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(as of Dec 03,2018 11:55:57 UTC – Details)
“Keep your government hands off my Medicare!” Such comments spotlight a central question animating Suzanne Mettler’s provocative and timely book: why are many Americans unaware of government social benefits and so hostile to them in principle, even though they receive them? The Obama administration has been roundly criticized for its inability to convey how much it has accomplished for ordinary citizens. Mettler argues that this difficulty is not merely a failure of communication; rather it is endemic to the formidable presence of the “submerged state.”
In recent decades, federal policymakers have increasingly shunned the outright disbursing of benefits to individuals and families and favored instead less visible and more indirect incentives and subsidies, from tax breaks to payments for services to private companies. These submerged policies, Mettler shows, obscure the role of government and exaggerate that of the market. As a result, citizens are unaware not only of the benefits they receive, but of the massive advantages given to powerful interests, such as insurance companies and the financial industry. Neither do they realize that the policies of the submerged state shower their largest benefits on the most affluent Americans, exacerbating inequality. Mettler analyzes three Obama reforms—student aid, tax relief, and health care—to reveal the submerged state and its consequences, demonstrating how structurally difficult it is to enact policy reforms and even to obtain public recognition for achieving them. She concludes with recommendations for reform to help make hidden policies more visible and governance more comprehensible to all Americans.
The sad truth is that many American citizens do not know how major social programs work—or even whether they benefit from them. Suzanne Mettler’s important new book will bring government policies back to the surface and encourage citizens to reclaim their voice in the political process.
(as of Nov 30,2018 21:06:56 UTC – Details)
Volume 1 starts at sea and ends on the battlefield. Beginning with the earliest Americans and the arrival of strangers on the eastern shore, it then moves through colonial society to the fight for independence and the construction of a federalist republic. From there, it explains the renegotiations and refinements that took place as a new nation found its footing, and it traces the actions that eventually rippled into the Civil War.
This volume goes beyond famous names and battles to incorporate politics, economics, science, arts, and culture. And it shows that issues that resonate today—immigration, race, labor, gender roles, and the power of technology—have been part of the American fabric since the very beginning.
(as of Nov 27,2018 23:12:47 UTC – Details)
Governments increasingly offer or demand apologies for past human rights abuses, and it is widely believed that such expressions of contrition are necessary to promote reconciliation between former adversaries. The post-World War II experiences of Japan and Germany suggest that international apologies have powerful healing effects when they are offered, and poisonous effects when withheld. West Germany made extensive efforts to atone for wartime crimes-formal apologies, monuments to victims of the Nazis, and candid history textbooks; Bonn successfully reconciled with its wartime enemies. By contrast, Tokyo has made few and unsatisfying apologies and approves school textbooks that whitewash wartime atrocities. Japanese leaders worship at the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors war criminals among Japan’s war dead. Relations between Japan and its neighbors remain tense.
Examining the cases of South Korean relations with Japan and of French relations with Germany, Jennifer Lind demonstrates that denials of past atrocities fuel distrust and inhibit international reconciliation. In Sorry States, she argues that a country’s acknowledgment of past misdeeds is essential for promoting trust and reconciliation after war. However, Lind challenges the conventional wisdom by showing that many countries have been able to reconcile without much in the way of apologies or reparations. Contrition can be highly controversial and is likely to cause a domestic backlash that alarms―rather than assuages―outside observers. Apologies and other such polarizing gestures are thus unlikely to soothe relations after conflict, Lind finds, and remembrance that is less accusatory-conducted bilaterally or in multilateral settings-holds the most promise for international reconciliation.
(as of Nov 25,2018 04:22:06 UTC – Details)
The Politics of Precaution examines the politics of consumer and environmental risk regulation in the United States and Europe over the last five decades, explaining why America and Europe have often regulated a wide range of similar risks differently. It finds that between 1960 and 1990, American health, safety, and environmental regulations were more stringent, risk averse, comprehensive, and innovative than those adopted in Europe. But since around 1990, the book shows, global regulatory leadership has shifted to Europe. What explains this striking reversal?
David Vogel takes an in-depth, comparative look at European and American policies toward a range of consumer and environmental risks, including vehicle air pollution, ozone depletion, climate change, beef and milk hormones, genetically modified agriculture, antibiotics in animal feed, pesticides, cosmetic safety, and hazardous substances in electronic products. He traces how concerns over such risks–and pressure on political leaders to do something about them–have risen among the European public but declined among Americans. Vogel explores how policymakers in Europe have grown supportive of more stringent regulations while those in the United States have become sharply polarized along partisan lines. And as European policymakers have grown more willing to regulate risks on precautionary grounds, increasingly skeptical American policymakers have called for higher levels of scientific certainty before imposing additional regulatory controls on business.
(as of Nov 22,2018 04:46:37 UTC – Details)
As politicians debate how to address the estimated eleven million unauthorized immigrants residing in the United States, undocumented youth anxiously await the next policy shift that will determine their futures. From one day to the next, their dreams are as likely to crumble around them as to come within reach. In Shifting Boundaries, Alexis M. Silver sheds light on the currents of exclusion and incorporation that characterize their lives. Silver examines the experiences of immigrant youth growing up in a small town in North Carolina—a state that experienced unprecedented growth in its Latino population in the 1990s and 2000s, and where aggressive anti-immigration policies have been enforced. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and in-depth interview data, she finds that contradictory policies at the national, state, and local levels interact to create a complex environment through which the youth must navigate. From heritage-based school programs to state-wide bans on attending community college; from the failure of the DREAM Act to the rescinding of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA); each layer represents profound implications for undocumented Latino youth. Silver exposes the constantly changing pathways that shape their journeys into early adulthood—and the profound resilience that they develop along the way.
(as of Nov 19,2018 08:26:54 UTC – Details)
The State in Africa is one of the important and compelling texts ofcomparative politics and historical sociology of the last twentyyears. Bayart rejects the assumption of African ‘otherness’ basedon stereotyped images of famine, corruption and civil war. Insteadhe invites the reader to see that African politics is like politicsanywhere else in the world, not an exotic aberration.
Africans themselves speak of a ‘politics of the belly’ – anexpression that refers not only to the necessities of survival butalso to a complex array of cultural representations, notably thoseof the ‘invisible’ world of sorcery. The ‘politics of the belly’attests to a distinctively African trajectory of power that we needto understand as part of a long-term historical development.
While acknowledging the insights of Western social scientists fromWeber to Foucault, Bayart never loses sight of the realities ofAfrican politics and social life and he is careful to allow Africanvoices – from the ‘small boy’ in the street to the ‘big men’ in thepresidential palaces – to speak for themselves.
This new edition of Bayart’s classic book includes a newintroduction on Africa in the world today.
This book has established itself as an indispensable text on thestate and politics in Africa. It also provides a nuanced reading ofwhat we have come to call ‘development’ and opens the way for amore general reflection on the invention of politics in African andAsian societies.Used Book in Good Condition
(as of Nov 16,2018 13:01:35 UTC – Details)
This book tracks the dramatic outcomes of the federal government’s growing involvement in higher education between World War I and the 1970s, and the conservative backlash against that involvement from the 1980s onward. Using cutting-edge analysis, Christopher Loss recovers higher education’s central importance to the larger social and political history of the United States in the twentieth century, and chronicles its transformation into a key mediating institution between citizens and the state.
Framed around the three major federal higher education policies of the twentieth century–the 1944 GI Bill, the 1958 National Defense Education Act, and the 1965 Higher Education Act–the book charts the federal government’s various efforts to deploy education to ready citizens for the national, bureaucratized, and increasingly global world in which they lived. Loss details the myriad ways in which academic leaders and students shaped, and were shaped by, the state’s shifting political agenda as it moved from a preoccupation with economic security during the Great Depression, to national security during World War II and the Cold War, to securing the rights of African Americans, women, and other previously marginalized groups during the 1960s and ’70s. Along the way, Loss reappraises the origins of higher education’s current-day diversity regime, the growth of identity group politics, and the privatization of citizenship at the close of the twentieth century.
At a time when people’s faith in government and higher education is being sorely tested, this book sheds new light on the close relations between American higher education and politics.
(as of Nov 13,2018 12:52:04 UTC – Details)
William Reno provides a powerful, scholarly yet shocking account of the inner workings of an African state. He focuses upon the ties between foreign firms and African rulers in Sierra Leone, where politicians and warlords use private networks that exploit relationships with international businesses to buttress their wealth and so extend their powers of patronage. This permits them to expand the reach of their governments in unorthodox ways, but in the process they undermine the bureaucracty of their own states. Dr Reno suggests that as the post-colonial state is eroded there is a return to the enclave economies and private armies that characterised the pre-colonial and colonial arrangements between European businessmen or administrators and some African political figures.