Politics

Homeland Security's Extreme Makeover

Homeland Security's Extreme Makeover
The Christian Science Monitor, October 12

Light, P.C.
10/12/2005

As the Department of Homeland Security proceeds with its own recovery from hurricane Katrina, Americans have to wonder what, if anything, can be done to make sure the nation is ready for catastrophes such as earthquakes and terrorist attacks that come without warning.

'Forever Worthy of the Saving': Lincoln and a More Moral Union

'Forever Worthy of the Saving': Lincoln and a More Moral Union
Lincoln's American Dream Edited by in Joseph Fornieri & Kenneth Deutsch. Potomac Books.

Kersh, R.
01/01/2005

Countering the claim that there is nothing new to be said about the 16th US president, political scientists Deutsch (State U. of New York-Geneseo) and Fornieri (Rochester Institute of Technology) introduce 33 diverse perspectives on his views and legacy. Lincoln scholars and political commentators examine such still-relevant themes as race, equality, the Constitution, executive power, war crimes, religion, and Federal vs. state rights. The last essay assumes the Lincolnian position on current debates over multiculturalism and abortion.

Obesity, Courts, and the New Politics of Public Health

Obesity, Courts, and the New Politics of Public Health
Journal of Health Politics, Policy, & Law 2005, Volume 30 Issue 5.

Kersh, R.
01/01/2005

Health care politics are changing. They increasingly focus not on avowedly public projects (such as building the health care infrastructure) but on regulating private behavior. Examples include tobacco, obesity, abortion, drug abuse, the right to die, and even a patient's relationship with his or her managed care organization. Regulating private behavior introduces a distinctive policy process; it alters the way we introduce (or frame) political issues and shifts many important decisions from the legislatures to the courts. In this article, we illustrate the politics of private regulation by following a dramatic case, obesity, through the political process. We describe how obesity evolved from a private matter to a political issue. We then assess how different political institutions have responded and conclude that courts will continue to take the leading role.

Rethinking Periodization? APD & the Macro-History of the United States

Rethinking Periodization? APD & the Macro-History of the United States
Polity 2005, Volume 37, Number 4.

Kersh, R.
01/01/2005

Dividing American history into discrete periods dates to the first European colonists in North America, several of whom variously declared their region or colony to represent a "new beginning" a "new land of Canaan," a New England, and so forth: "in the New World is born a new history," as one early sermonizer had it. (1) Soon thereafter clerics and political leaders (often the same people) lamented their fellows' fall from grace; the dichotomy of golden age and descent into depravity, of Awakening and backsliding, has been an American motif ever since. Eventually, the sweep of U.S. history was sorted on a chronological, rather than theological or eschatological, basis. For well over a century political historians have in the main hewn to a familiar temporal script.

The European Union through an American Prism

The European Union through an American Prism
The State of the European Union, Vol. 7: With US or Against US? Edited by Nicolas Jabko & Craig Parsons. Oxford University Press.

Kersh, R.
01/01/2005

The USA is deeply implicated in European dreams of a more perfect union. This chapter investigates three aspects of the European-American nexus. First, it focuses on the striking gap between politics and administration in contemporary Europe, and reflects on the implications for democracy. Second, it examines recent tensions between the USA and European governments, arguing that the source goes far deeper than the bare-knuckles diplomacy of the current Bush Administration. Finally, it examines the early history of US national unity as a model for European efforts.

State Political Culture and Welfare Reform

State Political Culture and Welfare Reform
Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 32, no. 2 (May 2004)

Mead, L.
05/01/2004

I investigate the link between the general features of state governments and their ability to reform welfare. The best indicator of governments’ characteristics is Elazar’s political cultures. I define what successful welfare reform means, drawing on implementation research and experience. My criteria stress process, the avoidance of political and administrative problems. I then test the link between the Elazar cultures and successful reform using recent case studies of state implementation of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Elazar’s “moralistic” states perform best, and the association holds, even controlling for other influences. Results depend, however, on how welfare reform is defined.

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