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  • 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
  • Author: William G. Howell
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: American wars waged by American presidents have come at such great cost. Repeatedly, our commanders - in - chief have failed to deliver on their inflated promises when deploying troops abroad. The events of war regularly have overtaken even the most - meticulous planning, hemming in the military and frustrating civilian commanders. When choosing and then conducting wars, presidents have either ignored or misinterpreted historical precedents. Fixated on the prerequisites of victory, meanwhile, presidents have not planned adequately for the peace, and have then watched the unraveling of their wartime accomplishments acquired with so much blood and treasure.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Casey A. Klofstad
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Over the past half-century, Americans have withdrawn from numerous forms of civic participation, from voting, to voluntarism, and everything else in between. A standard explanation for this phenomenon is generational replacement; each generation since the World War II “Greatest Generation” has been less civically active. Henry Milner enters this dialogue by examining the coming-of-age “Internet Generation.” Using data sources from different countries, Milner argues that this generation is woefully inactive in politics. He worries that this high frequency of “political dropouts” leaves the Internet Generation unprepared to battle the political challenges they will face over their lifetimes.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: MARK A. SMITH
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: In his speech to the Republican National Convention in 1992, Patrick Buchanan seized the pulpit to proclaim that Americans were fighting an intense culture war. This was a struggle “for the soul of America," Buchanan declared, "as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself." Just a year earlier, sociologist James Davison Hunter had written of a culture war waged between those with orthodox and progressive worldviews. With one side believing in a fixed and transcendent authority, and the other invoking human reason as the guide to morality, conflict invariably engulfed a range of political issues. Considering the context of incendiary debates over public funding for the arts, the legality of abortion, civil rights for gays and lesbians, and teaching evolution in public school classrooms, Hunterʼs analysis seemed an accurate description of American politics in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Brian C. Rathbun
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: American society, it is now frequently stated, is more politically polarized than at any time in recent memory, and a prominent front in the ideological battle between left and right is foreign policy. Most notable is, of course, the war in Iraq, but divisions between Republicans and Democrats over the proper definition of the national interest have been a feature of the post-Cold War era since its inception. Democrats and the left direct most of their ire at the neoconservatives who, they argue, have masterminded America's grand strategy since the terrorist attacks of September 2001. This partisan conflict, a genuine ideological difference, has somewhat distracted from divisions within the right. Neoconservatives have also faced significant criticism from other factions within the Republican Party. Condemnation from both traditional conservatives and isolationists has been as strident and vicious as that of the left. This raises the question of whether there is any common set of fundamentals that defines the right's foreign policy in the United States, and if not, why these subgroups are considered to be on the same side of the political spectrum.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jerome Slater
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Can terrorism, defined to mean “the direct attack on innocents for political purposes,” ever be justified? Uwe Steinhoff, a political philosopher at Oxford University, argues that there are indeed some circumstances in which the answer may be yes. Much of his analysis focuses on traditional just-war theoryʼs prohibition of attacks on noncombatants, and what he considers to be its unconvincing equation of noncombatants with “innocents,” who by virtue of their innocence must be immune from attack, even in a defensive just war. In essence, his argument is that adult civilians who support an aggressive and unjust war carried out by their democratically elected government are not truly innocent. He has in mind Israelis and Americans, and I shall argue that this creates real problems in his argument
  • Topic: Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: America