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The $13 Trillion Question

How America Manages Its Debt

edited by David Wessel

The underexamined art and science of managing the federal government's huge debt.

Everyone talks about the size of the U.S. national debt, now at $13 trillion and climbing, but few talk about how the U.S. Treasury does the borrowing—even though it is one of the world's largest borrowers. Everyone from bond traders to the home-buying public is affected by the Treasury's decisions about whether to borrow short or long term and what types of bonds to sell to investors.

What is the best way for the Treasury to finance the government's huge debt? Harvard's Robin Greenwood, Sam Hanson, Joshua Rudolph, and Larry Summers argue that the Treasury could save taxpayers money and help the economy by borrowing more short term and less long term. They also argue that the Treasury and the Federal Reserve made a huge mistake in recent years by rowing in opposite directions: while the Fed was buying long-term bonds to push investors into other assets, the Treasury was doing the opposite—selling investors more long-term bonds.

This book includes responses from a variety of public and private sector experts on how the Treasury does its borrowing, some of whom have criticized the way the Treasury has been managing its borrowing.

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The 1728 Musin Rebellion

Politics and Plotting in Eighteenth-Century Korea

Andrew David Jackson

The 1728 Musin Rebellion: Politics and Plotting in Eighteenth-Century Korea provides the first comprehensive account in English of the Musin Rebellion, an attempt to overthrow King Yŏngjo (1694–1776; r. 1724–1776), and the largest rebellion of eighteenth-century Korea. The rebellion proved unsuccessful, but during three weeks of fighting the government lost control of over a dozen county seats and the rebels drew popular support from the inhabitants of three southern provinces. The revolt profoundly unsettled the early years of Yŏngjo's reign and had considerable influence on the subsequent course of factionalism. In this keenly reasoned study, Andrew David Jackson investigates the causes, development, suppression, legacy, and significance of the bloody Musin Rebellion.


The Musin Rebellion had its roots in the factional conflicts surrounding Yŏngjo's troubled succession to the throne. Jackson analyzes an aspect of the conflict previously neglected by researchers, namely how the rebels managed to create an armed rebellion. He argues that the rebellion should be understood in the context of other attempts on power by factional members that occurred over a hundred-year period leading up to 1728. By exploring the political and military context of the event, the book demonstrates that the Musin Rebellion was not driven by systemic breakdown, regionalism, or ideology, but was a failed attempt by political players to take control of the court. Central to the eruption of violence in 1728 was the intervention of key rebel plotters, several of whom were serving officials with access to state military resources. The book provides an in-depth view of factional politics in the Chosŏn court, and the final section deals with the rebel legacy, bringing to the fore issues about managing, forming, and directing the historical memory of the rebellion.

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The 31st Singapore Lecture

Angela Merkel

The Singapore Lecture Series was inaugurated in 1980 by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies with a founding endowment from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and augmented by generous donation in 1983 from Exxon Mobil Asia Pacific. The Singapore Lecture is designed to provide the opportunity for distinguished statesmen, scholars, and writers and other similarly highly qualified individuals specializing in banking and commerce, international economics and finance and philosophical and world strategic affairs to visit Singapore. The presence of such eminent personalities will allow Singaporeans, especially the younger executive and decision-makers in both the public and private sectors, to have the benefit of exposure to — through the Lecture, televised discussions, and private consultations - leaders of thought and knowledge in various fields, thereby enabling them to widen their experience and perspectives. On 2 June 2011, the 31st Singapore Lecture was delivered by Her Excellency Dr Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, under the distinguished Chairmanship of Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Minister for Manpower, Singapore.

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Aboriginal Canada Revisited

edited by Kerstin Knopf

Exploring a variety of topics—including health, politics, education, art, literature, media, and film—Aboriginal Canada Revisited draws a portrait of the current political and cultural position of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. While lauding improvements made in the past decades, the contributors draw attention to the systemic problems that continue to marginalize Aboriginal people within Canadian society. From the Introduction: “[This collection helps] to highlight areas where the colonial legacy still takes its toll, to acknowledge the manifold ways of Aboriginal cultural expression, and to demonstrate where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people are starting to find common ground.” Contributors include Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal scholars from Europe and Canada, including Marlene Atleo, University of Manitoba; Mansell Griffin, Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksihlkw, British Columbia; Robert Harding, University College of the Fraser Valley; Tricia Logan, University of Manitoba; Steffi Retzlaff, McMaster University; Siobhán Smith, University of British Columbia; Barbara Walberg, Confederation College.

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Academic and Entrepreneurial Research

Consequences of Diversity in Federal Evaluation Studies

As social action programs in health, education, and welfare have expanded, interest has grown in evaluating their implementation and effectiveness. Policymakers and social planners--at all levels of government and in the private sector--are currently confronted with the problem of evaluating the large number of human service programs that compete for available resources.

Academic and Entrepreneurial Research presents a systematic study of the expenditure of federal funds for evaluation research. It reviews federally-supported evaluations of programs, including evaluations of social change experiments and research-demonstration programs funded by the various executive departments of the federal government. Evaluation studies of these large-scale programs vary in scope, quality, and potential utility. Bernstein and Freeman examine all projects initiated during fiscal year 1970 in order to understand better the methods employed, the types of persons engaged in such research, and expectations regarding the utilization of findings.

The book provides data about "high" and "low" quality evaluation research and contains recommendations for restructuring the entire evaluation research enterprise in light of the findings.

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Accounting for Culture

Thinking Through Cultural Citizenship

Edited by Caroline Andrew, Monica Gattinger, M. Sharon Jeannotte and Will Straw

Many scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers in the cultural sector argue that Canadian cultural policy is at a crossroads: that the environment for cultural policy-making has evolved substantially and that traditional rationales for state intervention no longer apply. The concept of cultural citizenship is a relative newcomer to the cultural policy landscape, and offers a potentially compelling alternative rationale for government intervention in the cultural sector. Likewise, the articulation and use of cultural indicators and of governance concepts are also new arrivals, emerging as potentially powerful tools for policy and program development. Accounting for Culture is a unique collection of essays from leading Canadian and international scholars that critically examines cultural citizenship, cultural indicators, and governance in the context of evolving cultural practices and cultural policy-making. It will be of great interest to scholars of cultural policy, communications, cultural studies, and public administration alike.

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Accumulation in an African Periphery

A Theoretical Framework

The "Washington consensus" which ushered in neo-liberal policies in Africa is over. It was buried at the G20 meeting in London in early April, 2009. The world capitalist system is in shambles. The champions of capitalism in the global North are rewriting the rules of the game to save it. The crisis creates an opening for the global South, in particular Africa, to refuse to play the capitalist-imperialist game, whatever the rules. It is time to rethink and revisit the development direction and strategies on the continent. This is the central message of this intensely argued book. Issa Shivji demonstrates the need to go back to the basics of radical political economy and ask fundamental questions: who produces the society's surplus product, who appropriates and accumulates it and how is this done. What is the character of accumulation and what is the social agency of change? The book provides an alternative theoretical framework to help African researchers and intellectuals to understand their societies better and contribute towards changing them in the interest of the working people.

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Acting in Time on Energy Policy

foreword by David T. Ellwood. edited by Kelly Sims Gallagher

Energy policy is on everyone's mind these days. The U.S. presidential campaign focused on energy independence and exploration ("Drill, baby, drill!"), climate change, alternative fuels, even nuclear energy. But there is a serious problem endemic to America's energy challenges. Policymakers tend to do just enough to satisfy political demands but not enough to solve the real problems, and they wait too long to act. The resulting policies are overly reactive, enacted once damage is already done, and they are too often incomplete, incoherent, and ineffectual. Given the gravity of current economic, geopolitical, and environmental concerns, this is more unacceptable than ever. This important volume details this problem, making clear the unfortunate results of such short-sighted thinking, and it proposes measures to overcome this counterproductive tendency.

All of the contributors to Acting in Time on Energy Policy are affiliated with Harvard University and rank among America's pre-eminent energy policy analysts. They tackle important questions as they pertain to specific areas of energy policy: Why are these components of energy policy so important? How would "acting in time" —i.e. not waiting until politics demands action —make a difference? What should our policy actually be? We need to get energy policy right this time —Gallagher and her colleagues help lead the way.

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Activating Democracy in Brazil

Popular Participation, Social Justice, and Interlocking Institutions

Brian Wampler

In 1988, Brazil’s Constitution marked the formal establishment of a new democratic regime. In the ensuing two and a half decades, Brazilian citizens, civil society organizations, and public officials have undertaken the slow, arduous task of building new institutions to ensure that Brazilian citizens have access to rights that improve their quality of life, expand their voice and vote, change the distribution of public goods, and deepen the quality of democracy. Civil society activists and ordinary citizens now participate in a multitude of state-sanctioned institutions, including public policy management councils, public policy conferences, participatory budgeting programs, and legislative hearings. Activating Democracy in Brazil examines how the proliferation of democratic institutions in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has transformed the way in which citizens, CSOs, and political parties work together to change the existing state. According to Wampler, the 1988 Constitution marks the formal start of the participatory citizenship regime, but there has been tremendous variation in how citizens and public officials have carried it out. This book demonstrates that the variation results from the interplay of five factors: state formation, the development of civil society, government support for citizens’ use of their voice and vote, the degree of public resources available for spending on services and public goods, and the rules that regulate forms of participation, representation, and deliberation within participatory venues. By focusing on multiple democratic institutions over a twenty-year period, this book illustrates how the participatory citizenship regime generates political and social change.

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Activists in City Hall

The Progressive Response to the Reagan Era in Boston and Chicago

by Pierre Clavel

In 1983, Boston and Chicago elected progressive mayors with deep roots among community activists. Taking office as the Reagan administration was withdrawing federal aid from local governments, Boston's Raymond Flynn and Chicago's Harold Washington implemented major policies that would outlast them. More than reforming governments, they changed the substance of what the government was trying to do: above all, to effect a measure of redistribution of resources to the cities' poor and working classes and away from hollow goals of "growth" as measured by the accumulation of skyscrapers. In Boston, Flynn moderated an office development boom while securing millions of dollars for affordable housing. In Chicago, Washington implemented concrete measures to save manufacturing jobs, against the tide of national policy and trends.

Activists in City Hall examines how both mayors achieved their objectives by incorporating neighborhood activists as a new organizational force in devising, debating, implementing, and shaping policy. Based in extensive archival research enriched by details and insights gleaned from hours of interviews with key figures in each administration and each city's activist community, Pierre Clavel argues that key to the success of each mayor were numerous factors: productive contacts between city hall and neighborhood activists, strong social bases for their agendas, administrative innovations, and alternative visions of the city. Comparing the experiences of Boston and Chicago with those of other contemporary progressive cities-Hartford, Berkeley, Madison, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, Burlington, and San Francisco-Activists in City Hall provides a new account of progressive urban politics during the Reagan era and offers many valuable lessons for policymakers, city planners, and progressive political activists.

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