Politics

Financing the State: Campaign Finance and Its Discontents

Financing the State: Campaign Finance and Its Discontents
Critical Review 2003, Volume 15.

Kersh, R.
01/01/2003

Among the principal targets of criticism in recent American politics has been the alleged corruption, inequity, overall cost, and regulatory complexity of the U.S. campaign-finance system. Scholarship has not borne out any of these criticisms, and, if anything, empirical investigation suggests that the current system does a fair job in addressing�as much as this is possible under modern conditions�the problem of public ignorance in mass democracies.

Is Southeast Asia the Second Front?

Is Southeast Asia the Second Front?
Foreign Affairs, July/August 2002

Gershman, J.
07/01/2002

With U.S. troops on the ground in the Philippines and closer military ties developing to other countries in the region, Washington is taking the war on terror to Southeast Asia. But a military approach to the region's problems would be a deadly mistake: it could weaken local democracies and turn neutral forces into new enemies.

Government's Greatest Achievements: From Civil Rights to Homeland Security

Government's Greatest Achievements: From Civil Rights to Homeland Security
Brookings Institution,

Light, P.C.
01/01/2002

Government's Greatest Achievement's: From Civil Rights to Homeland Security was designed to understand what the federal government has most actively endeavored to do since World War II, identify the top achievements among its goals, and use its agenda from the past to weigh its most pressing priorities for the future.

Our tottering confirmation process.

Our tottering confirmation process.
Public Interest, Spring2002 Issue 147, p61.

Light, P.C.
01/01/2002

Examines the presidential appointment process in the U.S. Background on the confirmation process; Analysis of the confirmed appointees of several presidents; Cause of delays in the confirmation process; Role of the Senate in the confirmation process.

The Well-Informed Lobbyist: Information and Interest-Group Lobbying

The Well-Informed Lobbyist: Information and Interest-Group Lobbying
Interest Group Politics, 6th edition CQ Press,

Kersh, R.
01/01/2002

Interest Group Politics presents a broad spectrum of scholarship on interest groups past and present. In a time of partisan parity, when control of Congress is always within reach of the minority party at the next election, interest groups have every incentive to keep the pressure on. And they do. But the imbalance of influence that tilts toward moneyed interests is one of the cornerstones of the political system.

What does this mean for equal representation? In nineteen chapters, noted political scientists explore the role of money, technology, grassroots lobbying, issue advocacy advertising, and much more in interest group influence. Students will learn how the National Rifle Association has become one of the most effective lobbying groups in America, what opportunities the openness of the American political process has offered ethnic groups both within and outside the United States, how the role of interest groups in elections has changed (including 527's), what effect religious organizations had in the 2004 elections, and how interest groups affect Supreme Court nominations.

Welfare Reform in Wisconsin: The Local Role

Welfare Reform in Wisconsin: The Local Role
Administration and Society, vol. 33, no. 5 (November 2001)

Mead, L.
11/01/2001

The article suggests a new model for the implementation of social programs based on welfare reform in Wisconsin. Existing models tend to be top-down or bottom-up, but in Wisconsin the leading counties and the state government worked interactively to transform welfare. Existing accounts of the Wisconsin reform stress state-level leadership, but key features such as high participation in work programs and an emphasis on "work first" rather than training were developed first in Kenosha and several other counties and then adopted statewide. The article also dramatizes the critical role of strong program management and organization.

State Autonomy & Civil Society: The Lobbyist Connection

State Autonomy & Civil Society: The Lobbyist Connection
Critical Review 2001, Volume 14, Number 2.

Kersh, R.
01/01/2001

The much-noted decline of state autonomy theories owes partly to external challenges to state power, such as globalization, supranational regimes, and the like. But advanced democratic states have also long been seen as threatened from within, especially by powerful private interest groups.The extent of private-interest influence on policy making depends in important part on corporate lobbyists, a group whose activities are chronicled in this essay. Lobbyists exercise considerably more autonomy from the private clients who hire them than has previously been acknowledged. This portrait ultimately suggests that the national state and civil society may be mutually supportive rather than strictly separate spheres.

Perpetuating Power: How Mexican Presidents Were Chosen

Perpetuating Power: How Mexican Presidents Were Chosen
The New Press

Castaneda, J.
12/01/2000

Jorge Castañeda, who served as Mexico’s foreign minister from 2000 to 2003, has been both an insider and an outsider in Mexico’s political system. In Perpetuating Power, he lays bare the often mystifying workings of power in Mexico, offering readers what the New York Times Book Review called “an unusually revealing explication of the inner workings of three decades of presidential succession.”

To outside observers, Mexico stood out for its odd mixture of democratic pretension with autocratic inevitability: there were always elections, but everyone knew the next president would be the candidate of the aptly named Party of the Institutional Revolution, which governed Mexico throughout most of the last century.

In six penetrating essays combined with interviews by Castañeda with each of the living Mexican ex-presidents, Perpetuating Power provides a remarkably candid account of the political machinery behind Mexican presidential politics and a view, startling to political outsiders, of how power really operates.

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