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The Two Reconstructions

Author: Richard M. Valelly
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226845272
Size: 11.12 MB
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Winner of the 2005 J. David Greenstone Book Award from the Politics and History section of the American Political Science Association. Winner of the 2005 Ralph J. Bunche Award of the American Political Science Association Winner of the 2005 V.O. Key, Jr. Award of the Southern Political Science Association The Reconstruction era marked a huge political leap for African Americans, who rapidly went from the status of slaves to voters and officeholders. Yet this hard-won progress lasted only a few decades. Ultimately a "second reconstruction"—associated with the civil rights movement and the Voting Rights Act—became necessary. How did the first reconstruction fail so utterly, setting the stage for the complete disenfranchisement of Southern black voters, and why did the second succeed? These are among the questions Richard M. Valelly answers in this fascinating history. The fate of black enfranchisement, he argues, has been closely intertwined with the strengths and constraints of our political institutions. Valelly shows how effective biracial coalitions have been the key to success and incisively traces how and why political parties and the national courts either rewarded or discouraged the formation of coalitions. Revamping our understanding of American race relations, The Two Reconstructions brilliantly explains a puzzle that lies at the heart of America’s development as a political democracy.

No Fire Next Time

Author: Patrick D. Joyce
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801488900
Size: 64.17 MB
Format: PDF
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Why did Black-Korean tensions result in violent clashes in Los Angeles but not in New York City? In a book based on fieldwork and on a nationwide database he constructed to track such conflicts, Patrick D. Joyce goes beyond sociological and cultural explanations. No Fire Next Time shows how political practices and urban institutions can channel racial and ethnic tensions into protest or, alternately, leave them free to erupt violently. Few encounters demonstrate this connection better than those between African Americans and Korean Americans.Cities like New York, where politics is noisy, contentious, and involves people at the grassroots, have seen extensive Black boycotts of Korean-owned businesses (usually small grocery stores). African Americans in Los Angeles have sustained few long-term boycotts of Korean American businesses—but the absence of "routine" contention there goes hand in hand with the large-scale riots of 1992 and continuous acts of individual violence.In demonstrating how conflicts between these groups were intimately tied to their political surroundings, this book yields practical lessons for the future. City governments can do little to fight widening economic inequality in an increasingly diverse nation, Joyce writes. But officials and activists can restructure political institutions to provide the foundations for new multiracial coalitions.

American Politics A Very Short Introduction

Author: Richard M. Valelly
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199706077
Size: 56.88 MB
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American politics seems to grow more contentious and complicated by the day, and whether American democracy works well is hotly debated. Amidst all this roiling partisan argument and confusing claims and counterclaims, there has never been a greater need for an impartial primer on the basics of the American political system. This Very Short Introduction gives readers a concise, accessible, and sophisticated overview of the vital elements of American democracy, emphasizing both how these elements function, their historical origins, and how they have evolved into their present forms. Richard Valelly covers all facets of America's political system: the bicameral Congress and the place of the filibuster, the legislative-executive process, the role of the Supreme Court, political parties and democratic choice, bureaucracy, the partisan revival, and the political economy. He offers as well an original analysis of the evolution of the American presidency and a fascinating chapter on the effects of public polling on political decision-making and voter representation. Valelly shows that the American political system is, and always has been, very much a work in progress--unfolding within, and also constantly updating, an eighteenth-century constitutional framework. In a refreshingly balanced and judicious assessment, he explores the strengths of American democracy while candidly acknowledging both gaps in representation and the increasing income inequality have sparked protest and intense public discussion. Finally, Valelly considers the remarkable persistence, for more than two centuries, of the basic constitutional forms established in 1787, despite the dramatic social changes that have reshaped virtually all aspects of American life. For anyone wishing to understand the nuts and bolts of how our political system works--and sometimes fails to work--this Very Short Introduction is the very best place to start. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

The Freedom To Be Racist

Author: Erik Bleich
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199876452
Size: 61.28 MB
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We love freedom. We hate racism. But what do we do when these values collide? In this wide-ranging book, Erik Bleich explores policies that the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and other liberal democracies have implemented when forced to choose between preserving freedom and combating racism. Bleich's comparative historical approach reveals that while most countries have increased restrictions on racist speech, groups and actions since the end of World War II, this trend has resembled a slow creep more than a slippery slope. Each country has struggled to achieve a balance between protecting freedom and reducing racism, and the outcomes have been starkly different across time and place. Building on these observations, Bleich argues that we should pay close attention to the specific context and to the likely effects of any policy we implement, and that any response should be proportionate to the level of harm the racism inflicts. Ultimately, the best way for societies to preserve freedom while fighting racism is through processes of public deliberation that involve citizens in decisions that impact the core values of liberal democracies.

Princeton Readings In American Politics

Author: Richard M. Valelly
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691124728
Size: 75.35 MB
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Princeton Readings in American Politics offers an exciting and challenging new way to learn about American politics. It brings together political science that has stood the test of time and recent cutting-edge analyses to acquaint undergraduate and graduate students with the substantive, conceptual, and methodological foundations they need to make sense of American politics today. Princeton Readings in American Politics features writings by such eminent scholars as Larry M. Bartels, Robert Dahl, Martha Derthick, Howard Gillman, Jacob Hacker, Kay L. Schlozman, Deborah Stone, Marta Tienda, and Kent Weaver, among others. The book is organized in sections that cover the major American political institutions--the presidency, Congress, the courts--as well as core topics such as political parties, macroeconomic management, voting and elections, policymaking, public opinion, and federalism. Richard Valelly provides an insightful general introduction to political science as a vibrant form of inquiry, as well as a succinct, informative introduction to each reading. Rigorous yet accessible, Princeton Readings in American Politics can serve as a primary textbook or as a supplement to standard introductory texts. Offers an exciting new way to learn about American politics Features accessible scholarship by leading political scientists Covers all the major topics Serves as a primary textbook or supplementary reader for undergraduate and graduate students

Embracing Dissent

Author: Jeffrey S. Selinger
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812292588
Size: 66.62 MB
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While the American founders fully expected parties to form in a free society, they were far less certain that opposing parties would peacefully transfer power from one to another. Party formation presented a confounding problem for the new republic: party rivalries could not be prevented, but they might, nonetheless, catalyze civil disorder or fracture the union of the states. The status of political parties has come a long way in American society and politics, however, and today American democracy is inconceivable without them. How did party competition become a regular and "normal" feature of the American political landscape? Why did American political leaders, who viewed such rivalry as a harbinger of the new republic's destruction, come to terms with party opposition? Embracing Dissent tells this story of political transformation, making the case that the status of party gained ground as the notion that party competition might instigate class violence, secession, or civil war, receded. From the American founding and the appearance of the Jacksonian Democratic party, to Lincoln's management of party politics during the Civil War, Jeffrey S. Selinger presents a careful reconsideration of American political development. Embracing Dissent also provides historical perspective on today's polarized political condition. Too often, pundits exaggerate the significance of partisan differences and minimize the depth of political consensus that permeates American politics. Political observers casually use expressions like "party conflict," forgetting, as the famed political scientist Giovanni Sartori noted, that public consensus on fundamental legal and constitutional norms makes party competition "something less than conflict, as we endlessly if often too late rediscover whenever we are confronted with the reality of a people shooting at each other." Embracing Dissent reminds readers of the long history of Americans "shooting at each other," and describes the political events that disarmed them.

Race And American Political Development

Author: Joseph E. Lowndes
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136086420
Size: 23.97 MB
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Race has been present at every critical moment in American political development, shaping political institutions, political discourse, public policy, and its denizens’ political identities. But because of the nature of race—its evolving and dynamic status as a structure of inequality, a political organizing principle, an ideology, and a system of power—we must study the politics of race historically, institutionally, and discursively. Covering more than three hundred years of American political history from the founding to the contemporary moment, the contributors in this volume make this extended argument. Together, they provide an understanding of American politics that challenges our conventional disciplinary tools of studying politics and our conservative political moment’s dominant narrative of racial progress. This volume, the first to collect essays on the role of race in American political history and development, resituates race in American politics as an issue for sustained and broadened critical attention.

Silent Covenants

Author: Derrick Bell
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198038559
Size: 45.80 MB
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When the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education was handed down in 1954, many civil rights advocates believed that the decision, which declared public school segregation unconstitutional, would become the Holy Grail of racial justice. Fifty years later, despite its legal irrelevance and the racially separate and educationally ineffective state of public schooling for most black children, Brown is still viewed by many as the perfect precedent. Here, Derrick Bell shatters the shining image of this celebrated ruling. He notes that, despite the onerous burdens of segregation, many black schools functioned well and racial bigotry had not rendered blacks a damaged race. He maintains that, given what we now know about the pervasive nature of racism, the Court should have determined instead to rigorously enforce the "equal" component of the "separate but equal" standard. Racial policy, Bell maintains, is made through silent covenants--unspoken convergences of interest and involuntary sacrifices of rights--that ensure that policies conform to priorities set by policy-makers. Blacks and whites are the fortuitous winners or losers in these unspoken agreements. The experience with Brown, Bell urges, should teach us that meaningful progress in the quest for racial justice requires more than the assertion of harms. Strategies must recognize and utilize the interest-convergence factors that strongly influence racial policy decisions. In Silent Covenants, Bell condenses more than four decades of thought and action into a powerful and eye-opening book.

Building The Judiciary

Author: Justin Crowe
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400842573
Size: 32.36 MB
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How did the federal judiciary transcend early limitations to become a powerful institution of American governance? How did the Supreme Court move from political irrelevance to political centrality? Building the Judiciary uncovers the causes and consequences of judicial institution-building in the United States from the commencement of the new government in 1789 through the close of the twentieth century. Explaining why and how the federal judiciary became an independent, autonomous, and powerful political institution, Justin Crowe moves away from the notion that the judiciary is exceptional in the scheme of American politics, illustrating instead how it is subject to the same architectonic politics as other political institutions. Arguing that judicial institution-building is fundamentally based on a series of contested questions regarding institutional design and delegation, Crowe develops a theory to explain why political actors seek to build the judiciary and the conditions under which they are successful. He both demonstrates how the motivations of institution-builders ranged from substantive policy to partisan and electoral politics to judicial performance, and details how reform was often provoked by substantial changes in the political universe or transformational entrepreneurship by political leaders. Embedding case studies of landmark institution-building episodes within a contextual understanding of each era under consideration, Crowe presents a historically rich narrative that offers analytically grounded explanations for why judicial institution-building was pursued, how it was accomplished, and what--in the broader scheme of American constitutional democracy--it achieved.

Crisis And Leviathan

Author: Robert Higgs
Publisher: Independent Inst
ISBN: 9781598131116
Size: 13.15 MB
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"In Crisis and Leviathan, economist and historian Robert Higgs shows how Big Government emerged from responses to national emergencies that occurred as attitudes about the role of government were changing dramatically. In particular, governmental responses to the Great Depression, two World Wars, the Cold War, and various lesser "crises"(real or imagined) led to a host of new federal programs, activities, and functions that left legacies--including greater acceptance of bigger government--that endured long after each crisis passed. The result was not only a higher baseline for further growth, but also a government more intrusive in the lives of ordinary citizens and more resistant to meaningful reform"--