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Analytical Perspectives on Politics

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Analytical Perspectives on Politics

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Candidates, Congress, and the American Democracy

Linda L. Fowler

In Candidates, Congress, and the American Democracy Linda L. Fowler provides a wide-ranging examination of candidacy as a source of both stability and change in U.S. politics. An expert on political candidates, she brings a novel perspective to the topic by emphasizing that candidates are necessary instruments for popular control of government. Fowler maintains that the ambitions of individual candidates are essential to the functioning of the nation's constitutional system and are important factors in its political history. She traces the influence of candidates in fostering electoral competition, promoting the representation of such newly mobilized groups of citizens as women and ethnic minorities, and transforming political institutions and parties. Despite the importance of candidacy, the institution is poorly understood because both scholars and voters tend to limit their focus on candidates to the narrow context of election campaigns. The author argues that a broader view reveals how candidates are linked to a variety of trends and contradictions in contemporary U.S. politics.

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Games, Information, and Politics

Applying Game Theoretic Models to Political Science

Scott Gates and Brian D. Humes

To study the strategic interaction of individuals, we can use game theory. Despite the long history shared by game theory and political science, many political scientists remain unaware of the exciting game theoretic techniques that have been developed over the years. As a result they use overly simple games to illustrate complex processes. Games, Information, and Politics is written for political scientists who have an interest in game theory but really do not understand how it can be used to improve our understanding of politics. To address this problem, Gates and Humes write for scholars who have little or no training in formal theory and demonstrate how game theoretic analysis can be applied to politics. They apply game theoretic models to three subfields of political science: American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. They demonstrate how game theory can be applied to each of these subfields by drawing from three distinct pieces of research. By drawing on examples from current research projects the authors use real research problems--not hypothetical questions--to develop their discussion of various techniques and to demonstrate how to apply game theoretic models to help answer important political questions. Emphasizing the process of applying game theory, Gates and Humes clear up some common misperceptions about game theory and show how it can be used to improve our understanding of politics. Games, Information, and Politics is written for scholars interested in understanding how game theory is used to model strategic interactions. It will appeal to sociologists and economists as well as political scientists. Scott Gates is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University. Brian D. Humes is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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Paradigms and Sand Castles

Theory Building and Research Design in Comparative Politics

Barbara Geddes

Paradigms and Sand Castles demonstrates the relationship between thoughtful research design and the collection of persuasive evidence in support of theory. It teaches the craft of research through interesting and carefully selected examples from the field of comparative development studies. Barbara Geddes is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Political Psychology in International Relations

Rose McDermott

This outstanding book is the first to decisively define the relationship between political psychology and international relations. Written in a style accessible to undergraduates as well as specialists, McDermott's book makes an eloquent case for the importance of psychology to our understanding of global politics. In the wake of September 11, the American public has been besieged with claims that politics is driven by personality. Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Kim Chong-Il, Ayatollah Khameinei-America's political rogues' gallery is populated by individuals whose need for recognition supposedly drives their actions on the world stage. How does personality actually drive politics? And how is personality, in turn, formed by political environment? Political Psychology in International Relations provides students and scholars with the analytical tools they need to answer these pressing questions, and to assess their implications for policy in a real and sometimes dangerous world.

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Power Without Force

The Political Capacity of Nation-States

Robert W. Jackman

Decolonization after World War II led to a significant global increase in the number of states. Each new nation was born with high expectations. But these hopes were soon eroded by the ineffectiveness and capriciousness of many of the new regimes. In many states military juntas have become the order of the day, and even where juntas have not taken power, political differences have repeatedly degenerated into violent exchanges that do not readily lend themselves to political settlement. Not only the new states have suffered from these problems; indeed, political solutions to conflict have become depressingly conspicuous by their absence. Against this background, the last decade has seen a resurgence of interest in evaluating the political capacity or strength of modern nation-states. In Power without Force, Robert Jackman argues that political capacity has two broad components: organizational age and legitimacy. Thus, it is essential to focus both on institutions conceived in organizational terms and the amount of compliance and consent that leaders are able to engender. The emphasis on each reflects the view that political life centers on the exercise of power, and that, unlike physical force, power is intrinsically relational. Although all states have he capability to inflict physical sanctions, their ability to exercise power is the key element of their political capacity. Drawing on a wide range of studies from political science, sociology, and political economy, Power without Force redirects attention to the central issues of political capacity. By stressing that effective conflict resolution must be addressed in political terms, this volume underscores perennial issues of governance and politics that form the heart of comparative politics and political sociology.

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Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy, Revised Edition

Ole R. Holsti

Thoroughly revised edition of an essential text, incorporating a wealth of new material on American foreign policy since 9/11. The second edition of this concise masterwork includes vast amounts of new material on American foreign policy in the post-9/11 era, including the war in Iraq. Holsti explores the poorly understood role of public opinion in international affairs, looking at Americans' capacity to make informed judgments about issues far removed from their personal experience. "Impressively comprehensive and current: an excellent revision of a book by the #1 authority on the topic. This new edition will remain at the forefront for consultation and textbook adoption on the topic for years to come." -Bruce Russett, Yale University "I thought the first edition was the best single treatment of the subject-so, apparently, did the student who 'borrowed' my copy-and this is a worthy successor. The new edition almost flawlessly accomplishes the goal Holsti sets for himself: an update of his landmark book in light of emerging research and the dramatically changed state of the world that confronts U.S. foreign policy." -Randy Siverson, University of California, Davis "For those who are curious about the impact of 9/11 on American public opinion, for serious students of the relationship between foreign policy and public opinion, for anyone who wants to understand contemporary American opinion about the United States' place in the world, and for citizens tired of conventional wisdom about a difficult and important subject, Holsti's study is not only interesting and topical, it is essential." -Maxine Isaacs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University "In an age of almost weekly polling on foreign policy, Holsti's insights are indispensable. He delivers double tour de force in this new edition, providing his own current and historical research along with a comprehensive synthesis of the existing literature. His analysis of the relationships between public opinion and foreign policy since 9/11 will prove particularly valuable for students and scholars alike." -Richard Eichenberg, Tufts University "Holsti combines a vast knowledge of political history and a mastery of the relevant scholarship with up-to-date empirical data to address the question of what role the general public can play in shaping foreign policy. This revised edition is a remarkable achievement." -Shoon Murray, School of International Service, American University

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The Puzzle of Judicial Behavior

Lawrence Baum

From local trial courts to the United States Supreme Court, judges' decisions affect the fates of individual litigants and the fate of the nation as a whole. Scholars have long discussed and debated explanations of judicial behavior. This book examines the major issues in the debates over how best to understand judicial behavior and assesses what we actually know about how judges decide cases. It concludes that we are far from understanding why judges choose the positions they take in court. Lawrence Baum considers three issues in examining judicial behavior. First, the author considers the balance between the judges' interest in the outcome of particular cases and their interest in other goals such as personal popularity and lighter workloads. Second, Baum considers the relative importance of good law and good policy as bases for judges' choices. Finally Baum looks at the extent to which judges act strategically, choosing their own positions after taking into account the positions that their fellow judges and other policy makers might adopt. Baum argues that the evidence on each of these issues is inconclusive and that there remains considerable room for debate about the sources of judges' decisions. Baum concludes that this lack of resolution is not the result of weaknesses in the scholarship but from the difficulty in explaining human behavior. He makes a plea for diversity in research. This book will be of interest to political scientists and scholars in law and courts as well as attorneys who are interested in understanding judges as decision makers and who want to understand what we can learn from scholarly research about judicial behavior. Lawrence Baum is Professor of Political Science, Ohio State University.

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A Unified Theory of Collective Action and Social Change

Luis Fernando Medina

The notion that groups form and act in ways that respond to objective, external costs and benefits has long been the key to accounting for social change processes driven by collective action. Yet this same notion seems to fall apart when we try to explain how collectivities emerge out of the choices of individuals. This book overcomes that dilemma by offering an analysis of collective action that, while rooted in individual decision making, also brings out the way in which objective costs and benefits can impede or foster social coordination. The resulting approach enables us to address the causes and consequences of collective action with the help of the tools of modern economic theory. To illustrate this, the book applies the tools it develops to the study of specific collective action problems such as clientelism, focusing on its connections with economic development and political redistribution; and wage bargaining, showing its economic determinants and its relevance for the political economy of the welfare state. "Medina's study is a great step forward in the analytics of collective action. He shows the inadequacies of currently standard models and shows that straightforward revisions reconcile rational-choice and structural viewpoints. It will influence all future work." —Kenneth Arrow, Stanford University "Olson, Schelling, and now Medina. A Unified Theory deepens our understanding of collective action and contributes to the foundations of our field. A major work." —Robert H. Bates, Harvard University "Medina thinks that the main problem of social action is not whether or not to cooperate but how to do it. To this end he has produced an imaginative approach to analyzing strategic coordination problems that produces plausible predictions in a range of circumstances." —John Ferejohn, Stanford University Luis Fernando Medina is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia.

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