Description : In recent years, many Americans and more than a few political scientists have come to believe that democratic deliberation in Congress—whereby judgments are made on the merits of policies reflecting the interests and desires of American citizens—is more myth than reality. Rather, pressure from special interest groups, legislative bargaining, and the desire of incumbents to be reelected are thought to originate in American legislative politics. While not denying such influences, Joseph M. Bessette argues that the institutional framework created by the founding fathers continues to foster a government that is both democratic and deliberative, at least to some important degree. Drawing on original research, case studies of policymaking in Congress, and portraits of American lawmakers, Bessette demonstrates not only the limitations of nondeliberative explanations for how laws are made but also the continued vitality of genuine reasoning on the merits of public policy. Bessette discusses the contributions of the executive branch to policy deliberation, and looks at the controversial issue of the proper relationship of public opinion to policymaking. Informed by Bessette's nine years of public service in city and federal government, The Mild Voice of Reason offers important insights into the real workings of American democracy, articulates a set of standards by which to assess the workings of our governing institutions, and clarifies the forces that promote or inhibit the collective reasoning about common goals so necessary to the success of American democracy. "No doubt the best-publicized recent book-length work on Congress is columnist George Will's diatribe in praise of term limits in which the core of his complaint is that Congress does not deliberate in its decision-making. Readers who are inclined to share that fantasy would do well to consult the work of Joseph M. Bessette. He turns up massive amounts of material attesting to the centrality of deliberation in congressional life."—Nelson W. Polsby, Presidential Studies Quarterly
Description : What makes for a “good” legislature? In Heavy Lifting, Alan Rosenthal traveled to five states, interviewing and shadowing legislators to find out the answer. Through this engaging narrative, the author first establishes the most important aspects of American state legislatures--what they are and how they do their jobs--and then graduates to the book’s central thesis: Rosenthal argues that, on the whole, the American legislature must be evaluated on the basis of its processes, not its products. He breaks down the legislative process into three principal functions: representing, lawmaking, and balancing the executive, and covers each in turn in the remainder of the book.
Description : A century ago, Americans launched a period of civic renewal and political reform. Today, amid deep dissatisfaction with our major institutions, there are signs that a new movement may revive the spirit of the original Progressive Era. Peter Levine draws inspiration from the great Progressive leader Robert M. La Follete, Sr., and his circle, which included John Dewey, Jane Addams, and Louis Brandeis. He discusses the shortcomings of this group as well as their successes, but he argues that their ideal of a fair and deliberative democracy is right for our time.
Description : The Blackwell Guide to Social and Political Philosophy brings together a collection of newly commissioned essays which examine fundamental issues in social and political theory. Written by leading social and political philosophers, each essay provides a map to the history of the issue at hand and a judicious assessment of the main arguments that have been brought to bear upon that issue.
Description : Why, from the eighteenth century onwards, did some countries embark on a path of sustained economic growth, while others stagnated? This text looks at the kind of institutions that are required in order for change to take place, and Ringmar concludes that for sustained development to be possible, change must be institutionalized. Taking a global view, Ringmar investigates the implications of his conclusion on issues facing the developing world today.
Description : Political leadership has made a comeback. It was studied intensively not only by political scientists but also by political sociologists and psychologists, Sovietologists, political anthropologists, and by scholars in comparative and development studies from the 1940s to the 1970s. Thereafter, the field lost its way with the rise of structuralism, neo-institutionalism, and rational choice approaches to the study of politics, government, and governance. Recently, however, students of politics have returned to studying the role of individual leaders and the exercise of leadership to explain political outcomes. The list of topics is nigh endless: elections, conflict management, public policy, government popularity, development, governance networks, and regional integration. In the media age, leaders are presented and stage-managed—spun—as the solution to almost every social problem. Through the mass media and the Internet, citizens and professional observers follow the rise, impact, and fall of senior political officeholders at closer quarters than ever before. This Handbook encapsulates the resurgence by asking, where are we today? It orders the multidisciplinary field by identifying the distinct and distinctive contributions of the disciplines. It meets the urgent need to take stock. It brings together scholars from around the world, encouraging a comparative perspective, to provide a comprehensive coverage of all the major disciplines, methods, and regions. It showcases both the normative and empirical traditions in political leadership studies, and juxtaposes behavioural, institutional, and interpretive approaches. It covers formal, office-based as well as informal, emergent political leadership, and in both democratic and undemocratic polities.
Description : Reprint of the first edition. This a treatise on constitutional law as it relates to taxation. Its topics include "Limitations Upon State Taxation Growing out of the Relations of the State and Federal Government," "Taxation of Interstate Commerce," "Taxation of National Banks," "The Fourteenth Amendment, Due Process of Law in Tax Procedure," "Due Process of Law and the Public Purpose of Taxation," "Taxing Power of Congress," and the "Enforcement of Federal Limitations upon the Taxing Power. "The book deserves praise for originality, clearness, accuracy and utility.": The Green Bag 15 (1903) 201.