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Counterbalancing Economic Individualism
Economic individualism and market-based values dominate today's policymaking and public management circlesùoften at the expense of the common good. In his new book, Barry Bozeman demonstrates the continuing need for public interest theory in government. P
Most of us think of punishment as an ugly display of power. But punishment also tells us something about the ideals and aspirations of a people and their government. How a state punishes reveals whether or not it is confident in its own legitimacy and sovereignty. Punishment and Political Order examines the questions raised by the state’s exercise of punitive power—from what it is about human psychology that desires sanction and order to how the state can administer pain while calling for justice. Keally McBride's book demonstrates punishment's place at the core of political administration and the stated ideals of the polity. "From start to finish this is a terrific, engaging book. McBride offers a fascinating perspective on punishment, calling attention to its utility in understanding political regimes and their ideals. She succeeds in reminding us of the centrality of punishment in political theory and, at the same time, in providing a framework for understanding contemporary events. I know of no other book that does as much to make the subject of punishment so compelling." —Austin Sarat, Amherst College "Punishment and Political Order will be welcome reading for anyone interested in understanding law in society, punishment and political spectacle, or governing through crime control. This is a clear, accessible, and persuasive examination of punishment—as rhetoric and reality. Arguing that punishment is a complex product of the social contract, this book demonstrates the ways in which understanding the symbolic power and violence of the law provides analytical tools for examining the ideological function of prison labor today, as well as the crosscutting and contingent connections between language and identity, legitimation and violence, sovereignty and agency more generally." —Bill Lyons, Director, Center for Conflict Management, University of Akron "Philosophical explorations of punishment have often stopped with a theory of responsibility. McBride's book moves well beyond this. It shows that the problem of punishment is a central issue for any coherent theory of the state, and thus that punishment is at the heart of political theory. This is a stunning achievement." —Malcolm M. Feeley, University of California at Berkeley Keally McBride is Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco.
Rethinking the Microfoundations of Social Science
In Rawlsian Political Analysis: Rethinking the Microfoundations of Social Science, Paul Clements develops a new, morally grounded model of political and social analysis as a critique of and improvement on both neoclassical economics and rational choice theory. What if practical reason is based not only on interests and ideas of the good, as these theories have it, but also on principles and sentiments of right? The answer, Clements argues, requires a radical reorientation of social science from the idea of interests to the idea of social justice.
Recent philosophical debates have moved beyond proclamations of the “death of philosophy” and the “death of the subject” to consider more positively how philosophy can be practiced and the human self can be conceptualized today. Inspired by the writings of Nietzsche, Bergson, and Deleuze, rapid changes related to globalization, and advances in evolutionary biology and neuroscience, these debates have generated a renewed focus on time as an active force of change and novelty. Rejecting simple linear models of time, these strands of thought have provided creative alternatives to a traditional reliance on fixed boundaries and stable identities that has proven unable to grapple with the intense speeds and complexities of contemporary life. In this book, Nathan Widder contributes to these debates, but also goes significantly beyond them. Holding that current writings remain too focused on time’s movement, he examines more fundamentally time’s structure and its structural ungrounding, releasing time completely from its traditional subordination to movement and space. Doing this enables him to reformulate entirely the terms through which time and change are understood, leading to a radical alteration of our understandings of power, resistance, language, and the unconscious, and taking post-identity political philosophy and ethics in a new direction. Eighteen independent but interlinked reflections engage with ancient philosophy, mathematical theory, dialectics, psychoanalysis, archaeology, and genealogy. The book’s broad coverage and novel rereadings of key figures—including Aristotle, Bergson, Nietzsche, Foucault, and Deleuze—make this a unique rethinking of the nature of pluralism, multiplicity, and politics.
The American Founders, Gendered Language, and Patriarchal Politics
What role did manhood play in early American Politics? In A Republic of Men, Mark E. Kann argues that the American founders aspired to create a "republic of men" but feared that "disorderly men" threatened its birth, health, and longevity. Kann demonstrates how hegemonic norms of manhood-exemplified by "the Family Man," for instance--were deployed as a means of stigmatizing unworthy men, rewarding responsible men with citizenship, and empowering exceptional men with positions of leadership and authority, while excluding women from public life.
Kann suggests that the founders committed themselves in theory to the democratic proposition that all men were created free and equal and could not be governed without their own consent, but that they in no way believed that "all men" could be trusted with equal liberty, equal citizenship, or equal authority. The founders developed a "grammar of manhood" to address some difficult questions about public order. Were America's disorderly men qualified for citizenship? Were they likely to recognize manly leaders, consent to their authority, and defer to their wisdom? A Republic of Men compellingly analyzes the ways in which the founders used a rhetoric of manhood to stabilize American politics.
The Literary Turn in Political Thought and Analysis
What is the proper role for literature in political thought and analysis? Can reading novels make us better citizens of a liberal democratic society? What is the status of argument and reason in an academy dominated by readings and redescriptions? Simon Stow identifies a potentially detrimental literary turn in the contemporary academy, arguing that the study of literature and the study of politics have become somewhat indistinguishable enterprises. Drawing on the work of Judith Butler, Terry Eagleton, Martha Nussbaum, and Richard Rorty, he examines the problematic claims, circular reasoning, and misplaced assumptions that underpin this disciplinary merging, and seeks to defend political philosophy and social science against the rival claims of literature and literary criticism as sources of political insight and construction.
A Methodological Guide
Experts from a range of disciplines offer practical advice for conducting social science research in racial and ethnic minority populations. Readers will learn how to choose appropriate methods—longitudinal studies, national surveys, quantitative analysis, personal interviews, and other qualitative approaches—and how best to employ them for research on specific demographic groups. The volume opens with a brief introduction to the difficulty of defining a population and designing a research program, then moves to illustrative examples drawn from the contributors' own studies of blacks in the United States, the Caribbean, and South Africa. Case studies cover research on the media, mental health, churches, work, marital relationships, education, and family roles.
Constancy and Change in Public Administration
The prevailing notion that the best government is achieved through principles of management and business practices is hardly newùit echoes the early twentieth-century gospel of efficiency challenged by Dwight Waldo in 1948 in his pathbreaking book, The Ad
Reflections on 9/11 and the War on Terror
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, did symbolic as well as literal damage. A trace of this cultural shock echoes in the American idiom 9/11: a bare name-date conveying both a trauma (the unspeakable happened then) and a claim on our knowledge. In the first of the two interlinked essays making up The Rhetoric of Terror, Marc Redfield proposes the notion of virtual traumato describe the cultural wound that this name-date both deflects and relays. Virtual trauma describes the shock of an event at once terribly real and utterly mediated. In consequence, a tormented self-reflexivity has tended to characterize representations of 9/11 in texts, discussions, and films, such as World Trade Center and United 93.In the second half of the book, Redfield examines the historical and philosophical infrastructure of the notion of war on terror.Redfield argues that the declaration of war on terror is the exemplary postmodern sovereign speech act: it unleashes war as terror and terror as war, while remaining a crazed, even in a certain sense fictional performative utterance. Only a pseudosovereign-the executive officer of the world's superpower-could have declared this absolute, phantasmatic, yet terribly damaging war. Though politicized terror and absolute war have their roots in the French Revolution and the emergence of the modern nation-state, Redfield suggests that the idea of a war on terror relays the complex, spectral afterlife of sovereignty in an era of biopower, global capital, and telecommunication.A moving, wide-ranging, and rigorous meditation on the cultural tragedy of our era, The Rhetoric of Terror also unfolds as an act of mourning for Jacques Derrida. Derrida's groundbreaking philosophical analysis of iterability-iterability as the exposure to repetition with a difference elsewhere that makes all technics, signification, and psychic life possible-helps us understand why questions of mediation and aesthetics so rapidly become so fraught in our culture; why efforts to repress our essential political, psychic, and ontological vulnerability generate recursive spasms of violence; why ethical living-together involves uninsurable acts of hospitality. The Rhetoric of Terror closes with an affirmation of eirenic cosmopolitanism.