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  • Author: Michael Nelson
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Quick: how much older is Richard B. Cheney than George W. Bush? If your first instinct is to say anything greater than five years you will be wrong. The mistake would be forgivable. When Bush ran for president in 2000, his entire experience in government consisted of six years as governor of Texas. When he picked Cheney as his vice presidential running mate, he chose someone who had served as White House chief of staff, secretary of defense, and minority whip in the House of Representatives. "Green" was a word often used to describe Bush. Cheney, on the other hand, was "seasoned."
  • Author: John Krinsky
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: In Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, Valentin Volosinov (1973) posits that the generic conventions of reporting others' speech vary over time and place, and that these variations, if tracked, can reveal a great deal about changes in the ordering of social hierarchies. Sidney Tarrow's The Language of Contention, following Volosinov and his better‐known collaborator and mentor, Mikhail Bakhtin, argues that language-and in particular, keywords of social protest-are also indices of social change. Tarrow explicitly argues that "the symbols, mentalities, and narratives that actors employ can track real‐world changes in contentious politics" and "as new words for contention diffuse across social and territorial boundaries to new actors, such words can tell us how meanings change as the same words are used by different actors" (p. 5). Thus, Tarrow takes on Volosinov and Bakhtin's historical and "dialogical" view of language, seeing it as situated, multivocal, and changing, pulled variously by "centripetal" and "centrifugal" forces of structured social interaction.
  • Author: Meena Bose
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Studies of American foreign policy wrestle with identifying grand themes that illustrate patterns in choices and policymaking, while also recognizing differences that may be unique to an event or result from specific circumstances that often are not replicated. Cast very broadly, the contrast reveals an underlying difference in conceptual approach by political scientists versus historians. As Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman writes, historians “emphasize contingency, complexity, and the unanticipated … Few principles apply all the time” (p. 5). Her monumental work, American Umpire, does both: It argues persuasively that history shows the United States acting as an “umpire” rather than an “empire” in world affairs, and then applies this concept to American foreign policy from the eighteenth century to the present.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Terry M. Moe Free
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Jeffrey Henig's new book is about the changing governance of the public schools and why it matters. Henig's central theme is that local, single‐purpose governance-a hallmark that has made education "exceptional" by comparison to other realms of public policy-has been giving way to general-purpose governance, sometimes through mayoral control, but mainly through a shift to state and national decision arenas. With this ongoing shift in governance, he argues, education is being plunged into the same governance mix with other public policies, and this change has consequences for power, politics, and reform.
  • Topic: Politics, Reform
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Mark A. Graber
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Grand theories of the First Amendment suffer from problems of exclusion and inclusion. The broad principles that justify excluding some human activity from constitutional protection inevitably bleed in ways that support excluding ac­tivity that virtually all people think is covered by the First Amendment. The broad principles that justify granting First Amendment protection to activities inevitably bleed in ways that support granting protection to human activities that hardly anyone thinks merit special constitutional protection. The Adversary First Amendment: Free Expression and the Foundations of American Democracy effectively highlights how many standard justifications for exclud­ing commercial advertising from constitutional protection threaten to under­mine constitutional protection for consensual core speech rights. Martin Redish less successfully demonstrates that his adversarial theory of democracy would not entail constitutional protection for a wide variety of activity that government may consensually regulate.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Robert Y. Shapiro
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: This is a study of "media effects" on American public opinion. It begins with a clear‐headed review of the debate about the "hypodermic model" of strong persuasive effects versus "minimal effects," of the shift of interest to agenda setting, priming, and framing effects. What it misses, however, is what we know from regular media reports of survey results and the history, for example, in Benjamin Page and Robert Shapiro's The Rational Public (1992), that aggregate public opinion changes for understandable reasons, even in cases of short‐term fluctuations, in a manner related to new information typically found in the news media. John Zaller emphasizes in The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion (1992) that this news impact is most likely to occur when it reflects elite‐level agreement, in contrast to ideological or partisan disagreement that would lead the opinions of Democrats and Republicans in the mass public to diverge. Though originating from leaders, these are media effects that have changed in recent years in the sense that there has been increasing partisan divergence among the public across a full array of policy issues. This divergence has followed ideological polarization at the elite level since the 1970s, and it is the motivation for Kevin Arceneaux and Martin Johnson's excellent book.
  • Author: Matthew J. Dickinson
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: In his study of the leadership style exhibited by six presidents, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln, Fred Greenstein applies the analytic scheme he first unveiled in The Presidential Difference to explain how the decisions that these men made in the critical period 1846–1861 led to the Civil War. Greenstein argues that their actions, beginning with Polk's ill-fated decision to provoke a war with Mexico, formed a funnel of causality that increasingly limited the options of their successors when dealing with the slavery issue, so that when Lincoln took office, it was impossible to keep the Union together short of military conflict. In addition to addressing a significant period in American history, Greenstein's choice of topic has the added virtue of shining a spotlight on a group of presidents who, with the exception of Lincoln, tend to be overlooked in the history books. To be sure, this is not a revisionist study; Greenstein's analysis is unlikely to change anyone's assessment of these six presidents in terms of their historical rankings (although I admit to coming away with a slightly greater appreciation for Millard Fillmore's presidency).
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: America