The Unsustainable American State

  • Filename: the-unsustainable-american-state.
  • ISBN: 0199736812
  • Release Date: 2009-10-02
  • Number of pages: 360
  • Author: Lawrence Jacobs
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press



The complexity of the American economy and polity has grown at an explosive rate in our era of globalization. Yet as the 2008 financial crisis revealed, the evolution of the American state has not proceeded apace. The crisis exposed the system's manifold political and economic dysfunctionalities. Featuring a cast of leading scholars working at the intersection of political science and American history, The Unsustainable American State is a historically informed account of the American state's development from the nineteenth century to the present. It focuses in particular on the state-produced inequalities and administrative incoherence that became so apparent in the post-1970s era. Collectively, the book offers an unsettling account of the growth of racial and economic inequality, the ossification of the state, the gradual erosion of democracy, and the problems deriving from imperial overreach. Utilizing the framework of sustainability, a concept that is currently informing some of the best work on governance and development, the contributors show how the USA's current trajectory does not imply an impending collapse, but rather a gradual erosion of capacity and legitimacy. That is a more appropriate theoretical framework, they contend, because for all of its manifest flaws, the American state is durable. That durability, however, does not preclude a long relative decline.

Obama at the Crossroads

  • Filename: obama-at-the-crossroads.
  • ISBN: 9780199942787
  • Release Date: 2012-05-02
  • Number of pages: 208
  • Author: Lawrence R. Jacobs
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press



The 2010 election serves as a bookend to one of the remarkable political periods in recent U.S. history. Amidst a profound economic crisis, Americans elected an African American to the presidency and massive Democratic majorities to Congress. Beginning in 2009, the President and Congress put forward a sweeping agenda to both address the economic crisis and enact progressive policies that liberals had been advocating for decades. Within a year and a half, they would pass health care reform and financial reform alongside a stimulus package of nearly a trillion dollars. Democrats also rescued the auto industry via a partial government takeover and expanded the Bush administration's incipient program for saving the banking sector by pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into it. Finally, the Obama administration dramatically increased our commitment in Afghanistan while simultaneously winding down our presence in Iraq. In Obama at the Crossroads, eminent political scientists Desmond King and Larry Jacobs have gathered some of the best scholars in American politics to take stock of this extraordinary period. Covering the financial crisis, health care reform, racial politics, foreign policy, the nature of Obama's leadership, and the relationship between the administration's agenda and broader progressive goals, this will serve as a comprehensive overview of the key issues facing the Obama administration as it entered office.

Beyond Discrimination

  • Filename: beyond-discrimination.
  • ISBN: 9781610448178
  • Release Date: 2013-06-30
  • Number of pages: 376
  • Author: Fredrick C. Harris
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation



Nearly a half century after the civil rights movement, racial inequality remains a defining feature of American life. Along a wide range of social and economic dimensions, African Americans consistently lag behind whites. This troubling divide has persisted even as many of the obvious barriers to equality, such as state-sanctioned segregation and overt racial hostility, have markedly declined. How then can we explain the stubborn persistence of racial inequality? In Beyond Discrimination: Racial Inequality in a Post-Racist Era, a diverse group of scholars provides a more precise understanding of when and how racial inequality can occur without its most common antecedents, prejudice and discrimination. Beyond Discrimination focuses on the often hidden political, economic and historical mechanisms that now sustain the black-white divide in America. The first set of chapters examines the historical legacies that have shaped contemporary race relations. Desmond King reviews the civil rights movement to pinpoint why racial inequality became an especially salient issue in American politics. He argues that while the civil rights protests led the federal government to enforce certain political rights, such as the right to vote, addressing racial inequities in housing, education, and income never became a national priority. The volume then considers the impact of racial attitudes in American society and institutions. Phillip Goff outlines promising new collaborations between police departments and social scientists that will improve the measurement of racial bias in policing. The book finally focuses on the structural processes that perpetuate racial inequality. Devin Fergus discusses an obscure set of tax and insurance policies that, without being overtly racially drawn, penalizes residents of minority neighborhoods and imposes an economic handicap on poor blacks and Latinos. Naa Oyo Kwate shows how apparently neutral and apolitical market forces concentrate fast food and alcohol advertising in minority urban neighborhoods to the detriment of the health of the community. As it addresses the most pressing arenas of racial inequality, from education and employment to criminal justice and health, Beyond Discrimination exposes the unequal consequences of the ordinary workings of American society. It offers promising pathways for future research on the growing complexity of race relations in the United States.

American Politics A Very Short Introduction

  • Filename: american-politics-a-very-short-introduction.
  • ISBN: 9780199912117
  • Release Date: 2013-02-11
  • Number of pages: 152
  • Author: Richard M. Valelly
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press



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 Emerging American Garrison State

  • Filename: the-emerging-american-garrison-state.
  • ISBN: 9781137093653
  • Release Date: 2012-10-30
  • Number of pages: 106
  • Author: M. Esman
  • Publisher: Springer



This book describes and analyzes the emergence of the American global empire and the role of the garrison state in protecting the threatened homeland and defending the declining imperium.

The American Liberal Tradition Reconsidered

  • Filename: the-american-liberal-tradition-reconsidered.
  • ISBN: STANFORD:36105215352266
  • Release Date: 2010
  • Number of pages: 285
  • Author: Mark Hulliung
  • Publisher:



Eight prominent scholars consider whether Louis Hartz's interpretation of liberalism in his classic 1955 book should be repudiated or updated, and whether a study of America as a "liberal society" is still a rewarding undertaking.

Fed Power

  • Filename: fed-power.
  • ISBN: 9780199388967
  • Release Date: 2016-03-10
  • Number of pages: 240
  • Author: Lawrence R. Jacobs
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press



"Fed Power reveals how America's central bank undermined democratic accountability and widened economic inequality. It traces the Fed's historic rise to unparalleled power and capacity on domestic policy and its unilateral decisions during the 2008-9 financial crisis to leverage half of the country's net worth to the benefit of finance"--

The Unsustainable Presidency

  • Filename: the-unsustainable-presidency.
  • ISBN: 1137371811
  • Release Date: 2014-12-17
  • Number of pages: 216
  • Author: William F. Grover
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan



The Unsustainable Presidency develops a structural theory of the office by challenging and redefining the twin imperatives upon which the modern chief executive was constructed: unlimited economic growth and national security through the expansion of empire. Neither goal is sustainable in a world of global climate change and the waning of US military supremacy. Thus the modern presidency is an unsustainable office that as currently constituted is incapable of offering solutions to the problems confronting America and the world. The book's distinctive contributions center on building a critique of all leading theories of the presidency; forging an analysis of economic growth and national security policies as pursued in the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama; and pointing a way out of the catastrophic bind that confronts the Twenty-First Century president.

Democracy Against Itself Sustaining an Unsustainable Idea

  • Filename: democracy-against-itself-sustaining-an-unsustainable-idea.
  • ISBN: 9780748681891
  • Release Date: 2014-07-31
  • Number of pages: 192
  • Author: Mark Chou
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press



By their very nature, all democracies have the potential to destroy themselves. But this fact is too rarely documented by acolytles of the system. In the decades since Joseph Goebbels, then Reich Minister of Propaganda, reminded the world that it 'will always remain one of the best jokes of democracy, that it gave its deadly enemies the means by which it was destroyed', democrats have quickly forgotten just how precarious a political framework it can be. Using the collapse of democracy in ancient Athens and the Weimar Republic, as well as the uncertain fate of democratic rule in the United States and China today as illustrative examples, Mark Chou examines the conditions and characteristics of democracy that make it prone to self-destruct. In drawing out the political lessons from these past collapses, he explains how a democracy can, simply by being democratic, sow the seeds of its own destruction.

The Cost benefit State

  • Filename: the-cost-benefit-state.
  • ISBN: 1590310543
  • Release Date: 2002
  • Number of pages: 199
  • Author: Cass R. Sunstein
  • Publisher: American Bar Association



This book discusses the current topic of Federal Government regulations increasingly assessed by asking whether the benefits of the regulation justifies the cost of the regulation.

The State of the American Empire

  • Filename: the-state-of-the-american-empire.
  • ISBN: 9781134037544
  • Release Date: 2013-10-31
  • Number of pages: 136
  • Author: Stephen Burman
  • Publisher: Routledge



How did acting begin? What is its history, and what have the great thinkers on acting said about the art and craft of performance? In this single-volume survey of the history of acting, Jean Benedetti traces the evolution of the theories of the actor's craft drawing extensively on extracts from key texts, many of which are unavailable for the student today. Beginning with the classical conceptions of acting as rhetoric and oratory, as exemplified in the writing of Aristotle, Cicero and others, The Art of the Actor progresses to examine ideas of acting in Shakespeare's time right through to the present day. Along the way, Benedetti considers the contribution and theories of key figures such as Diderot, Stanislavski, Meyerhold, Brecht, Artaud and Grotowski, providing a clear and concise explanation of their work illustrated by extracts and summaries of their writings. Some source materials appear in the volume for the first time in English. The Art of the Actor will be the essential history of acting for all students and actors interested in the great tradition of performance, both as craft and as art.

The Development of American Finance

  • Filename: the-development-of-american-finance.
  • ISBN: 9781139501958
  • Release Date: 2011-09-30
  • Number of pages:
  • Author: Martijn Konings
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press



Since the 1960s, scholars and other commentators have frequently announced the imminent decline of American financial power: excessive speculation and debt are believed to have undermined the long-term basis of a stable US-led financial order. But the American financial system has repeatedly shown itself to be more resilient than such assessments suggest. This book argues that there is considerable coherence to American finance: far from being a house of cards, it is a proper edifice, built on institutional foundations with points of both strength and weakness. The book examines these foundations through a historical account of their construction: it shows how institutional transformations in the late nineteenth century created a distinctive infrastructure of financial relations and proceeds to trace the contradiction-ridden expansion of this system during the twentieth century as well as its institutional consolidation during the neoliberal era. It concludes with a discussion of the forces of instability that hit at the start of the twenty-first century.

Anti American Terrorism and the Middle East

  • Filename: anti-american-terrorism-and-the-middle-east.
  • ISBN: 0195176596
  • Release Date: 2004-06-10
  • Number of pages: 408
  • Author: Barry Rubin
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press



After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a stunned public asked: How could this happen? Why did the attackers do what they did? What did they hope to accomplish? This wasn't the first battle in a conflict that has included bombings of U.S. embassies and planes, the Iran hostage crisis, and kidnappings or shootings of American citizens. This unique volume sets out to answer these questions using the unfiltered words of the terrorists themselves. Over many decades, radical forces in the Middle East have changed and evolved, yet their basic outlook and anti-Western views have remained remarkably consistent. Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin have assembled nearly one hundred key documents, charting the evolution of radical Middle East movements, their anti-Americanism, and Western policy response. The buildup to the battle between a world superpower and Middle East revolutionaries is brought dramatically to life. Among the documents included are the charters of such organizations as Hizballah, Hamas, and World Islamic Front; speeches by Syrian president Hafiz al-Asad and former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein; al-Qa'ida recruitment materials; and terrorist training manuals. The book also shows and analyzes the often conflicting and deeply conflicted responses to September 11 by journalists, clerics, and activists in the Arab world. Supplemented by an annotated chronology, a glossary of terms, and sections that put each selection in context, this comprehensive reference serves not only as essential historical background to the ongoing aftermath of the September 11 attacks, but more generally as an invaluable framework for understanding a long-term, continuing conflict that has caused many crises for the United States.

Lament for America

  • Filename: lament-for-america.
  • ISBN: 9781442601918
  • Release Date: 2010
  • Number of pages: 227
  • Author: Earl H. Fry
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press



"This book is bold, controversial, and thoroughly stimulating."---Charles Doran, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of International Relations, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) --

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