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A City within a City Cover

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A City within a City

The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Todd E Robinson

A City within a City examines the civil rights movement in the North by concentrating on the struggles for equality in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Historian Todd Robinson studies the issues surrounding school integration and bureaucratic reforms as well as the role of black youth activism to detail the diversity of black resistance. He focuses on respectability within the African American community as a way of understanding how the movement was formed and held together. And he elucidates the oppositional role of northern conservatives regarding racial progress.
 
A City within a City cogently argues that the post-war political reform championed by local Republicans transformed the city's racial geography, creating a racialized "city within a city," featuring a system of "managerial racism" designed to keep blacks in declining inner-city areas. As Robinson indicates, this bold, provocative framework for understanding race relations in Grand Rapids has broader implications for illuminating the twentieth-century African American urban experience in secondary cities.

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Civil Disabilities

Citizenship, Membership, and Belonging

Edited by Nancy J. Hirschmann and Beth Linker

An estimated one billion people around the globe live with a disability; this number grows exponentially when family members, friends, and care providers are included. Various countries and international organizations have attempted to guard against discrimination and secure basic human rights for those whose lives are affected by disability. Yet despite such attempts many disabled persons in the United States and throughout the world still face exclusion from full citizenship and membership in their respective societies. They are regularly denied employment, housing, health care, access to buildings, and the right to move freely in public spaces. At base, such discrimination reflects a tacit yet pervasive assumption that disabled persons do not belong in society.

Civil Disabilities challenges such norms and practices, urging a reconceptualization of disability and citizenship to secure a rightful place for disabled persons in society. Essays from leading scholars in a diversity of fields offer critical perspectives on current citizenship studies, which still largely assume an ableist world. Placing historians in conversation with anthropologists, sociologists with literary critics, and musicologists with political scientists, this interdisciplinary volume presents a compelling case for reimagining citizenship that is more consistent, inclusive, and just, in both theory and practice. By placing disability front and center in academic and civic discourse, Civil Disabilities tests the very notion of citizenship and transforms our understanding of disability and belonging.

Contributors: Emily Abel, Douglas C. Baynton, Susan Burch, Allison C. Carey, Faye Ginsburg, Nancy J. Hirschmann, Hannah Joyner, Catherine Kudlick, Beth Linker, Alex Lubet, Rayna Rapp, Susan Schweik, Tobin Siebers, Lorella Terzi.

Civil Passions Cover

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Civil Passions

Moral Sentiment and Democratic Deliberation

Sharon R. Krause

Must we put passions aside when we deliberate about justice? Can we do so? The dominant views of deliberation rightly emphasize the importance of impartiality as a cornerstone of fair decision making, but they wrongly assume that impartiality means being disengaged and passionless. In Civil Passions, Sharon Krause argues that moral and political deliberation must incorporate passions, even as she insists on the value of impartiality. Drawing on resources ranging from Hume's theory of moral sentiment to recent findings in neuroscience, Civil Passions breaks new ground by providing a systematic account of how passions can generate an impartial standpoint that yields binding and compelling conclusions in politics. Krause shows that the path to genuinely impartial justice in the public sphere--and ultimately to social change and political reform--runs through moral sentiment properly construed. This new account of affective but impartial judgment calls for a politics of liberal rights and democratic contestation, and it requires us to reconceive the meaning of public reason, the nature of sound deliberation, and the authority of law. By illuminating how impartiality feels, Civil Passions offers not only a truer account of how we deliberate about justice, but one that promises to engage citizens more effectively in acting for justice.

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Civil Religion in Political Thought

Ronald Weed

The essays in this volume blend historical and philosophical reflection with concern for contemporary political problems. They show that the causes and motivations of civil religion are a permanent fixture of the human condition, though some of its manifestations and proximate causes have shifted in an age of multiculturalism, religious toleration, and secularization

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Civil Resistance

Comparative Perspectives on Nonviolent Struggle

Kurt Schock

In the past quarter century the world has witnessed dramatic social and political transformations, due in part to an upsurge in civil resistance. There have been significant uprisings around the globe, including the toppling of communist regimes in Eastern Europe, the Color Revolutions, the Arab Spring, protests against war and economic inequality, countless struggles against corruption, and demands for more equitable distribution of land. These actions have attracted substantial scholarly attention, reflected in the growth of literature on social movements and revolution as well as literature on nonviolent resistance. Until now, however, the two bodies of literature have largely developed in parallel—with relatively little acknowledgment of the existence of the other.

In this useful collection, an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars takes stock of the current state of the theoretical and empirical literature on civil resistance. Contributors analyze key processes of nonviolent struggle and identify both frictions and points of synthesis between the narrower literature on civil resistance and the broader literature on social movements and revolution. By doing so, Civil Resistance: Comparative Perspectives on Nonviolent Struggle pushes the boundaries of the study of civil resistance and generates social scientific knowledge that will be helpful for all scholars and activists concerned with democracy, human rights, and social justice.


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Civil Rights Advocacy on Behalf of the Poor

By Catherine M. Paden

Representation of the poor has never been the top priority for civil rights organizations, which exist to eradicate racially prejudiced and discriminatory practices and policy. Scholars have argued that the activities and ideologies of civil rights groups have functioned with a distinct middle-class bias since well before the 1960s civil rights movement. Additionally, all political organizations face disincentives to represent the poor—such advocacy is expensive and politically unpopular, and often involves trade-offs with other issues that are more central to organizations' missions.

In Civil Rights Advocacy on Behalf of the Poor, Catherine M. Paden examines five civil rights organizations and explores why they chose to represent the poor—specifically low-income African Americans—during six legislative periods considering welfare reform. Paden's archival research into groups such as NAACP, the Congress of Racial Equality, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and her extensive interviews with movement leaders and activists reveal that national organizations advocate on behalf of the poor when they have incentives to do so. Organizational decisions to represent the poor are sometimes strategic, sometimes based on an ideological commitment, and sometimes both. However, Paden points out that decisions are never purely ideological—groups are always aware of strategy and of their positions within their issue niche when they fix their priorities.

Civil Rights Advocacy on Behalf of the Poor also points to the critical role that radical organizations play in increasing representation in the U.S. political system. Paden maintains that radical groups matter not because their representation affects long-term policy change or is particularly effective in representing the interest of marginal groups. Rather, she argues, it is because they compete with more mainstream or conservative organizations for their constituencies.

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Civil Rights Crossroads

Nation, Community, and the Black Freedom Struggle

Steven F. Lawson

Over the past thirty years, Steven F. Lawson has established himself as one of the nation's leading historians of the black struggle for equality. Civil Rights Crossroads is an important collection of Lawson's writings about the civil rights movement that is essential reading for anyone concerned about the past, present, and future of race relations in America. Lawson examines the movement from a variety of perspectives -- local and national, political and social -- to offer penetrating insights into the civil rights movement and its influence on contemporary society.

Civil Rights Crossroads also illuminates the role of a broad array of civil rights activists, familiar and unfamiliar. Lawson describes the efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. and Lyndon Johnson to shape the direction of the struggle, as well as the extraordinary contributions of ordinary people like Fannie Lou Hamer, Harry T. Moore, Ruth Perry, Theodore Gibson, and many other unsung heroes of the most important social movement of the twentieth century. Lawson also examines the decades-long battle to achieve and expand the right of African Americans to vote and to implement the ballot as the cornerstone of attempts at political liberation.

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Civil Rights in the Gateway to the South

Louisville, Kentucky, 1945-1980

Tracy K'Meyer

Situated on the banks of the Ohio River, Louisville, Kentucky, represents a cultural and geographical intersection of North and South. Throughout its history, Louisville has simultaneously displayed northern and southern characteristics in its race relations. In their struggles against racial injustice in the mid-twentieth century, activists in Louisville crossed racial, economic, and political dividing lines to form a wide array of alliances not seen in other cities of its size. In Civil Rights in the Gateway to the South: Louisville, Kentucky, 1945–1980, noted historian Tracy E. K’Meyer provides the first comprehensive look at the distinctive elements of Louisville’s civil rights movement. K’Meyer frames her groundbreaking analysis by defining a border as a space where historical patterns and social concerns overlap. From this vantage point, she argues that broad coalitions of Louisvillians waged long-term, interconnected battles during the city’s civil rights movement. K’Meyer shows that Louisville’s border city dynamics influenced both its racial tensions and its citizens’ approaches to change. Unlike African Americans in southern cities, Louisville’s black citizens did not face entrenched restrictions against voting and other forms of civic engagement. Louisville schools were integrated relatively peacefully in 1956, long before their counterparts in the Deep South. However, the city bore the marks of Jim Crow segregation in public accommodations until the 1960s. Louisville joined other southern cities that were feeling the heat of racial tensions, primarily during open housing and busing conflicts (more commonly seen in the North) in the late 1960s and 1970s. In response to Louisville’s unique blend of racial problems, activists employed northern models of voter mobilization and lobbying, as well as methods of civil disobedience usually seen in the South. They crossed traditional barriers between the movements for racial and economic justice to unite in common action. Borrowing tactics from their neighbors to the north and south, Louisville citizens merged their concerns and consolidated their efforts to increase justice and fairness in their border city. By examining this unique convergence of activist methods, Civil Rights in the Gateway to the South provides a better understanding of the circumstances that unified the movement across regional boundaries.

Civil Rights in the Texas Borderlands Cover

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Civil Rights in the Texas Borderlands

Dr. Lawrence A. Nixon and Black Activism

Will Guzmán

In 1907, physician Lawrence A. Nixon fled the racial violence of central Texas to settle in the border town of El Paso. There he became a community and civil rights leader. His victories in two Supreme Court decisions paved the way for dismantling all-white political primaries across the South. Will Guzmán delves into Nixon's lifelong struggle against Jim Crow. Linking Nixon's activism to his independence from the white economy, support from the NAACP, and the man's own indefatigable courage, Guzmán also sheds light on Nixon's presence in symbolic and literal borderlands--as an educated professional in a time when few went to college, as an African American who made waves when most feared violent reprisal, and as someone living on the mythical American frontier as well as an international boundary. A powerful addition to the literature on African Americans in the Southwest, Civil Rights in the Texas Borderlands explores seldom-studied corners of the Black past and the civil rights movement.

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Clan Cleansing in Somalia

The Ruinous Legacy of 1991

By Lidwien Kapteijns

In 1991, certain political and military leaders in Somalia, wishing to gain exclusive control over the state, mobilized their followers to use terror—wounding, raping, and killing—to expel a vast number of Somalis from the capital city of Mogadishu and south-central and southern Somalia. Manipulating clan sentiment, they succeeded in turning ordinary civilians against neighbors, friends, and coworkers. Although this episode of organized communal violence is common knowledge among Somalis, its real nature has not been publicly acknowledged and has been ignored, concealed, or misrepresented in scholarly works and political memoirs—until now. Marshaling a vast amount of source material, including Somali poetry and survivor accounts, Clan Cleansing in Somalia analyzes this campaign of clan cleansing against the historical background of a violent and divisive military dictatorship, in the contemporary context of regime collapse, and in relationship to the rampant militia warfare that followed in its wake.

Clan Cleansing in Somalia also reflects on the relationship between history, truth, and postconflict reconstruction in Somalia. Documenting the organization and intent behind the campaign of clan cleansing, Lidwien Kapteijns traces the emergence of the hate narratives and code words that came to serve as rationales and triggers for the violence. However, it was not clans that killed, she insists, but people who killed in the name of clan. Kapteijns argues that the mutual forgiveness for which politicians often so lightly call is not a feasible proposition as long as the violent acts for which Somalis should forgive each other remain suppressed and undiscussed. Clan Cleansing in Somalia establishes that public acknowledgment of the ruinous turn to communal violence is indispensable to social and moral repair, and can provide a gateway for the critical memory work required from Somalis on all sides of this multifaceted conflict.

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