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Honest Numbers, Power, and Policymaking
Created in 1974, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has become one of the most influential forces in national policymaking. A critical component of our system of checks and balances, the CBO has given Congress the analytical capacity to challenge the president on budget issues while it protects the public interest, providing honest numbers about Congress's own budget proposals. The book discusses the CBO's role in larger budget policy and the more narrow "scoring" of individual legislation, such as its role in the 2009--2010 Obama health care reform. It also describes how the first director, Alice Rivlin, and seven successors managed to create and sustain a nonpartisan, highly credible agency in the middle of one of the most partisan institutions imaginable.
The Congressional Budget Office: Honest Numbers, Power, and Policy draws on interviews with high-level participants in the budget debates of the last 35 years to tell the story of the CBO. A combination of political history, economic history, and organizational development, The Congressional Budget Office offers an important, first book-length history of this influential agency.
Despite its crucial importance in U.S. history, the study of the constitutional system fell out of favor with many historians and history departments for several decades during the latter half of the twentieth century. The dawn of the twenty-first century, however, has borne witness to a new interdisciplinary interest among scholars in reviving this important dialogue in American history. This book represents some of the most innovative contributions to this dialogue by a new generation of historians and legal scholars. The essays presented in this volume offer new insights into constitutionalism, legal culture, and the political arena, together contributing to an “ongoing reconceptualization of the historical relationship between the Constitution and public policy.” In this volume of "Issues in Policy History," Julian Zelizer and Bruce Schulman bring together eleven essays from renowned scholars Mary Sarah Bilder, Donald T. Critchlow and Cynthia L. Stachecki, Christine Desan, Morton Keller, Ajay K. Mehrotra, David Quigley, John A. Thompson, Christopher Tomlins, and Michael Willrich. By applying new archival research to questions of policy history and embedding constitutional history in its political context, these scholars breathe new life into the study of public policy and reaffirm Woodrow Wilson’s conclusion that the Constitution’s “spirit is always the spirit of the age.”
Vol. 25 (2003) through current issue
After more than two decades of existence, Contemporary Southeast Asia (CSEA) has entered a new phase of specialization to reflect more directly the changing priorities of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) as well as to cater to an increasing demand among our subscribers for a focus on issues related to domestic politics, international affairs, and regional security. This primary emphasis on political developments, socioeconomic change and international relations is in keeping with the rapid advances in the field of strategic studies concerning not just Southeast Asia but, indeed, the larger Asia-Pacific environment. Contemporary Southeast Asia comprises up-to-date analyses of important trends and events as well as authoritative and original contributions from leading scholars and observers on matters of current interest. It is also the policy of the Editorial Committee of CSEA to produce special issues in order to focus attention either on particular national situations or on major strategic trends in both Southeast Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific region. Contemporary Southeast Asia is published three times a year, in April, August, and December.
Promoting International Biodiversity with Social Justice in the Twenty-first Century
How can the international conservation movement protect biological diversity, while at the same time safeguarding the rights and fulfilling the needs of people, particularly the poor? Contested Nature argues that to be successful in the long-term, social justice and biological conservation must go hand in hand. The protection of nature is a complex social enterprise, and much more a process of politics, and of human organization, than ecology. Although this political complexity is recognized by practitioners, it rarely enters into the problem analyses that inform conservation policy. Structured around conceptual chapters and supporting case studies that examine the politics of conservation in specific contexts, the book shows that pursuing social justice enhances biodiversity conservation rather than diminishing it, and that the fate of local peoples and that of conservation are completely intertwined.
Focusing the environmental debate on the principle of common commitment, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and eminent conservationist Terry L. Maple present A Contract with the Earth. They declare a need for bipartisan environmentalism—a new era of environmental stewardship with principles that they believe most Americans will share. While acknowledging that liberals and conservatives do not see eye to eye on many issues, Gingrich and Maple argue successfully that environmental stewardship is a mainstream value that transcends partisan politics. Their thoughtful approaches to our environmental challenges are based on three main premises: environmental leadership is integral to America's role in the world, technologically savvy environmental entrepreneurs can and should be the cornerstone of environmental solutions, and cooperation and incentives must be dramatically increased to achieve workable and broadly supported environmental solutions. Gingrich and Maple believe that most people—regardless of how they categorize themselves politically—are weary of the legal and political conflicts that prevent individuals and communities from realizing the benefits of environmental conservation. The foundation of the book—a ten-point Contract with the Earth—promotes ingenuity over rhetoric as the way forward.
Big Business in American Democracy from the Great Depression to the Great Recession
Public trust in corporations plummeted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, when “Lehman Brothers” and “General Motors” became dirty words for many Americans. In Corporate Dreams, James Hoopes argues that Americans still place too much faith in corporations and, especially, in the idea of “values-based leadership” favored by most CEOs. The danger of corporations, he suggests, lies not just in their economic power, but also in how their confused and undemocratic values are infecting Americans’ visions of good governance.Corporate Dreams proposes that Americans need to radically rethink their relationships with big business and the government. Rather than buying into the corporate notion of “values-based leadership,” we should view corporate leaders with the same healthy suspicion that our democratic political tradition teaches us to view our political leaders. Unfortunately, the trend is moving the other way. Corporate notions of leadership are invading our democratic political culture when it should be the reverse.To diagnose the cause and find a cure for our toxic attachment to corporate models of leadership, Hoopes goes back to the root of the problem, offering a comprehensive history of corporate culture in America, from the Great Depression to today’s Great Recession. Combining a historian’s careful eye with an insider’s perspective on the business world, this provocative volume tracks changes in government economic policy, changes in public attitudes toward big business, and changes in how corporate executives view themselves.Whether examining the rise of Leadership Development programs or recounting JFK’s Pyrrhic victory over U.S. Steel, Hoopes tells a compelling story of how America lost its way, ceding authority to the policies and values of corporate culture. But he also shows us how it’s not too late to return to our democratic ideals—and that it’s not too late to restore the American dream.
Same-Sex Relations and Americans' Definitions of Family
When state voters passed the California Marriage Protection Act (Proposition 8) in 2008, it restricted the definition of marriage to a legal union between a man and a woman. The act’s passage further agitated an already roiling national debate about whether American notions of family could or should expand to include, for example, same-sex marriage, unmarried cohabitation, and gay adoption. But how do Americans really define family? The first study to explore this largely overlooked question, Counted Out examines currents in public opinion to assess their policy implications and predict how Americans’ definitions of family may change in the future. Counted Out broadens the scope of previous studies by moving beyond efforts to understand how Americans view their own families to examine the way Americans characterize the concept of family in general. The book reports on and analyzes the results of the authors’ Constructing the Family Surveys (2003 and 2006), which asked more than 1,500 people to explain their stances on a broad range of issues, including gay marriage and adoption, single parenthood, the influence of biological and social factors in child development, religious ideology, and the legal rights of unmarried partners. Not surprisingly, the authors find that the standard bearer for public conceptions of family continues to be a married, heterosexual couple with children. More than half of Americans also consider same-sex couples with children as family, and from 2003 to 2006 the percentages of those who believe so increased significantly—up 6 percent for lesbian couples and 5 percent for gay couples. The presence of children in any living arrangement meets with a notable degree of public approval. Less than 30 percent of Americans view heterosexual cohabitating couples without children as family, while similar couples with children count as family for nearly 80 percent. Counted Out shows that for most Americans, however, the boundaries around what they define as family are becoming more malleable with time. Counted Out demonstrates that American definitions of family are becoming more expansive. Who counts as family has far-reaching implications for policy, including health insurance coverage, end-of-life decisions, estate rights, and child custody. Public opinion matters. As lawmakers consider the future of family policy, they will want to consider the evolution in American opinion represented in this groundbreaking book.
What Current Data Tell Us and Options for Improvement
U.S. government agencies compile a thorough set of statistics on populations defined by age, race, ethnicity, and marital status—but not by disability status. Therefore, working-age people with disabilities are often overlooked in discussions of the latest statistics on employment, income, poverty, and other measures of the status of a particular population. This book helps remedy this situation by providing a systematic review of what current statistics and data on working-age people with disabilities can and cannot tell us, and how the quality of the data can be improved to better inform policymakers, advocates, analysts, service providers, administrators, and others interested in this at-risk population.
New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918-1945
Stanonis looks at the importance of urban development, historic preservation, taxation strategies, and convention marketing to New Orleans' makeover and chronicles the city's efforts to domesticate its jazz scene, "democratize" Mardi Gras, and stereotype local blacks into docile, servile roles. He also looks at depictions of the city in literature and film and gauges the impact on New Orleans of white middle-class America's growing prosperity, mobility, leisure time, and tolerance of women in public spaces once considered off-limits.
Visitors go to New Orleans with expectations rooted in the city's "past": to revel with Mardi Gras maskers, soak up the romance of the French Quarter, and indulge in rich cuisine and hot music. Such a past has a basis in history, says Stanonis, but it has been carefully excised from its gritty context and scrubbed clean for mass consumption.
The Role of the States in Affordable Housing
New perspective on state-level housing policy, how its role has grown in relation to the federal role. With the ongoing recession and housing crisis, it has never been more important to understand the federal and state governments’ roles in affordable housing. The Creation of a Federal Partnership takes a fresh look at the history of national and state housing policy by examining the role played by state housing agencies since the 1970s. Establishing new ground in the field, this volume discusses how the relationship between the federal and state levels has evolved over time. The result, Margaret M. Brassil argues, is that the federal government’s broad policy guidelines allow states to better address their own social issues, an improvement for policy and ultimately for the people it serves.