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Political Science Methods: Find Books
Curated resources for use in PSC 301, Political Science Methods.
The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down a federal prohibition on independent corporate campaign expenditures, is one of the most controversial opinions in recent memory. Defenders of the First Amendment greeted the ruling with enthusiasm, while advocates of electoral reform recoiled in disbelief. Robert Post offers a new constitutional theory that seeks to reconcile these sharply divided camps. Post interprets constitutional conflict over campaign finance reform as an argument between those who believe self-government requires democratic participation in the formation of public opinion and those who believe that self-government requires a functioning system of representation. The former emphasize the value of free speech, while the latter emphasize the integrity of the electoral process. Each position has deep roots in American constitutional history. Post argues that both positions aim to nurture self-government, which in contemporary life can flourish only if elections are structured to create public confidence that elected officials are attentive to public opinion. Post spells out the many implications of this simple but profound insight. Critiquing the First Amendment reasoning of the Court in Citizens United, he also shows that the Court did not clearly grasp the constitutional dimensions of corporate speech. Blending history, constitutional law, and political theory, Citizens Divided explains how a Supreme Court case of far-reaching consequence might have been decided differently, in a manner that would have preserved both First Amendment rights and electoral integrity.
In the twenty-first century, political conflict and militarization have come to constitute a global social condition rather than a political exception. Military occupation increasingly informs the politics of both democracies and dictatorships, capitalist and formerly socialist regimes, raising questions about its relationship to sovereignty and the nation-state form. Israel and India are two of the world's most powerful postwar democracies yet have long-standing military occupations. Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Turkey have passed through periods of military dictatorship, but democracy has yielded little for their ethnic minorities who have been incorporated into the electoral process. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (like India, Pakistan, and Turkey) have felt the imprint of socialism; declarations of peace after long periods of conflict in these countries have not improved the conditions of their minority or indigenous peoples but rather have resulted in "violent peace" and remilitarization. Indeed, the existence of standing troops and ongoing state violence against peoples struggling for self-determination in these regions suggests the expanding and everyday nature of military occupation. Such everydayness raises larger issues about the dominant place of the military in society and the social values surrounding militarism. Everyday Occupations examines militarization from the standpoints of both occupier and occupied. With attention to gender, poetics, satire, and popular culture, contributors who have lived and worked in occupied areas in the Middle East and South Asia explore what kinds of society are foreclosed or made possible by militarism. The outcome is a powerful contribution to the ethnography of political violence. Contributors: Nosheen Ali, Kabita Chakma, Richard Falk, Sandya Hewamanne, Mohamad Junaid, Rhoda Kanaaneh, Hisyar Ozsoy, Cheran Rudhramoorthy, Serap Ruken Sengul, Kamala Visweswaran.
Since the early 1990s, a series of major scandals in both the financial and most especially the political world has resulted in close attention being paid to the issue of corruption and its links to political legitimacy and stability. Indeed, in many countries - in both the developed as well as the developing world - corruption seems to have become almost an obsession. Concern about corruption has become a powerful policy narrative: the explanation of last resort for a whole range of failures and disappointments in the fields of politics, economics and culture. In the more established democracies, worries about corruption have become enmeshed in a wider debate about trust in the political class. Corruption remains as widespread today, possibly even more so, as it was when concerted international attention started being devoted to the issue following the end of the Cold War. This Handbook provides a showcase of the most innovative and exciting research being conducted in Europe and North America in the field of political corruption, as well as providing a new point of reference for all who are interested in the topic. The Handbook is structured around four core themes in the study of corruption in the contemporary world: understanding and defining the nature of corruption; identifying its causes; measuring its extent; and analysing its consequences. Each of these themes is addressed from various perspectives in the first four sections of the Handbook, whilst the fifth section explores new directions that are emerging in corruption research. The contributors are experts in their field, working across a range of different social-science perspectives.