The Unsustainable American State

Author: Lawrence Jacobs
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199736812
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The complexity of the American economy and polity has grown at an explosive rate in our era of globalization. Yet as the 2008 financial crisis revealed, the evolution of the American state has not proceeded apace. The crisis exposed the system's manifold political and economic dysfunctionalities. Featuring a cast of leading scholars working at the intersection of political science and American history, The Unsustainable American State is a historically informed account of the American state's development from the nineteenth century to the present. It focuses in particular on the state-produced inequalities and administrative incoherence that became so apparent in the post-1970s era. Collectively, the book offers an unsettling account of the growth of racial and economic inequality, the ossification of the state, the gradual erosion of democracy, and the problems deriving from imperial overreach. Utilizing the framework of sustainability, a concept that is currently informing some of the best work on governance and development, the contributors show how the USA's current trajectory does not imply an impending collapse, but rather a gradual erosion of capacity and legitimacy. That is a more appropriate theoretical framework, they contend, because for all of its manifest flaws, the American state is durable. That durability, however, does not preclude a long relative decline.

Fate of the States

Author: Meredith Whitney
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101601493
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"Forget everything you think you know about the direction of the American economy, about our grow­ing need for foreign oil, about the rise of the service economy and the decline of American manufacturing. The story of the next thirty years will not be a repeat of the last thirty." One of the most respected voices on Wall Street, Meredith Whitney shot to global prominence in 2007 when her warnings of a looming crisis in the financial sector proved all too prescient. Now, in her first book, she expands upon her biggest call since the financial crisis.

Debating the American State

Author: Anne M. Kornhauser
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 081224687X
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The New Deal left a host of political, institutional, and economic legacies. Among them was the restructuring of the government into an administrative state with a powerful executive leader and a large class of unelected officials. This "leviathan" state was championed by the political left, and its continued growth and dominance in American politics is seen as a product of liberal thought—to the extent that "Big Government" is now nearly synonymous with liberalism. Yet there were tensions among liberal statists even as the leviathan first arose. Born in crisis and raised by technocrats, the bureaucratic state always rested on shaky foundations, and the liberals who built and supported it disagreed about whether and how to temper the excesses of the state while retaining its basic structure and function. Debating the American State traces the encounter between liberal thought and the rise of the administrative state and the resulting legitimacy issues that arose for democracy, the rule of law, and individual autonomy. Anne Kornhauser examines a broad and unusual cast of characters, including American social scientists and legal academics, the philosopher John Rawls, and German refugee intellectuals who had witnessed the destruction of democracy in the face of a totalitarian administrative state. In particular, she uncovers the sympathetic but concerned voices—commonly drowned out in the increasingly partisan political discourse—of critics who struggled to reconcile the positive aspects of the administrative state with the negative pressure such a contrivance brought on other liberal values such as individual autonomy, popular sovereignty, and social justice. By showing that the leviathan state was never given a principled and scrupulous justification by its proponents, Debating the American State reveals why the liberal state today remains haunted by programmatic dysfunctions and relentless political attacks.

Fed Power

Author: Lawrence R. Jacobs
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199388962
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"Fed Power reveals how America's central bank undermined democratic accountability and widened economic inequality. It traces the Fed's historic rise to unparalleled power and capacity on domestic policy and its unilateral decisions during the 2008-9 financial crisis to leverage half of the country's net worth to the benefit of finance"--

Democratization in America

Author: Desmond King
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801893240
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The essays in this volume examine democracy’s development in the United States, demonstrating how that process has shaped—and continues to shape—the American political system. Scholars of American politics commonly describe the political development of the United States as exceptional and distinct from that of other advanced industrial democracies. They point to the United States as the longest-lived and most stable liberal democracy in history. What they often fail to mention, though, is that it took considerable time to extend democracy throughout the country. The contributors to this volume suggest that it is intellectually fruitful to consider the U.S. case in comparison to other countries. They argue that the development of democracy is ongoing in America; that even with a written constitution grounded in liberal democracy, the meaning and significance of U.S. democracy are still evolving. This volume shows that democratization and the pursuit of democracy are processes affected by multiple and continuing challenges—including such issues as citizenship, race, institution building, and political movements—as patterns and practices of politics and governance continue to change. This innovative approach contributes significantly to comparative democratization studies, a field normally confined to Latin America and former communist countries. The U.S. case is a unique reference point for students of American political development and comparative democratization.

Democracy and the Origins of the American Regulatory State

Author: Samuel Decanio
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300198787
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Political scientist Samuel DeCanio examines how political elites used high levels of voter ignorance to create a new type of regulatory state with lasting implications for American politics. Focusing on the expansion of bureaucratic authority in late-nineteenth-century America, DeCanio s exhaustive archival research examines electoral politics, the Treasury Department s control over monetary policy, and the Interstate Commerce Commission s regulation of railroads to examine how conservative politicians created a new type of bureaucratic state to insulate policy decisions from popular control."

The Great Deformation

Author: David Stockman
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1586489135
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A New York Times bestseller The Great Deformation is a searing look at Washington's craven response to the recent myriad of financial crises and fiscal cliffs. It counters conventional wisdom with an eighty-year revisionist history of how the American state—especially the Federal Reserve—has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulus, monetary central planning, and financial bailouts. These forces have left the public sector teetering on the edge of political dysfunction and fiscal collapse and have caused America's private enterprise foundation to morph into a speculative casino that swindles the masses and enriches the few. Defying right- and left-wing boxes, David Stockman provides a catalogue of corrupters and defenders of sound money, fiscal rectitude, and free markets. The former includes Franklin Roosevelt, who fathered crony capitalism; Richard Nixon, who destroyed national financial discipline and the Bretton Woods gold-backed dollar; Fed chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, who fostered our present scourge of bubble finance and addiction to debt and speculation; George W. Bush, who repudiated fiscal rectitude and ballooned the warfare state via senseless wars; and Barack Obama, who revived failed Keynesian “borrow and spend” policies that have driven the national debt to perilous heights. By contrast, the book also traces a parade of statesmen who championed balanced budgets and financial market discipline including Carter Glass, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Simon, Paul Volcker, Bill Clinton, and Sheila Bair. Stockman's analysis skewers Keynesian spenders and GOP tax-cutters alike, showing how they converged to bloat the welfare state, perpetuate the military-industrial complex, and deplete the revenue base—even as the Fed's massive money printing allowed politicians to enjoy “deficits without tears.” But these policies have also fueled new financial bubbles and favored Wall Street with cheap money and rigged stock and bond markets, while crushing Main Street savers and punishing family budgets with soaring food and energy costs. The Great Deformation explains how we got here and why these warped, crony capitalist policies are an epochal threat to free market prosperity and American political democracy.

The Oxford Handbook of American Political Development

Author: Richard M. Valelly
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191086983
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Scholars working in or sympathetic to American political development (APD) share a commitment to accurately understanding the history of American politics - and thus they question stylized facts about America's political evolution. Like other approaches to American politics, APD prizes analytical rigor, data collection, the development and testing of theory, and the generation of provocative hypotheses. Much APD scholarship indeed overlaps with the American politics subfield and its many well developed literatures on specific institutions or processes (for example Congress, judicial politics, or party competition), specific policy domains (welfare policy, immigration), the foundations of (in)equality in American politics (the distribution of wealth and income, race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual and gender orientation), public law, and governance and representation. What distinguishes APD is careful, systematic thought about the ways that political processes, civic ideals, the political construction of social divisions, patterns of identity formation, the making and implementation of public policies, contestation over (and via) the Constitution, and other formal and informal institutions and processes evolve over time - and whether (and how) they alter, compromise, or sustain the American liberal democratic regime. APD scholars identify, in short, the histories that constitute American politics. They ask: what familiar or unfamiliar elements of the American past illuminate the present? Are contemporary phenomena that appear new or surprising prefigured in ways that an APD approach can bring to the fore? If a contemporary phenomenon is unprecedented then how might an accurate understanding of the evolution of American politics unlock its significance? Featuring contributions from leading academics in the field, The Oxford Handbook of American Political Development provides an authoritative and accessible analysis of the study of American political development.

The Making of Global Capitalism

Author: Leo Panitch
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1844677427
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Groundbreaking account of the development of capitalism. The all-encompassing embrace of world capitalism at the beginning of the twenty-first century was generally attributed to the superiority of competitive markets. Globalization had appeared to be the natural outcome of this unstoppable process. But today, with global markets roiling and increasingly reliant on state intervention to stay afloat, it has become clear that markets and states aren’t straightforwardly opposing forces. In this groundbreaking work, Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin demonstrate the intimate relationship between modern capitalism and the American state, including its role as an “informal empire” promoting free trade and capital movements. Through a powerful historical survey, they show how the US has superintended the restructuring of other states in favor of competitive markets and coordinated the management of increasingly frequent financial crises. The Making of Global Capitalism, through its highly original analysis of the first great economic crisis of the twenty-first century, identifies the centrality of the social conflicts that occur within states rather than between them. These emerging fault lines hold out the possibility of new political movements transforming nation states and transcending global markets.

Liberalizing Lynching

Author: Daniel Kato
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190232587
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In spite of America's identity as a liberal democracy, the vile act of lynching happened frequently in the Southern United States over the course of the nation's history. Indeed, lynchings were very public events, and were even advertised in newspapers, begging the question of how such a brazen disregard for the law could have occurred so freely and openly. Liberalizing Lynching: Building a New Racialized State seeks to explain the seemingly paradoxical relationship between the American liberal regime and the illiberal act of lynching. Drawing on legal cases, congressional documents, presidential correspondence, and newspaper reports, Daniel Kato explores the federal government's pattern of non-intervention regarding lynchings of African Americans from the late nineteenth century through the 1960s. Although popular belief holds that the federal government was unable to address racial violence in the South, this book argues that the actions and decisions of the federal government from the 1870s through the 1960s reveal that federal inaction was not primarily a consequence of institutional or legal incapacities, but rather a decision that was supported and maintained by all three branches of the federal government. Inaction stemmed from the decision not to intervene, not the powerlessness of the federal government. To cement his argument, Kato develops the theory of constitutional anarchy, which crystallizes the ways in which federal government had the capacity to intervene, yet relinquished its responsibility while nonetheless maintaining authority. A bold challenge to conventional knowledge about lynching, Liberalizing Lynching will serve as a useful tool for students and scholars of political science, legal history, and African American studies.