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The Two Reconstructions

Author: Richard M. Valelly
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226845272
Size: 75.69 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.

American Politics A Very Short Introduction

Author: Richard M. Valelly
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195373855
Size: 38.18 MB
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This concise volume fills a long-standing need for a sophisticated, brief primer on American national politics. A major theme of the book is the interplay between constitutional and extra-constitutional institutions and political processes. It provides engaging and exceptionally instructive treatments of the nuts-and-bolts of how American politics works and of the strengths of American democracy, while candidly considering gaps in representation and the issue of increasing income inequality.

The Freedom To Be Racist

Author: Erik Bleich
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199876452
Size: 33.56 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.

Embracing Dissent

Author: Jeffrey S. Selinger
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812292588
Size: 23.74 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.

Princeton Readings In American Politics

Author: Richard M. Valelly
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691124728
Size: 73.11 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

Building The Judiciary

Author: Justin Crowe
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691152934
Size: 36.75 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.

Still A House Divided

Author: Desmond S. King
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400839769
Size: 53.21 MB
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Why have American policies failed to reduce the racial inequalities still pervasive throughout the nation? Has President Barack Obama defined new political approaches to race that might spur unity and progress? Still a House Divided examines the enduring divisions of American racial politics and how these conflicts have been shaped by distinct political alliances and their competing race policies. Combining deep historical knowledge with a detailed exploration of such issues as housing, employment, criminal justice, multiracial census categories, immigration, voting in majority-minority districts, and school vouchers, Desmond King and Rogers Smith assess the significance of President Obama's election to the White House and the prospects for achieving constructive racial policies for America's future. Offering a fresh perspective on the networks of governing institutions, political groups, and political actors that influence the structure of American racial politics, King and Smith identify three distinct periods of opposing racial policy coalitions in American history. The authors investigate how today's alliances pit color-blind and race-conscious approaches against one another, contributing to political polarization and distorted policymaking. Contending that President Obama has so far inadequately confronted partisan divisions over race, the authors call for all sides to recognize the need for a balance of policy measures if America is to ever cease being a nation divided. Presenting a powerful account of American political alliances and their contending racial agendas, Still a House Divided sheds light on a policy path vital to the country's future.