Theory of Domination and Justice
In all societies, past and present, many persons and groups have been subject to domination. Properly understood, domination is a great evil, the suffering of which ought to be minimized so far as possible. Surprisingly, however, political and social theorists have failed to provide a detailed analysis of the concept of domination in general. This study aims to redress this lacuna. It argues first, that domination should be understood as a condition experienced by persons or groups to the extent that they are dependent on a social relationship in which some other person or group wields arbitrary power over them; this is termed the 'arbitrary power conception' of domination. It argues second, that we should regard it as wrong to perpetrate or permit unnecessary domination and, thus, that as a matter of justice the political and social institutions and practices of any society should be organized so as to minimize avoidable domination; this is termed 'justice as minimizing domination', a conception of social justice that connects with more familiar civic republican accounts of freedom as non-domination. In developing these arguments, this study employs a variety of methodological techniques--including conceptual analysis, formal modelling, social theory, and moral philosophy; existing accounts of dependency, power, social convention, and so on are clarified, expanded, or revised along the way. While of special interest to contemporary civic republicans, this study should appeal to a broad audience with diverse methodological and substantive interests.
Rawls's 'A Theory of Justice': A Reader's Guide
John Rawls's A Theory of Justice, first published in 1971, is arguably the most important work of moral and political philosophy of the twentieth century. A staple on undergraduate courses in political theory, it is a classic text in which Rawls makes an astonishing contribution to political and moral thought
Justice and the American Metropolis
Today’s American cities and suburbs are the sites of “thick injustice”—unjust power relations that are deeply and densely concentrated as well as opaque and seemingly intractable. Thick injustice is hard to see, to assign responsibility for, and to change.
Identifying these often invisible and intransigent problems, this volume addresses foundational questions about what justice requires in the contemporary metropolis. Essays focus on inequality within and among cities and suburbs; articulate principles for planning, redevelopment, and urban political leadership; and analyze the connection between metropolitan justice and institutional design. In a world that is progressively more urbanized, and yet no clearer on issues of fairness and equality, this book points the way to a metropolis in which social justice figures prominently in any definition of success.
The American Congress
The American Congress provides the most current treatment of congressional politics available in an undergraduate text. Informed by the authors' Capitol Hill experience and scholarship, this book presents a crisp introduction to major features of Congress: parties and committee systems, leadership, voting, and floor activity. This text contains discussions of the importance of presidents, courts, and interest groups in congressional policy making. Recent developments are also discussed within the context of congressional political history.
Politics and Foreign Direct Investment
For decades, free trade was advocated as the vehicle for peace, prosperity, and democracy in an increasingly globalized market. More recently, the proliferation of foreign direct investment has raised questions about its impact upon local economies and politics. Here, seven scholars bring together their wide-ranging expertise to investigate the factors that determine the attractiveness of a locale to investors and the extent of their political power. Multinational corporations prefer to invest where legal and political institutions support the rule of law, protections for property rights, and democratic processes. Corporate influence on local institutions, in turn, depends upon the relative power of other players and the types of policies at issue.
In Electing Judges, James L. Gibson responds to the growing chorus of critics who fear that the politics of running for office undermine judicial independence and even the rule of law. While many people have opinions on the topic, few have supported them with actual empirical evidence. Gibson rectifies this situation, offering the most systematic and comprehensive study to date of the impact of campaigns on public perceptions of fairness, impartiality, and the legitimacy of elected state courts—and his findings are both counter-intuitive and controversial.
Learning While Governing: Expertise and Accountability in the Executive Branch
Although their leaders and staff are not elected, bureaucratic agencies have the power to make policy decisions that carry the full force of the law. In this groundbreaking book, Sean Gailmard and John W. Patty explore an issue central to political science and public administration: How do Congress and the president ensure that bureaucratic agencies implement their preferred policies?
The Social Citizen
Human beings are social animals. Yet despite vast amounts of research into political decision making, very little attention has been devoted to its social dimensions. In political science, social relationships are generally thought of as mere sources of information, rather than active influences on one’s political decisions.
Politics or Principle?: Filibustering in the United States Senate
Is American democracy being derailed by the United States Senate filibuster? Is the filibuster an important right that improves the political process or an increasingly partisan tool that delays legislation and thwarts the will of the majority? Are century-old procedures in the Senate hampering the institution from fulfilling its role on the eve of the 21st century?
Post-Communist Democracies and Party Organization
Scholars of post-communist politics often argue that parties in new democracies lack strong organizations - sizable membership, local presence, and professional management - because they don't need them to win elections and they may hinder a party's flexibility and efficiency in office. Post-Communist Democracies and Party Organization explains why some political parties are better able than others to establish themselves in new democracies and why some excel at staying unified in parliament, whereas others remain dominated by individuals
How Americans Make Race
How do people produce and reproduce identities? In How Americans Make Race, Clarissa Rile Hayward challenges what is sometimes called the “narrative identity thesis”: the idea that people produce and reproduce identities as stories. Identities have greater staying power than one would expect them to have if they were purely and simply narrative constructions, she argues, because people institutionalize identity-stories, building them into laws, rules, and other institutions that give social actors incentives to perform their identities well, and because they objectify identity-stories, building them into material forms that actors experience with their bodies.
Political Economy of Institutions, Democracy and Voting
This book presents the latest research in the field of Political Economy, dealing with the integration of economics and politics and the way institutions affect social decisions. The authors are eminent scholars from the U.S., Canada, Britain, Spain, Italy, Mexico and the Philippines. Many of them have been influenced by Nobel laureate Douglass North, who pioneered the new institutional social sciences, or by William H. Riker who contributed to the field of positive political theory.
Advances in Political Economy
This book presents latest research in the field of Political Economy, dealing with the integration of economics and politics and the way institutions affect social decisions. The focus is on innovative topics such as an institutional analysis based on case studies; the influence of activists on political decisions; new techniques for analyzing elections, involving game theory and empirical methods.
Leadership or Chaos
Combining elements of economic reasoning and political science has proven to be very useful for understanding the broad variation in economic development around the world. In a sense research in this field goes back to the Scottish Enlightenment and Adam Smith’s original plan in his Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations. Leadership or Chaos by Norman Schofield and Maria Gallego is intended as an advanced, self-contained text in political economy dealing with social choice. The theory and empirical analysis are used to examine democratic institutions and elections in the developed world, and the success or failure of moves to democratization in the less developed world. The book closes with a consideration of current quandaries with regard to political and economic stability and climate change and a discussion of the moral foundations of our society.
Social Choice and Legitimacy: The Possibilities of Impossibility
Governing requires choices, and hence trade-offs between conflicting goals or criteria. This book asserts that legitimate governance requires explanations for such trade-offs and then demonstrates that such explanations can always be found, though not for every possible choice. In so doing, John W. Patty and Elizabeth Maggie Penn use the tools of social choice theory to provide a new and discriminating theory of legitimacy. In contrast with both earlier critics and defenders of social choice theory, Patty and Penn argue that the classic impossibility theorems of Arrow, Gibbard, and Satterthwaite are inescapably relevant to, and indeed justify, democratic institutions. Specifically, these institutions exist to do more than simply make policy – through their procedures and proceedings, these institutions make sense of the trade-offs required when controversial policy decisions must be made.
International Courts and the Performance of International Agreements
Nations often turn to international courts to help with overcoming collective-action problems associated with international relations. However, these courts generally cannot enforce their rulings, which begs the question: how effective are international courts? This book proposes a general theory of international courts that assumes a court has no direct power over national governments. Member states are free to ignore both the international agreement and the rulings by the court created to enforce that agreement. The theory demonstrates that such a court can, in fact, facilitate cooperation with international law, but only within important political constraints. The authors examine the theoretical argument in the context of the European Union. Using an original data set of rulings by the European Court of Justice, they find that the disposition of court rulings and government compliance with those rulings comport with the theory's predictions.
The Particularistic President
As the holders of the only office elected by the entire nation, presidents have long claimed to be sole stewards of the interests of all Americans. Scholars have largely agreed, positing the president as an important counterbalance to the parochial impulses of members of Congress. This supposed fact is often invoked in arguments for concentrating greater power in the executive branch. Douglas L. Kriner and Andrew Reeves challenge this notion and, through an examination of a diverse range of policies from disaster declarations, to base closings, to the allocation of federal spending, show that presidents, like members of Congress, are particularistic. Presidents routinely pursue policies that allocate federal resources in a way that disproportionately benefits their more narrow partisan and electoral constituencies. Though presidents publicly don the mantle of a national representative, in reality they are particularistic politicians who prioritize the needs of certain constituents over others.
Civics Beyond Critics
Should character formation be a goal of civic education in a liberal democracy? In addition to teaching knowledge and skills, should civic education shape children's values, beliefs, preferences, habits, identities, and sentiments? Most contemporary political and educational theorists who address these questions respond with a heavily qualified yes. They argue that education for civil character is vital to the survival and flourishing of liberal democracy but its content must be strictly limited to avoid compromising its recipients' ability to think and act as critically autonomous citizens. This means that civic character education should not extend beyond inculcating in children the basic and universal moral values that constitute the ideal of liberal democracy itself.
Clarity of Responsibility, Accountability, and Corruption
Corruption is a significant problem for democracies throughout the world. Even the most democratic countries constantly face the threat of corruption and the consequences of it at the polls. Why are some governments more corrupt than others, even after considering cultural, social, and political characteristics? In Clarity of Responsibility, Accountability, and Corruption, the authors argue that clarity of responsibility is critical for reducing corruption in democracies. The authors provide a number of empirical tests of this argument, including a cross-national time-series statistical analysis to show that the higher the level of clarity the lower the perceived corruption levels. Using survey and experimental data, the authors show that clarity causes voters to punish incumbents for corruption. Preliminary tests further indicate that elites respond to these electoral incentives and are more likely to combat corruption when clarity is high.
Politics Over Process
Although the U.S. Constitution requires that the House of Representatives and the Senate pass legislation in identical form before it can be sent to the president for final approval, the process of resolving differences between the chambers has received surprisingly little scholarly attention. Hong Min Park, Steven S. Smith, and Ryan J. Vander Wielen document the dramatic changes in intercameral resolution that have occurred over recent decades, and examine the various considerations made by the chambers when determining the manner in which the House and Senate pursue conciliation. Politics Over Process demonstrates that partisan competition, increasing party polarization, and institutional reforms have encouraged the majority party to more creatively restructure post-passage processes, often avoiding the traditional standing committee and conference processes altogether.