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  • Author: Natalie Masuoka
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Explanations for American voting behavior and attitudes have taken on a curious frame since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, such that there have been growing claims that race is no longer central to American politics. Obama’s election was labeled evidence of a new “post-racial” America. Then, when Donald Trump was elected in 2016, public narratives emphasized the role of social class by pointing to the voting bloc of white, working-class, and rural voters who had helped decide the outcome of the election. Zoltan L. Hajnal’s Dangerously Divided joins an important collection of recent academic work that directly challenges the argument about the reduced role of race in American politics. Hajnal does not sugarcoat his position: “A key aspect of this story is not just that race matters but also that it eclipses the other important dividing lines in American society” (p. 13). Race has always been a core feature of American politics, and it is present even in the constitutional Framers’ debates over the structure of government. The interpretation that recent events indicate a reduced role of race discounts the historical centrality that race has always played in American government. Hajnal offers empirical evidence and an unambiguous argument that race continues to direct most patterns in American politics.
  • Topic: Politics, Race, Elections, Book Review, Political Science, Class
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jamie Monogan
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The importance of political geography is likely to see renewed attention amid the redistricting cycle following the 2020 census and the controversies that new constituency maps are likely to bring. Many argue that gerrymandering in the United States is a key cause of electoral polarization and the observation that Democrats often are legislatively underrepresented relative to their aggregate vote shares. Jonathan Rodden convincingly shows that although gerrymandering may be a factor at the margins, the primary cause of these patterns is an urban-rural political divide that causes a political geography problem for Democrats. Rodden makes this case by showing historically how party platforms and constituencies evolved and illustrating the implications for political geography. This historical tracing of the parties speaks to how the battle between Republicans and Democrats came to be a culture war. This starts with the Democrats’ historical position as the party of laborers. Since factories were concentrated in cities, Democratic politicians who wanted to maintain their seats had to adopt positions that were appealing to growing portions of urban populations, taking progressive positions on social issues in addition to representing the interests of laborers. As the economy has shifted, the Democrats’ urban coalition has remained, with Republicans finding appeal in rural and exurban areas. The United States is not alone in this phenomenon. Rodden shows that nations such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia—all of which also conduct single-member plurality elections— have also seen left-of-center parties become urban parties with similar geographic patterns in constituencies.
  • Topic: Elections, Book Review, Political Science, Urban, Rural, Cities
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Robert Jervis
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Robert Jervis speculates about the likely foreign policy that a Democratic administration will follow if its candidate wins in November. He argues that President Donald Trump will have left a difficult legacy and his successor will have to simultaneously rebuild trust and instructions while also utilizing the leverage that Trump has generated.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Elections, Political Science, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Dawn Langan Teele
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: David A. Bateman’s new book explores nearly all of the crucial questions concerning democracy and inclusion that we are grappling with today, from the very broad—how do the ways in which we think about the origins of our nation inform the welcoming or hostile attitudes we assume in relation to immigrants and outsiders?—to the very narrow—do requirements that voters present physical documents verifying their identity reduce the electoral participation of minority groups? In answering these questions, Bateman offers a detailed portrait of the political machinations that result in electoral reforms, describing elites’ efforts to blur lines between expediency and morality and the circumstances that led conservative parties (the same that today seek to abolish laws that give special status to protected classes of people) to work hard to establish and maintain legal provisions that awarded different rights to different groups. Fundamentally, Bateman explains why steps toward inclusive democratic institutions are often accompanied by steps back, which leave us uncertain of our accomplishments and anxious about our future. Remarkably, though, Disenfranchising Democracy considers these familiar dynamics and dilemmas not in the contemporary world but in the rather distant past, drawing on a wealth of archival sources to analyze the timing of electoral reforms, the emergence and ossification of party- based patterns of support for franchise reform, and the political ideas of would-be reformers and resisters in three of the world’s first semidemocratic countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.
  • Topic: History, Elections, Democracy, Book Review, Political Science
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Marek Steedman, Iliyan Iliev, Marcus Coleman, Allan McBride
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Marek Steedman, Iliyan Iliev, Marcus Coleman, and Allan McBride analyze the 2010 New Orleans mayoral election. They find that racial, economic, and partisan context affected voting behavior. They argue that analytical approaches that account for the effects of social context on political behavior are important to understanding urban politics.
  • Topic: Economics, Race, Elections, Political Science, Urban
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Kenneth Wink
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Kenneth A. Wink compares and contrasts a number of U.S. presidential election forecasting models and finds that some perform better than others. He argues that some systematic factors have an impact in every election regardless of the characteristics of the candidates, the effectiveness of the campaigns, and the events that occur in a particular election year.
  • Topic: Government, Elections, Political Science, Quantitative
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America