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A landmark dissenting opinion arguing against the death penalty. Does the death penalty violate the Constitution? In Against the Death Penalty, Justice Stephen Breyer argues that it does; that it is carried out unfairly and inconsistently and, thus, violates the ban on "cruel and unusual punishments" specified by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. “Today’s administration of the death penalty,” Breyer writes, “involves three fundamental constitutional defects: (1) serious unreliability, (2) arbitrariness in application, and (3) unconscionably long delays that undermine the death penalty’s penological purpose. Perhaps as a result, (4) most places within the United States have abandoned its use.” This volume contains Breyer's dissent in the case of Glossip v. Gross, which involved an unsuccessful challenge to Oklahoma's use of a lethal-injection drug because it might cause severe pain. Justice Breyer's legal citations have been edited to make them understandable to a general audience, but the text retains the full force of his powerful argument that the time has come for the Supreme Court to revisit the constitutionality of the death penalty. Breyer was joined in his dissent from the bench by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Their passionate argument has been cited by many legal experts including fellow Justice Antonin Scalia—as signaling an eventual Court ruling striking down the death penalty. A similar dissent in 1963 by Breyer's mentor, Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, helped set the stage for a later ruling, imposing what turned out to be a four-year moratorium on executions.
Strategy and Tactics for Social Innovation
While governments around the world struggle to maintain service levels amid fiscal crises, social innovators are improving social outcomes for citizens by changing the system from within. In Agents of Change, three cutting-edge thinkers and entrepreneurs present case studies of social innovation that have led to significant social change. Drawing on original empirical research in the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands, they examine how ordinary people accomplished extraordinary results.
Sanderijn Cels, Jorrit de Jong, and Frans Nauta offer lively illustrations and insightful interpretations of how innovators, social entrepreneurs, and change agents are dealing with powerful opponents, the burdens of bureaucracy, and the challenge of securing resources and support. This book will appeal to anyone who is intrigued by imaginative, cross-boundary thinking and transformative change. It will be of particular interest to those who want to know how exactly innovators pull it off. With practitioners, scholars, and students of public policy and management in mind, the authors dissect the strategies and tactics that social innovators employ to navigate the risky waters of their institutional environments.
Contents Part 1: Introduction: Chess Masters and Acrobats 1. Strategy and Tactics
2. Crafting the Case: The Art of Making a Start
3. Prompting Progress: The Art of Making Things Happen
4. Managing Meaning: The Art of Making Sense
Part 2: Front-Line Innovations 5. Under the Radar: Medical Informatics in Japan
6. Relentless Incrementalism: Financial Literacy Training for Newcomers in Canada
7. Join the Club! Alzheimer Cafés in the Netherlands
8. Just a Tool? Implementing the Vulnerability Index in New Orleans
Part 3: Innovations in Governance 9. The Sun Kings: Solar Energy in Germany
10. Change on Steroids: Public Education in New Orleans
11. The Value of Values: Higher Education in Virginia
12. A Window of Opportunity: Institutional Reform in Denmark
Conclusion: Innovating Strategically
The Learning Curve
Aid to promote democracy abroad has emerged as a major growth industry in recent years. Not only the United States but many other Western countries, international institutions, and private foundations today use aid to support democratic transitions in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Though extensive in scope, these activities remain little understood outside the realm of specialists. Debates among policymakers over democracy promotion oscillate between unhelpful poles of extreme skepticism and unrealistic boosterism, while the vast majority of citizens in aid-providing countries have little awareness of the democracy-building efforts their governments sponsor. Aiding Democracy Abroad is the first independent, comprehensive assessment of this important new field. Drawing on extensive field research and years of hands-on experience, Thomas Carothers examines democracy-aid programs relating to elections, political parties, governmental reform, rule of law, civil society, independent media, labor unions, decentralization, and other elements of what he describes as "the democracy template" that policymakers and aid officials apply around the world. Steering a careful path between the inflated claims of aid advocates and the exaggerated criticisms of their opponents, Carothers takes a hard look at what such programs achieve and how they can be improved.
How America Lost the Third World
In Alliance Curse, Hilton Root illustrates that recent U.S. foreign policy is too often misguided, resulting in misdirected foreign aid and alliances that stunt political and economic development among partner regimes, leaving America on the wrong side of change. Many alliances with third world dictators, ostensibly of mutual benefit, reduce incentives to govern for prosperity and produce instead political and social instability and economic failure. Yet again, in the war on terror and in the name of preserving global stability, America is backing authoritarian regimes that practice repression and plunder. It is as if the cold war never ended. While espousing freedom and democracy, the U.S. contradicts itself by aiding governments that do not share those values. In addition to undercutting its own stated goal of promoting freedom, America makes the developing world even more wary of its intentions. Yes, the democracy we preach arouses aspirations and attracts immigrants, but those same individuals become our sternest critics; having learned to admire American values, they end up deploring U.S. policies toward their own countries. Long-term U.S. security is jeopardized by a legacy of resentment and distrust. A lliance Curse proposes an analytical foundation for national security that challenges long-held assumptions about foreign affairs. It questions the wisdom of diplomacy that depends on questionable linkages or outdated suppositions. The end of the Soviet Union did not portend the demise of communism, for example. Democracy and socialism are not incompatible systems. Promoting democracy by linking it with free trade risks overemphasizing the latter goal at the expense of the former. The growing tendency to play China against India in an effort to retain American global supremacy will hamper relations with both an intolerable situation in today's interdependent world. Root buttresses his analysis with case studies of American foreign policy toward developing countries (e.g., Vietnam), efforts at state building, and nations growing in importance, such as China. He concludes with a series of recommendations designed to close the gap between security and economic development.
Engaging a Rising China in the Twenty-First Century
The emergence of the People's Republic of China on the world scene constitutes the most significant event in world politics since the end of World War II. As the world's predominant political, economic, and military power, the United States faces a particularly significant challenge in responding to China's rising power and influence, especially in Asia.
Offering a fresh perspective on current and future U.S. policy toward China, Michael Swaine examines the basic interests and beliefs behind U.S.-China relations, recent U.S. and Chinese policy practices in seven key areas, and future trends most likely to affect U.S. policy. American leaders, he concludes, must reexamine certain basic assumptions and approaches regarding America's position in the Western Pacific, integrate China policy more effectively into a broader Asian strategy, and recalibrate the U.S. balance between cooperative engagement and deterrence toward Beijing.
Changing Politics and Demographics in the Mountain West
The Mountain West Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah has become the new swing region in American politics. All signs point to these states, especially Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, being crucial in the 2012 election. Unfortunately, the rise of this region has been underreported in the media, and many political observers have only the most superficial understanding of the profound economic, political, and social changes that continue to reshape the Mountain West. America's New Swing Region is the remedy.
Led by bestselling author and political analyst Ruy Teixeira, a talented group of scholars assembled by the Brookings Mountain West program (housed at the University of NevadaLas Vegas) presents the facts and the narrative necessary for understanding what is happening in this region and why it is so important.
Contents 1. Introduction and Overview
2. America's New Swing Region: The Political Demography and Geography of the Mountain West
3. Metropolitan Voting Patterns in the Mountain West: The New and Old Political Heartlands
4. Hispanics, Race, and the Changing Political Landscape of the United States Mountain West
5. The Political Attitudes of the Millennial Generation in the Mountain West
6. The Mountain West Today: A Regional Survey
7. Reapportionment and Redistricting in the Mountain West
Contributors include Karlyn Bowman (American Enterprise Institute), David Damore(University of NevadaLas Vegas (UNLV), William Frey (Brookings Institution), Scott Keeter (Pew Research Center), Robert E. Lang (Brookings, UNLV, and the Lincy Institute), Tom Sanchez (Virginia Tech University), and Ruy Teixeira (Century Foundation and the Center for American Progress).
From Adams to Clinton
The Constitution states that "no title of nobility shall be granted by the United States," yet it seems political nobility is as American as apple pie.
America was founded in rebellion against nobility and inherited status. Yet from the start, dynastic families have been conspicuous in national politics. The Adamses. The Lodges. The Tafts. The Roosevelts. The Kennedys. And today the Bushes and the Clintons.
Longtime presidential historian Stephen Hess offers an encyclopedic tour of the families that have loomed large over America's political history.
Starting with John Adams, who served as the young nation's first vice president and earned the nickname "His Rotundity," Hess paints the portraits of the men and women who, by coincidence, connivance, or sheer sense of duty, have made up America's political elite. There are the well-known dynasties such as the Roosevelts and the Kennedys, and the names that live on only in history books, such as the Bayards (six generations of U.S. senators) and the Breckinridges (a vice president, two senators, and six representatives).
Hess fills the pages of America's Political Dynasties with anecdotes and personality-filled stories of the families who have given the United States more than a fair share of its presidents, senators, governors, ambassadors, and cabinet members.
This book also tells us the stories of the Bushes and what looks to be a political dynasty in waiting, the Clintons. Emblematic of America's growing diversity, Hess also examines how women, along with ethnic and racial minorities, have joined the ranks of dynastic political families.
The Formulation and Implementation of Contemporary Health Policy
American Federalism in Practice is an original and important contribution to our understanding of contemporary health policy. It also illustrates how contentious public policy is debated, formulated, and implemented in today's overheated political environment.
Health care reform is perhaps the most divisive public policy issue facing the United States today. Michael Doonan provides a unique perspective on health policy in explaining how intergovernmental relations shape public policy. He tracks federal-state relations through the creation, formulation, and implementation of three of the most important health policy initiatives since the Great Society: the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), both passed by the U.S. Congress, and the Massachusetts health care reform program as it was developed and implemented under federal government waiver authority. He applies lessons learned from these cases to implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
"Health policymaking is entangled in a complex web of shared, overlapping, and/or competing power relationships among different levels of government," the author notes. Understanding federal-state interactions, the ways in which they vary, and the reasons for such variation is essential to grasping the ultimate impact of federalism on programs and policy. Doonan reveals how federalism can shift as the sausage of public policy is made while providing a new framework for comprehending one of the most polarizing debates of our time.
Roles and Contributions
Foundations play an essential part in the philanthropic activity that defines so much of American life. No other nation provides its foundations with so much autonomy and freedom of action as does the United States. Liberated both from the daily discipline of the market and from direct control by government, American foundations understandably attract great attention. As David Hammack and Helmut Anheier note in this volume, "Americans have criticized foundations for... their alleged conservatism, liberalism, elitism, radicalism, devotion to religious tradition, hostility to religion in short, for commitments to causes whose significance can be measured, in part, by the controversies they provoke. Americans have also criticized foundations for ineffectiveness and even foolishness."
Their size alone conveys some sense of the significance of American foundations, whose assets amounted to over $530 billion in 2008 despite a dramatic decline of almost 22 percent in the previous year. And in 2008 foundation grants totaled over $45 billion. But what roles have foundations actually played over time, and what distinctive roles do they fill today? How have they shaped American society, how much difference do they make? What roles are foundations likely to play in the future?
This comprehensive volume, the product of a three-year project supported by the Aspen Institute's program on the Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy, provides the most thorough effort ever to assess the impact and significance of the nation's large foundations. In it, leading researchers explore how foundations have shaped or failed to shape each of the key fields of foundation work.
American Foundations takes the reader on a wide-ranging tour, evaluating foundation efforts in education, scientific and medical research, health care, social welfare, international relations, arts and culture, religion, and social change.
Continuity and Change Over Ten Presidential Elections
From party polarization, elections, and internal party politics, to the evolution of the U.S. presidency, John S. Jackson's new book has something for everyone interested in American politics. Beginning with a discussion of the creation of the U.S. government to the formation of today's political powerhouses, Jackson provides a narrative sweep of American party history like none other.
Unique to this book is a detailed breakdown of the evolution of political parties from 1832 to the current era. Jackson explains how the reform era came to be, as well as how it produced the polarized party era we have today. In doing so, he guides the reader to an appreciation of where U.S. party politics originated and the aspirations of those who helped create the current system.
Jackson also examines the internal mechanisms and personalities of the Democratic and Republican parties. He compares multiple presidential elections, thus telling a broader story of the unfolding of today's party polarization and gridlock. He also explores the theoretical meaning of the changes observed in the parties from the responsible party model perspective.
The themes of continuity and change are set in the context of group-think versus rational decisionmaking. Specific focus is given to political elites who are sophisticated about politics and who make strategic decisions, but are also bound by their humanity and occasionally fail to see the right deci-sion due to their own personal biases.
This book will be particularly useful for those who want to explore polarization, the responsible parties model, the rational actor model, and anyone who wants to better understand elections, party politics, and the evolution of the presidency.