Critiques and solutions offered by social changemakers from all walks of life
The United States is living through a period of polarization and upheaval. We hunger for answers, yet too often turn to the same people and institutions, expecting different outcomes. How can this be?
This book takes a different angle. It features award-winning social innovators from all walks of life with decades of experience of working in and with their communities across America. In twenty-two deep, idea-packed conversations, they share their analyses, practical insights, and policy recommendations—on how to gain common ground, get the country unstuck, and increase prosperity and well-being for all.
These narratives share a common thread: They see community members—workers, young people, parents, neighbors, from Appalachia to Silicon Valley, from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes— as creative, resourceful, and strong, with unique expertise and lived experience of the problem at hand, whose changemaking energy can be tapped to build a better future for all of us.
Their voices come from Bethlehem and Hebron. You can hear them from Jerusalem to Nazareth, and witness their protests in Gaza and Ramallah. From the refugee camps in the West Bank, you can hear the voices of the Palestinian people call out to demand self-determination and a better quality of life. But outside of Israel and the occupied territories, these individual voices are rarely heard—until now.
In Beyond the Wall: Writing a Path through Palestine, internationally renowned feminist critic and writer Bidisha collects the testimonies of an occupied people—ordinary citizens, activists, children—alongside those of international aid workers and foreign visitors for a revelatory look at a population on the margins.
Called “beautifully belligerent, [and] fiercely intelligent” by The Independent and a “dazzlingly creative writer” by the LondonTimes, Bidisha amplifies the voices of the Palestinian people in this book and lends to them her own considerable strength.
"Timely and important . . . by far the most penetrarting and comprehensive [book] on the subject to date. . . . This work should be required reading." --Nur Masalha, Director of Holy Land Studies, St. Mary's College, University of Surrey, and author of The Politics of Denial
"An original and powerful book." --Ilan Pappe, Senior Lecturer in Political Science, Haifa University, and author of A Modern History of Palestine
"Very impressive. . . . Some of his findings will astound even the knowledgeable reader." --Salim Tamari, Director, Institute of Jerusalem Studies
What is Israel hoping to achieve with its recent withdrawal from Gaza and the buildiing of a 700 km wall? Journalist Jonathan Cook presents a lucid account of the motives. The heart of the issue, he argues, is demography. Israel fears the moment when the region's Palestinians--Israel's own Palestinian citizens and those in the Occupied Territories--become a majority. Inevitable omparisons with apartheid in South Africa will be drawn. The book charts Israel's increasingly desperate responses, including military repression of Palestinian dissent; a ban on marriages between Israel's Palestinian population and Palestinians living under occupation to prevent a right of return "through the back door;" and the redrawing of the Green Line to create an expanded state. Ultimately, the author concludes, these abuses will lead to a third, far deadlier intifada.
Jonathan Cook, a former staff journalist of the Guardian newspaper, has written for the Times, Le Monde diplomatique, the International Herald Tribune, al-Ahram Weekly, and Aljazeera.net. He is based in Nazareth.
In addition to their obvious roles in American politics, race and gender also work in hidden ways to profoundly influence the way we think—and vote—about a vast array of issues that don’t seem related to either category. As Nicholas Winter reveals in Dangerous Frames, politicians and leaders often frame these seemingly unrelated issues in ways that prime audiences to respond not to the policy at hand but instead to the way its presentation resonates with their deeply held beliefs about race and gender. Winter shows, for example, how official rhetoric about welfare and Social Security has tapped into white Americans’ racial biases to shape their opinions on both issues for the past two decades. Similarly, the way politicians presented health care reform in the 1990s divided Americans along the lines of their attitudes toward gender. Combining cognitive and political psychology with innovative empirical research, Dangerous Frames ultimatelyilluminates the emotional underpinnings of American politics.
For decades, we’ve been shocked by images of violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But for all their power, those images leave us at a loss: from our vantage at home, it’s hard for us to imagine the struggles of those living in the midst of the fighting. Now, American-born Israeli David Shulman takes us right into the heart of the conflict with Dark Hope, an eye-opening chronicle of his work as a member of the peace group Ta‘ayush, which takes its name from the Arabic for “living together.”
Though Shulman never denies the complexity of the issues fueling the conflict—nor the culpability of people on both sides—he forcefully clarifies the injustices perpetrated by Israel by showing us the human dimension of the occupation. Here we meet Palestinians whose houses have been blown up by the Israeli army, shepherds whose sheep have been poisoned by settlers, farmers stripped of their land by Israel’s dividing wall. We watch as whip-swinging police on horseback attack crowds of nonviolent demonstrators, as Israeli settlers shoot innocent Palestinians harvesting olives, and as families and communities become utterly destroyed by the unrelenting violence of the occupation.
Opposing such injustices, Shulman and his companions—Israeli and Palestinian both—doggedly work through checkpoints to bring aid, rebuild houses, and physically block the progress of the dividing wall. As they face off against police, soldiers, and hostile Israeli settlers, anger mixes with compassion, moments of kinship alternate with confrontation, and, throughout, Shulman wrestles with his duty to fight the cruelty enabled by “that dependable and devastating human failure to feel.”
With Dark Hope, Shulman has written a book of deep moral searching, an attempt to discover how his beloved Israel went wrong—and how, through acts of compassionate disobedience, it might still be brought back.
For many Jewish people in the mid-twentieth century, Zionism was an unquestionable tenet of what it meant to be Jewish. Seventy years later, a growing number of American Jews are instead expressing solidarity with Palestinians, questioning old allegiances to Israel. How did that transformation come about? What does it mean for the future of Judaism?
In Days of Awe, Atalia Omer examines this shift through interviews with a new generation of Jewish activists, rigorous data analysis, and fieldwork within a progressive synagogue community. She highlights people politically inspired by social justice campaigns including the Black Lives Matter movement and protests against anti-immigration policies. These activists, she shows, discover that their ethical outrage at US policies extends to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. For these American Jews, the Jewish history of dispossession and diaspora compels a search for solidarity with liberation movements. This shift produces innovations within Jewish tradition, including multi-racial and intersectional conceptions of Jewishness and movements to reclaim prophetic Judaism. Charting the rise of such religious innovation, Omer points toward the possible futures of post-Zionist Judaism.
In Domestic Contradictions, Priya Kandaswamy analyzes how race, class, gender, and sexuality shaped welfare practices in the United States alongside the conflicting demands that this system imposed upon Black women. She turns to an often-neglected moment in welfare history, the advent of the Freedmen's Bureau during Reconstruction, and highlights important parallels with welfare reform in the late twentieth century. Kandaswamy demonstrates continuity between the figures of the “vagrant” and “welfare queen” in these time periods, both of which targeted Black women. These constructs upheld gendered constructions of domesticity while defining Black women's citizenship in terms of an obligation to work rather than a right to public resources. Pushing back against this history, Kandaswamy illustrates how the Black female body came to represent a series of interconnected dangers—to white citizenship, heteropatriarchy, and capitalist ideals of productivity —and how a desire to curb these threats drove state policy. In challenging dominant feminist historiographies, Kandaswamy builds on Black feminist and queer of color critiques to situate the gendered afterlife of slavery as central to the historical development of the welfare state.
This book represents twenty years of research on the impact of Israeli occupation. Discussion of Israeli policy is often regarded as a taboo subject, with the result that few people—especially in the United States—understand the origins and consequences of the conflict. Sara Roy's book provides an indispensable context for understanding why the situation remains so intractable. The focus of Roy's work is the Gaza Strip, an area that remains consistently neglected and misunderstood. Drawing on more than two thousand interviews and extensive first-hand experience, Roy chronicles the impact of Israeli occupation over nearly a generation. Exploring the devastating consequences of socioeconomic and political decline, this is a unique and powerful account of the reality of life in the West Bank and Gaza. Written by one of the world's foremost scholars of the region, it offers an unrivalled breadth of scholarship and insight.
In 2005 Michael Ignatieff left Harvard to lead Canada's Liberal Party and by 2008 was poised to become Prime Minister. It never happened. He describes what he learned from his bruising defeat about compromise and the necessity of bridging differences in a pluralist society. A reflective, compelling account of modern politics as it really is.
Lately, it seems as if we wake up to a new atrocity each day. Every morning is now a ritual of scrolling through our Twitter feeds or scanning our newspapers for the latest updates on fresh horrors around the globe. Despite the countless protests we attend, the phone calls we make, or the streets we march, it sometimes feels like no matter how hard we fight, the relentless crush of injustice will never abate.
David Shulman knows intimately what it takes to live your beliefs, to return, day after day, to the struggle, despite knowing you are often more likely to lose than win. Interweaving powerful stories and deep meditations, Freedom and Despair offers vivid firsthand reports from the occupied West Bank in Palestine as seen through the eyes of an experienced Israeli peace activist who has seen the Israeli occupation close up as it impacts on the lives of all Palestinian civilians.
Alongside a handful of beautifully written and often shocking tales from the field, Shulman meditates deeply on how to understand the evils around him, what it means to persevere as an activist decade after decade, and what it truly means to be free. The violent realities of the occupation are on full display. We get to know and understand the Palestinian shepherds and farmers and Israeli volunteers who face this situation head-on with nonviolent resistance. Shulman does not hold back on acknowledging the daily struggles that often leave him and his fellow activists full of despair. Inspired by these committed individuals who are not prepared to be silent or passive, Shulman suggests a model for ordinary people everywhere. Anyone prepared to take a risk and fight their oppressive political systems, he argues, can make a difference—if they strive to act with compassion and to keep hope alive.
This is the moving story of a man who continues to fight for good in the midst of despair. An indispensable book in our era of reactionary politics and refugee crises, political violence and ecological devastation, Freedom and Despair is a gripping memoir of struggle, activism, and hope for peace.
In 1994, while nations everywhere stood idly by, 800,000 people were slaughtered in eight weeks in Rwanda. Arriving as U.S. Ambassador to neighboring Burundi a few weeks later, Bob Krueger began drawing international attention to the genocide also proceeding in Burundi, where he sought to minimize the killing and to preserve its fledgling democratic government from destruction by its own army. From Bloodshed to Hope in Burundi is a compelling eyewitness account of both a horrific and persistent genocide and of the ongoing efforts of many courageous individuals to build a more just society. Krueger and his wife Kathleen graphically document the slaughter occurring all around them, as well as their repeated efforts to get the U.S. government and the international community to take notice and take action. Bob Krueger reconstructs the events of the military coup that precipitated the Burundi genocide and describes his efforts to uncover the truth by digging up graves and interviewing survivors. In straightforward and powerful language, Kathleen Krueger recounts her family’s experience living amid civil war, including when she faced down a dozen AK-47-wielding African soldiers to save the life of a household worker. From Bloodshed to Hope in Burundi shines a piercing light on a genocide that has gone largely unreported, and identifies those responsible for it. It also offers hope that as the truth emerges and the perpetrators are brought to account, the people of Burundi will at last achieve peace and reconciliation.
In 1991 the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) took over Asmara and completed the liberation of Eritrea; formal independence came two years later after a referendum in May 1993. It was the climax of a thirty-year struggle, though the EPLF itself was formed only in the early 1970s.
From the beginning, Eritrean nationalism was divided. Ethiopia’s appeal to a joint Christian imperial past alienated the Muslim pastoral lowland people in the areas where Eritrean nationalism first appeared. It was not until the early 1970s that the Christian elements of the population finally joined the liberation struggle on a substantial scale.
The unique model of apartheid, colonisation and military occupation that Israel imposes on the Palestinians, along with myriad violations of international law, have made Palestine the moral cause of a generation. Yet many people continue to ask, ‘what can we do?’
Generation Palestine helps to answer this question by bringing together Palestinian and international activists in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The movement aims to pressure Israel until it complies with International Law, mirroring the model that was successfully utilised against South African apartheid.
With essays written by a wide selection of contributors, Generation Palestine follows the BDS movement’s model of inclusivity and collaboration. Contributors include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ken Loach, Iain Banks, Ronnie Kasrils, Professor Richard Falk, Ilan Pappe, Omar Barghouti, Ramzy Baroud and Archbishop Attallah Hannah, alongside other internationally acclaimed artists, writers, academics and grassroots activists.
President Obama has signaled a sharp break from many Bush Administration policies, but he remains committed to federal support for religious social service providers. Like George W. Bush’s faith-based initiative, though, Obama’s version of the policy has generated loud criticism—from both sides of the aisle—even as the communities that stand to benefit suffer through an ailing economy. God’s Economy reveals that virtually all of the critics, as well as many supporters, have long misunderstood both the true implications of faith-based partnerships and their unique potential for advancing social justice.
Unearthing the intellectual history of the faith-based initiative, Lew Daly locates its roots in the pluralist tradition of Europe’s Christian democracies, in which the state shares sovereignty with social institutions. He argues that Catholic and Dutch Calvinist ideas played a crucial role in the evolution of this tradition, as churches across nineteenth-century Europe developed philosophical and legal defenses to protect their education and social programs against ascendant governments. Tracing the influence of this heritageon the past three decades of American social policy and church-state law, Daly finally untangles the radical beginnings of the faith-based initiative. In the process, he frees it from the narrow culture-war framework that has limited debate on the subject since Bush opened the White House Office for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in 2001.
A major contribution from an important new voice at the intersection of religion and politics, God’s Economy points the way toward policymaking that combines strong social support with a new moral focus on the protection of families and communities.
In the 1990s a nationwide crime wave overtook Côte d’Ivoire. The Ivoirian police failed to control the situation, so a group of poor, politically marginalized, and mostly Muslim men took on the role of the people’s protectors as part of a movement they called Benkadi. These men were dozos—hunters skilled in ritual sacrifice—and they applied their hunting and occult expertise, along with the ethical principles implicit in both forms of knowledge, to the tracking and capturing of thieves. Meanwhile, as Benkadi emerged, so too did the ethnic, regional, and religious divisions that would culminate in Côte d’Ivoire’s 2002–07 rebellion.
Hunting the Ethical State reveals how dozos worked beyond these divisions to derive their new roles as enforcers of security from their ritual hunting ethos. Much as they used sorcery to shape-shift and outwit game, they now transformed into unofficial police, and their ritual networks became police bureaucracies. Though these Muslim and northern-descended men would later resist the state, Joseph Hellweg demonstrates how they briefly succeeded at making a place for themselves within it. Ultimately, Hellweg interprets Benkadi as a flawed but ingenious and thoroughly modern attempt by non-state actors to reform an African state.
In the fall of 2001 Charles Salmon had a Fulbright fellowship in Israel. He was due to depart on September 12. Arriving in Israel a few weeks later, speaking no Hebrew and largely unfamiliar with Judaism and Israeli customs, he immersed himself in Israeli culture.
This collection of correspondence began as a weekly report to friends and was designed to offer an alternative to mainstream media. With the excitement of a tourist and the eagerness of an anthropologist, Salmon emerges as a modern Candide. He describes historical sites and a supermarket in Tel Aviv, discusses the differences between university students in Israel and America, and negotiates the purchase of food and the vagaries of the weather with humor and passion. The letters also discuss Israeli–Palestinian relations, and details terrorist events and responses to them.
This unique book focuses on how everyday hopes and fears transcend geopolitical boundaries and provides valuable lessons on how to thrive in these new and uncertain times.
With budgets squeezed at every level of government, cost-benefit analysis (CBA) holds outstanding potential for assessing the efficiency of many programs. In this first book to address the application of CBA to social policy, experts examine ten of the most important policy domains: early childhood development, elementary and secondary schools, health care for the disadvantaged, mental illness, substance abuse and addiction, juvenile crime, prisoner reentry programs, housing assistance, work-incentive programs for the unemployed and employers, and welfare-to-work interventions. Each contributor discusses the applicability of CBA to actual programs, describing both proven and promising examples.
The editors provide an introduction to cost-benefit analysis, assess the programs described, and propose a research agenda for promoting its more widespread application in social policy. Investing in the Disadvantaged considers how to face America’s most urgent social needs with shrinking resources, showing how CBA can be used to inform policy choices that produce social value.
Following on from their acclaimed book Bad News from Israel, Greg Philo and Mike Berry present a concise guide to the Israel-Palestine conflict. This uniquely accessible book will appeal to anyone looking for an approachable introduction. Uniquely, the authors show how there are many different, competing histories. They offer an overview of the wide range of contending viewpoints, and indicate those which are based on the most considered historical research.
The book covers key events in chronological order, in each case examining the varied historical accounts and presenting the beliefs of key thinkers across the ideological spectrum, from Edward Said to Binyamin Netanyahu. Starting the with emergence of the Zionist movement in the nineteenth century, and the figures who shaped it, the authors go on to cover the founding of Israel and its subsequent history, up to and including the 'roadmap for peace', the construction of the wall, the death of Arafat and the withdrawal from Gaza.
Journalist Jonathan Cook explores Israel’s key role in persuading the Bush administration to invade Iraq, as part of a plan to remake the Middle East, and their joint determination to isolate Iran and prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons that might rival Israel’s own.
This concise and clearly argued book makes the case that Israel's desire to be the sole regional power in the Middle East neatly chimed with Bush’s objectives in the “war on terror”.
Examining a host of related issues, from the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to the role of Big Oil and the demonisation of the Arab world, Cook argues that the current chaos in the Middle East is the objective of the Bush administration – a policy that is equally beneficial to Israel.
Since 1921, the Zionist movement, the Hashemites, and Palestinian nationalists have been vying for regional control. In this book, Asher Susser analyzes the evolution of the one- and two-state options and explores why a two-state solution has failed to materialize. He provides an in-depth analysis of Jordan’s positions and presents an updated discussion of the two-state imperative through the initiatives of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Susser argues that Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians have cohesive collective identities that violently collide with each other. Because of these entrenched differences, a single-state solution cannot be achieved.
Raffaella A. Del Sarto examines the creation of Israel's neo-revisionist consensus about security threats and regional order, which took hold of Israeli politics and society after 2000 and persists today. The failed Oslo peace process and the trauma of the Second Palestinian Intifada triggered this shift to the right; conflicts with Hamas and Hezbollah and the inflammatory rhetoric of Iranian President Ahmadinejad additionally contributed to the creation of a general sense of being under siege. While Israel faces real security threats, Israeli governments have engaged in the politics of insecurity, promoting and amplifying this sense of besiegement. Lively political debate has been replaced by a general acceptance of the no-compromise approach to security and the Palestinians. The neo-revisionist right, represented by Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud, has turned Israel away from the peace process and pushes maximalist territorial ambitions. But they have failed to offer a vision for an end to conflict, and there has been little debate about whether or not the hardline policies toward the region are counterproductive. Del Sarto explains this disappearance of dissent and examines the costs of Israel’s policies. She concludes that Israel’s feeling of being under siege has become entrenched, a two-state solution with the Palestinians is highly unlikely for the foreseeable future, and Israel’s international isolation is likely to increase. Del Sarto’s analysis of this tense political situation will interest scholars and students of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Studies, and International Relations.
In Itineraries in Conflict, Rebecca L. Stein argues that through tourist practices—acts of cultural consumption, routes and imaginary voyages to neighboring Arab countries, culinary desires—Israeli citizens are negotiating Israel’s changing place in the contemporary Middle East. Drawing on ethnographic and archival research conducted throughout the last decade, Stein analyzes the divergent meanings that Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel have attached to tourist cultures, and she considers their resonance with histories of travel in Israel, its Occupied Territories, and pre-1948 Palestine. Stein argues that tourism’s cultural performances, spaces, souvenirs, and maps have provided Israelis in varying social locations with a set of malleable tools to contend with the political changes of the last decade: the rise and fall of a Middle East Peace Process (the Oslo Process), globalization and neoliberal reform, and a second Palestinian uprising in 2000.
Combining vivid ethnographic detail, postcolonial theory, and readings of Israeli and Palestinian popular texts, Stein considers a broad range of Israeli leisure cultures of the Oslo period with a focus on the Jewish desires for Arab things, landscapes, and people that regional diplomacy catalyzed. Moving beyond conventional accounts, she situates tourism within a broader field of “discrepant mobility,” foregrounding the relationship between histories of mobility and immobility, leisure and exile, consumption and militarism. She contends that the study of Israeli tourism must open into broader interrogations of the Israeli occupation, the history of Palestinian dispossession, and Israel’s future in the Arab Middle East. Itineraries in Conflict is both a cultural history of the Oslo process and a call to fellow scholars to rethink the contours of the Arab-Israeli conflict by considering the politics of popular culture in everyday Israeli and Palestinian lives.
This unflinching examination of the obstacles to economic mobility for low-income families exposes the ugly reality that lies beneath the shining surface of the American Dream. The fact is that nearly 25% of employed adults have difficulty supporting their families today. In eye-opening interviews, twenty-five workers and nearly a thousand people who are linked to them—children, teachers, job trainers, and employers—tell wrenching stories about "trying to get ahead." Spanning five cities over five years, this study convincingly demonstrates that prevailing ideas about opportunity, merit, and "bootstraps" are outdated. As the authors show, some workers who believe the myths end up destroying their health and families in the process of trying to "move up." Jobs Aren't Enough demonstrates that the social institutions of family, education, labor market, and policy all intersect to influence—and inhibit—employment mobility. It proposes a new mobility paradigm grounded in cooperation and collaboration across social institutions, along with revitalization of the "public will."
Revised and updated to include the most current information on same-sex marriage, The Limits to Union documents a legal struggle at its moment of greatest historical importance.
"The Limits to Union is a superb book about the complexities of recent political struggles over same-sex marriage. Goldberg-Hiller offers a sophisticated account of egalitarian rights advocacy and the reaction it has generated from established majorities animated by a 'new common sense' of exclusionary sovereign authority. The author's analysis is multidimensional and nuanced, but the core argument is bold, important, and well-supported. I recommend it very highly to everyone interested in understanding the character, possibilities, and constraints of civil rights amid our contemporary culture wars."
-Michael McCann, author of Rights at Work: Pay Equity Reform and the Politics of Legal Mobilization
"In this excellent book, Goldberg-Hiller uses Hawaii's experience to examine the interaction between courts and the political system. . . . Relying on briefs, legislative statements, and interviews with activists from both sides of the question, he views this familiar debate . . . through the unfamiliar prism of gay marriage, which allows him to gauge the viability and the pliability of the American civil rights ideal, and how gay and lesbian issues fit (or don't fit) within that ideal."
-Willian Heinzen, New York Law Journal
"Goldberg-Hiller presents the history of the same-sex marriage question since it first sparked debate in Hawaii. He follows the shifting debate through court cases, state propositions, and state and federal legislatures, considering questions about the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act and the concept of equal protection under the law for gays and lesbians. This detailed treatment of the legal issues surrounding same-sex marriages is highly recommended."
-R. L. Abbott, University of Evansville
"[A] valuable contribution to the field, situating the gay marriage debate in broader contexts of theory, law and practice. [S]ame-sex marriage is an important issue...that finds itself caught in the friction points of much larger debates over the nature of rights, the limits of sovereignty and the proper role of courts and law in a democratic society. The Limits to Union should therefore be of interest even to those who do not think of themselves as interested in gay and lesbian rights issues."
-Evan Gerstmann, Loyola Marymount University, Law and Politics Book Review
In The Making of a Human Bomb, Nasser Abufarha, a Palestinian anthropologist, explains the cultural logic underlying Palestinian martyrdom operations (suicide attacks) launched against Israel during the Al-Aqsa Intifada (2000–06). In so doing, he sheds much-needed light on how Palestinians have experienced and perceived the broader conflict. During the Intifada, many of the martyrdom operations against Israeli targets were initiated in the West Bank town of Jenin and surrounding villages. Abufarha was born and raised in Jenin. His personal connections to the area enabled him to conduct ethnographic research there during the Intifada, while he was a student at a U.S. university.
Abufarha draws on the life histories of martyrs, interviews he conducted with their families and members of the groups that sponsored their operations, and examinations of Palestinian literature, art, performance, news stories, and political commentaries. He also assesses data—about the bombers, targets, and fatalities caused—from more than two hundred martyrdom operations carried out by Palestinian groups between 2001 and 2004. Some involved the use of explosive belts or the detonation of cars; others entailed armed attacks against Israeli targets (military and civilian) undertaken with the intent of fighting until death. In addition, he scrutinized suicide attacks executed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad between 1994 and 2000. In his analysis of Palestinian political violence, Abufarha takes into account Palestinians’ understanding of the history of the conflict with Israel, the effects of containment on Palestinians’ everyday lives, the disillusionment created by the Oslo peace process, and reactions to specific forms of Israeli state violence. The Making of a Human Bomb illuminates the Palestinians’ perspective on the conflict with Israel and provides a model for ethnographers seeking to make sense of political violence.
Drawing on a rich trove of focus group data, interviews, and textual sources, Elaine Weiner's Market Dreams powerfully captures the varied responses of female managers and factory workers in the Czech Republic to their country's transition from socialism to capitalism. Her work, rooted in sociology and comparative feminism, is an important advance for the literature on women in Eastern Europe.
"Market Dreams is a conceptually-sophisticated and empirically-rich account of how the discourses and practices of the free market penetrated the hearts and minds of everyday Czech citizens. Weiner's provocative analysis takes readers inside the worlds of female factory workers to expose the discontinuities between their radiant market dreams and their everyday realities--and juxtaposes them to the continuities experienced by female managers. In the process, it challenges many of our ideas about post/socialism, marketization, and gender and reveals the enduring power of stories in shaping social identities and actions."
---Lynne Haney, Associate Professor of Sociology, New York University
"Through interviews and a careful analysis of newspaper articles written in the first decade after the collapse of state socialism, Weiner explores the complicated interconnections between personal stories and the emerging neoliberal metanarrative of the free market in the Czech Republic after 1989. Her book transcends many of the dichotomies with which researchers of post-state socialism have been struggling: 'East' vs. 'West,' losers and winners, emancipation vs. oppression, etc., and thus makes a truly novel contribution to our understanding of women's lives after state socialism."
---Éva Fodor, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies, Central European University
"Weiner's rich and innovative study of female Czech managers and workers exemplifies the importance of narrative analysis for understanding why gender and class have not (yet) reconfigured the sense of postcommunism's alternatives. This is critical reading for feminists, class analysts, and students of postcommunist social change."
---Michael Kennedy, Director, Center for European Studies, University of Michigan
Elaine Weiner is Assistant Professor of Sociology at McGill University. Visit the author's website at: www.mcgill.ca/sociology/faculty/weiner/.
Cover Credit: Frank Scherschel/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
George W. Bush had planned to swear his oath of office with his hand on the Masonic Bible used by both his father and George Washington, however, due to the inclement weather, a family Bible was substituted. Almost immediately on taking office, President Bush made passage of "faith-based initiatives"—the government funding of religious charitable groups—a legislative priority. However, "inclement" weather storm-tossed his hopes for faith-based initiatives as well.
What happened? Why did these initiatives, which began with such vigor and support from a popular president, fail? And what does this say about the future role of religious faith in American public life? Amy Black, Douglas Koopman, and David Ryden—all prominent political scientists—utilize a framework that takes the issue through all three branches of government and analyzes it through three very specific lenses: a public policy lens, a political party lens, and a lens of religion in the public square.
Drawing on dozens of interviews with key figures in Washington, the authors tell a compelling story, revealing the evolution of the Bush faith-based strategy from his campaign for the presidency through congressional votes to the present. They show how political rhetoric, infighting, and poor communication shipwrecked Bush's efforts to fundamentally alter the way government might conduct social services. The authors demonstrate the lessons learned, and propose a more fruitful, effective way to go about such initiatives in the future.
This book follows the dangerous lives of peace activists in Israel and Palestine. It explores the crises that stirred them to act, the risks they face, and the small victories that sustain them.
Michael Riordon takes us to thousand year-old olive groves, besieged villages, refugee camps, checkpoints and barracks. In the face of deepening conflict, Our Way to Fight offers courageous grassroots action on both sides of the wall, and points the way to a liveable future.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the countries of East-Central Europe embarked on a journey to transform themselves into democratic capitalist societies. Their governments searched for strategies that would allow them to pursue radical market reforms within the context of nascent democratic politics. Poland adopted a neoliberal strategy that attempted to push through as much reform as possible before an antireform backlash could occur. In the Czech Republic, a social liberal strategy for transformation attempted to combine neoliberal macro-economic policies with social democratic measures designed to avert such a backlash.
A detailed analysis of Poland and the Czech Republic suggests that alternation between strategies has been the secret to the success of East-Central European countries.
This comparative case analysis identifies the significance of reform mistakes during transition and the corrective benefits of policy alternation, its claims illustrated with an in-depth study of privatization policy in the two countries.
Mitchell A. Orenstein delves into the historic struggle to build capitalism and democracy during a decade of post- communist transition in East-Central Europe and develops a model that explains why democratic policy alternation may accelerate policy learning under conditions of uncertainty and constraint. Out of the Red is accessible to a general audience and as such is suitable for both graduate and undergraduate courses on political economy. It will be of particular interest to economists, political scientists, sociologists, students of postcommunism, and anyone interested in the relations between capitalism and democracy in the contemporary world.
Mitchell A. Orenstein is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Syracuse University.
A critical study of the philosophy and political practice of the Czech dissident movement Charter 77. Aviezer Tucker examines how the political philosophy of Jan Patocka (1907–1977), founder of Charter 77, influenced the thinking and political leadership of Vaclav Havel as dissident and president.
Presents the first serious treatment of Havel as philosopher and Patocka as a political thinker. Through the Charter 77 dissident movement in Czechoslovakia, opponents of communism based their civil struggle for human rights on philosophic foundations, and members of the Charter 77 later led the Velvet Revolution. After Patocka’s self-sacrifice in 1977, Vaclav Havel emerged a strong philosophical and political force, and he continued to apply Patocka’s philosophy in order to understand the human condition under late communism and the meaning of dissidence. However, the political/philosophical orientation of the Charter 77 movement failed to provide President Havel with an adequate basis for comprehending and responding to the extraordinary political and economic problems of the postcommunist period.
In his discussion of Havel's presidency and the eventual corruption of the Velvet Revolution, Tucker demonstrates that the weaknesses in Charter 77 member's understanding of modernity, which did not matter while they were dissidents, seriously harmed their ability to function in a modern democratic system. Within this context, Tucker also examines Havel’s recent attempt to topple the democratic but corrupt government in 1997–1998. The Philosophy and Politics of Czech Dissidence from Patocka to Havel will be of interest to students of philosophy and politics, scholars and students of Slavic studies, and historians, as well as anyone fascinated by the nature of dissidence.
The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories since 1967 has many important economic aspects that are often overlooked. In this highly original book, Shir Hever shows that understanding the economic dimensions of the occupation is crucial to unravelling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Hever rejects the premise that Israel keeps control over Palestinian territories for material gain, and also the premise that Israel is merely defending itself from Palestinian aggression. Instead, he argues that the occupation has reached an impasse, with the Palestinian resistance making exploitation of the Palestinians by Israeli business interests difficult, but the Israeli authorities reluctant to give up control.
With traditional economic analysis failing to explain this turn of events, this book will be invaluable for students, activists and journalists struggling to make sense of the complex issues surrounding Israel's occupation.
Attacking the common view that whiteness is a meaningless category of identity, Lipsitz shows that public policy and private prejudice insure that whites wind up on top of the social hierarchy. Passionately and clearly written, this wide-ranging book probes into the social and material rewards that accrue to "the possessive investment in whiteness." Lipsitz sums up the ways that public policy has virtually excluded communities of color from everything that American society defines as desirable: first-rate education, decent housing, asset accumulation, political power, social status, satisfying work, and even the power it shape and narrate their own history. White supremacy is no thing of the past, no fringe movement. It is a pervasive and pernicious system that restricts the political and cultural agency of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos every day. Unearned and unacknowledged, race-based advantages, not greater merit or a superior work ethic, account for white privilege.
Lipsitz's ultimate point is not to condemn all white people as racists but to challenge everyone to begin a principled examination of personal actions and political commitments. Exposing the system of unfairness is not enough. People of all groups -- but especially white people because they benefit from that system -- have to work toward eradicating the rewards of whiteness.
George Lipsitz’s classic book The Possessive Investment in Whiteness argues that public policy and private prejudice work together to create a possessive investment in whiteness that is responsible for the racialized hierarchies of our society. Whiteness has a cash value: it accounts for advantages that come to individuals through profits made from housing secured in discriminatory markets, through the unequal educational opportunities available to children of different races, through insider networks that channel employment opportunities to the friends and relatives of those who have profited most from past and present discrimination, and especially through intergenerational transfers of inherited wealth that pass on the spoils of discrimination to succeeding generations. White Americans are encouraged to invest in whiteness, to remain true to an identity that provides them with structured advantages.
In this twentieth anniversary edition, Lipsitz provides a new introduction and updated statistics; as well as analyses of the enduring importance of Hurricane Katrina; the nature of anti-immigrant mobilizations; police assaults on Black women, the killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray; the legacy of Obama and the emergence of Trump; the Charleston Massacre and other hate crimes; and the ways in which white fear, white fragility, and white failure have become drivers of a new ethno-nationalism.
As vital as it was upon its original publication, the twentieth anniversary edition of The Possessive Investment in Whiteness is an unflinching but necessary look at white supremacy.
In this unflinching look at white supremacy, George Lipsitz argues that racism is a matter of interests as well as attitudes, a problem of property as well as pigment. Above and beyond personal prejudice, whiteness is a structured advantage that produces unfair gains and unearned rewards for whites while imposing impediments to asset accumulation, employment, housing, and health care for minorities. Reaching beyond the black/white binary, Lipsitz shows how whiteness works in respect to Asian Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans.Lipsitz delineates the weaknesses embedded in civil rights laws, the racial dimensions of economic restructuring and deindustrialization, and the effects of environmental racism, job discrimination and school segregation. He also analyzes the centrality of whiteness to U.S. culture, and perhaps most importantly, he identifies the sustained and perceptive critique of white privilege embedded in the radical black tradition. This revised and expanded edition also includes an essay about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on working class Blacks in New Orleans, whose perpetual struggle for dignity and self determination has been obscured by the city's image as a tourist party town.
"Extremely coherent and useful, this much needed volume is concerned with the current status of the poor in Western industrial states. Its closely linked essays allow comparisons between case studies and are often themselves cross-national comparisons....The essays also comment on the meaning of globalization for social policy." —Choice "Excellent and tightly integrated articles by a group of prominent international scholars....A timely and important book, which will surely become the basic reference point for all future research on inequality and social policy." —Contemporary Sociology The social safety net is under strain in all Western nations, as social and economic change has created problems that traditional welfare systems were not designed to handle. Poverty, Inequality, and the Future of Social Policy provides a definitive analysis of the conditions that are fraying the social fabric and the reasons why some countries have been more successful than others in addressing these trends. In the United States, where the poverty rate in the 1980s was twice that of any advanced nation in Europe, the social protection system—and public support for it—has eroded alarmingly. In Europe, the welfare system more effectively buffered the disadvantaged, but social expenditures have been indicted by many as the principal cause of high unemployment. Concluding chapters review the progress and goals of social welfare programs, assess their viability in the face of creeping economic, racial, and social fragmentation, and define the challenges that face those concerned with social cohesion and economic prosperity in the new global economy. This volume illuminates the disparate effects of government intervention on the incidence and duration of poverty in Western countries. Poverty, Inequality, and the Future of Social Policy is full of lessons for anyone who would look beyond the limitations of the welfare debate in the United States.
In The Power of Dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, scholar and activist Nava Sonnenschein shares a collection of twenty-five powerful interviews she conducted with Palestinian and Jewish Israeli alumni of peacebuilding courses, a decade after their graduation. Participants with diverse personal and professional backgrounds completed a series of conflict transformation workshops using the model developed by the School for Peace at the world’s only intentional Jewish-Palestinian community, Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam (“Oasis of Peace” in Hebrew and Arabic). Critically, the interviews vividly demonstrate that peacebuilding does not end with the courses. Most of the graduates choose to work professionally in roles that contribute to peace-building. Sonnenschein shows the transformational potential of encounter between members of groups in conflict, sharing how ordinary Israelis and Palestinians coming together in an open and honest environment undergo life-changing experiences that provide concrete hope for a sustainable path to a peaceful shared existence as equals in Israel and Palestine.
Are Americans less prejudiced now than they were thirty years ago, or has racism simply gone "underground"? Is racism something we learn as children, or is it a result of certain social groups striving to maintain their privileged positions in society?
In Racialized Politics, political scientists, sociologists, and psychologists explore the current debate surrounding the sources of racism in America. Published here for the first time, the essays represent three major approaches to the topic. The social psychological approach maintains that prejudice socialized early in life feeds racial stereotypes, while the social structural viewpoint argues that behavior is shaped by whites' fear of losing their privileged status. The third perspective looks to non-racially inspired ideology, including attitudes about the size and role of government, as the reason for opposition to policies such as affirmative action. Timely and important, this collection provides a state-of-the-field assessment of the current issues and findings on the role of racism in mass politics and public opinion.
Contributors are Lawrence Bobo, Gretchen C. Crosby, Michael C. Dawson, Christopher Federico, P. J. Henry, John J. Hetts, Jennifer L. Hochschild, William G. Howell, Michael Hughes, Donald R. Kinder, Rick Kosterman, Tali Mendelberg, Thomas F. Pettigrew, Howard Schuman, David O. Sears, James Sidanius, Pam Singh, Paul M. Sniderman, Marylee C. Taylor, and Steven A. Tuch.
Over the past three decades, the contours of American social, economic, and political life have changed dramatically. The post-war patterns of broadly distributed economic growth have given way to stark inequalities of income and wealth, the GOP and its allies have gained power and shifted U.S. politics rightward, and the role of government in the lives of Americans has changed fundamentally. Remaking America explores how these trends are related, investigating the complex interactions of economics, politics, and public policy. Remaking America explains how the broad restructuring of government policy has both reflected and propelled major shifts in the character of inequality and democracy in the United States. The contributors explore how recent political and policy changes affect not just the social standing of Americans but also the character of democratic citizenship in the United States today. Lawrence Jacobs shows how partisan politics, public opinion, and interest groups have shaped the evolution of Medicare, but also how Medicare itself restructured health politics in America. Kimberly Morgan explains how highly visible tax policies created an opportunity for conservatives to lead a grassroots tax revolt that ultimately eroded of the revenues needed for social-welfare programs. Deborah Stone explores how new policies have redefined participation in the labor force—as opposed to fulfilling family or civic obligations—as the central criterion of citizenship. Frances Fox Piven explains how low-income women remain creative and vital political actors in an era in which welfare programs increasingly subject them to stringent behavioral requirements and monitoring. Joshua Guetzkow and Bruce Western document the rise of mass incarceration in America and illuminate its unhealthy effects on state social-policy efforts and the civic status of African-American men. For many disadvantaged Americans who used to look to government as a source of opportunity and security, the state has become increasingly paternalistic and punitive. Far from standing alone, their experience reflects a broader set of political victories and policy revolutions that have fundamentally altered American democracy and society. Empirically grounded and theoretically informed, Remaking America connects the dots to provide insight into the remarkable social and political changes of the last three decades.
In The Right to Maim Jasbir K. Puar brings her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to bear on our understanding of disability. Drawing on a stunning array of theoretical and methodological frameworks, Puar uses the concept of “debility”—bodily injury and social exclusion brought on by economic and political factors—to disrupt the category of disability. She shows how debility, disability, and capacity together constitute an assemblage that states use to control populations. Puar's analysis culminates in an interrogation of Israel's policies toward Palestine, in which she outlines how Israel brings Palestinians into biopolitical being by designating them available for injury. Supplementing its right to kill with what Puar calls the right to maim, the Israeli state relies on liberal frameworks of disability to obscure and enable the mass debilitation of Palestinian bodies. Tracing disability's interaction with debility and capacity, Puar offers a brilliant rethinking of Foucauldian biopolitics while showing how disability functions at the intersection of imperialism and racialized capital.
During the past decade, Democrats and Republicans each have received about fifty percent of the votes and controlled about half of the government, but this has not resulted in policy deadlock. Despite highly partisan political posturing, the policy regime has been largely moderate. Incremental, yet substantial, policy innovations such as welfare reform; deficit reduction; the North American Free Trade Agreement; and the deregulation of telecommunications, banking, and agriculture have been accompanied by such continuities as Social Security and Medicare, the maintenance of earlier immigration reforms, and the persistence of many rights-based policies, including federal affirmative action.
InSeeking the Center, twenty-one contributors analyze policy outcomes in light of the frequent alternation in power among evenly divided parties. They show how the triumph of policy moderation and the defeat of more ambitious efforts, such as health care reform, can be explained by mutually supporting economic, intellectual, and political forces. Demonstrating that the determinants of public policy become clear by probing specific issues, rather than in abstract theorizing, they restore the politics of policymaking to the forefront of the political science agenda.
A successor to Martin A. Levin and Marc K. Landy’s influential The New Politics of Public Policy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), this book will be vital reading for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in political science and public policy, as well as a resource for scholars in both fields.
Despite the substantial economic and political strides that African-Americans have made in this century, welfare remains an issue that sharply divides Americans by race. Shifting the Color Line explores the historical and political roots of enduring racial conflict in American welfare policy, beginning with the New Deal.
Through Social Security and other social insurance programs, white workers were successfully integrated into a strong national welfare state. At the same time, African-Americans--then as now disproportionately poor--were relegated to the margins of the welfare state, through decentralized, often racist, public assistance programs.
Over the next generation, these institutional differences had fateful consequences for African-Americans and their integration into American politics. Owing to its strong national structure, Social Security quickly became the closest thing we have to a universal, color-blind social program. On the other hand, public assistance--especially Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)--continued to treat African-Americans badly, while remaining politically weak and institutionally decentralized.
Racial distinctions were thus built into the very structure of the American welfare state. By keeping poor blacks at arm's length while embracing white workers, national welfare policy helped to construct the contemporary political divisions--middle-class versus poor, suburb versus city, and white versus black--that define the urban underclass.
A 2003 law in Eritrea—a notoriously closed-off, heavily militarized, and authoritarian country—mandated an additional year of school for all children and stipulated that the classes be held at Sawa, the nation’s military training center. As a result, educational institutions were directly implicated in the making of soldiers, putting Eritrean teachers in the untenable position of having to navigate between their devotion to educating the nation and their discontent with their role in the government program of mass militarization.
In her provocative ethnography, The Struggling State, Jennifer Riggan examines the contradictions of state power as simultaneously oppressive to and enacted by teachers. Riggan, who conducted participant observation with teachers in and out of schools, explores the tenuous hyphen between nation and state under lived conditions of everyday authoritarianism.
The Struggling State shows how the hopes of Eritrean teachers and students for the future of their nation have turned to a hopelessness in which they cannot imagine a future at all.
Transatlantic Policymaking in an Age of Austerity integrates the study of politics and public policy across a broad spectrum of regulatory and social welfare policies in the United States and several nations of Western Europe. The editors and a sterling list of contributors look at policymaking in the 1990s through the present—providing a comparative politics framework—stressing both parallel development and the differences between and among the nations. Similar prevailing ideas and political factors can be identified and transatlantic comparisons made—providing for a clearer understanding of the policymaking process.
Faith in regulated markets and the burden of rising welfare costs are concerns found on both sides of the Atlantic. Western democracies also share political climates colored by economic austerity; low trust in government, pressures from interest groups, and a sharply divided electorate. Because of differing political processes and differing policy starting points, a variety of disparate policy decisions have resulted.
Real world policymaking in the areas of welfare, health, labor, immigration reform, disability rights, consumer and environmental regulation, administrative reforms, and corporate governance are compared. Ultimately, the last decade is best characterized as one of "drift," sluggish changes with little real innovation and much default to the private sector. In general, policymakers on both sides of the ocean, constrained by economic necessity, have been unable to produce policy outcomes that satisfy the key segments of the electorate.
The contributors examine the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany, as well as a number of other European countries, and study the European Union itself as a policymaking institution. Transatlantic Policymaking in an Age of Austerity distills the prominent issues, politics, and roles played by governmental institutions into a new understanding of the dynamics of policymaking in and among transatlantic nations.
When Andrea Louise Campbell’s sister-in-law, Marcella Wagner, was run off the freeway by a hit-and-run driver, she was seven-and-a-half months pregnant. She survived—and, miraculously, the baby was born healthy. But that’s where the good news ends. Marcella was left paralyzed from the chest down. This accident was much more than just a physical and emotional tragedy. Like so many Americans—50 million, or one-sixth of the country’s population—neither Marcella nor her husband, Dave, who works for a small business, had health insurance. On the day of the accident, she was on her way to class for the nursing program through which she hoped to secure one of the few remaining jobs in the area with the promise of employer-provided insurance. Instead, the accident plunged the young family into the tangled web of means-tested social assistance.
As a social policy scholar, Campbell thought she knew a lot about means-tested assistance programs. What she quickly learned was that missing from most government manuals and scholarly analyses was an understanding of how these programs actually affect the lives of the people who depend on them. Using Marcella and Dave’s situation as a case in point, she reveals their many shortcomings in Trapped in America’s Safety Net. Because American safety net programs are designed for the poor, Marcella and Dave first had to spend down their assets and drop their income to near-poverty level before qualifying for help. What’s more, to remain eligible, they will have to stay under these strictures for the rest of their lives, meaning they are barred from doing many of the things middle-class families are encouraged to do: Save for retirement. Develop an emergency fund. Take advantage of tax-free college savings. And, while Marcella and Dave’s story is tragic, the financial precariousness they endured even before the accident is all too common in America, where the prevalence of low-income work and unequal access to education have generated vast—and growing—economic inequality. The implementation of Obamacare has cut the number of uninsured and underinsured and reduced some of the disparities in coverage, but it continues to leave too many people open to tremendous risk.
Behind the statistics and beyond the ideological battles are human beings whose lives are stunted by policies that purport to help them. In showing how and why this happens, Trapped in America’s Safety Net offers a way to change it.
For the past decade, political scientist Sanford Schram has led the academic effort to understand how Americans and their political officials talk about poverty and welfare and what impact that discourse has on policy and on the global society.
In Welfare Discipline, Schram argues that it is time to take stock of the new forms of welfare and to develop even better methods to understand them. He argues for a more contextualized approach to examining welfare policy, from the use of the idea of globalization to justify cutbacks, to the increasing employment of U.S. policy discourse overseas, to the development of asset-based approaches to helping the poor.
Stressing the importance of understanding the ways we talk about welfare, how we study it, and, critically, what we do not discuss and why, Schram offers recommendations for making welfare policy both just and effective.
During the 1990s, both the United States and Britain shifted from entitlement to work-based systems for supporting their poor citizens. Much research has examined the implications of welfare reform for the economic well-being of the poor, but the new legislation also affects our view of democracy—and how it ought to function. By eliminating entitlement and setting behavioral conditions on aid, welfare reform challenges our understanding of citizenship, political equality, and the role of the state. In Welfare Reform and Political Theory, editors Lawrence Mead and Christopher Beem have assembled an accomplished list of political theorists, social policy experts, and legal scholars to address how welfare reform has affected core concepts of political theory and our understanding of democracy itself. Welfare Reform and Political Theory is unified by a common set of questions. The contributors come from across the political spectrum, each bringing different perspectives to bear. Carole Pateman argues that welfare reform has compromised the very tenets of democracy by tying the idea of citizenship to participation in the marketplace. But William Galston writes that American citizenship has in some respects always been conditioned on good behavior; work requirements continue that tradition by promoting individual responsibility and self-reliance—values essential to a well-functioning democracy. Desmond King suggests that work requirements draw invidious distinctions among citizens and therefore destroy political equality. Amy Wax, on the other hand, contends that ending entitlement does not harm notions of equality, but promotes them, by ensuring that no one is rewarded for idleness. Christopher Beem argues that entitlement welfare served a social function—acknowledging the social value of care—that has been lost in the movement towards conditional benefits. Stuart White writes that work requirements can be accepted only subject to certain conditions, while Lawrence Mead argues that concerns about justice must be addressed only after recipients are working. Alan Deacon is well to the left of Joel Schartz, but both say government may actively promote virtue through social policy—a stance some other contributors reject. The move to work-centered welfare in the 1990s represented not just a change in government policy, but a philosophical change in the way people perceived government, its functions, and its relationship with citizens. Welfare Reform and Political Theory offers a long overdue theoretical reexamination of democracy and citizenship in a workfare society.
For over sixty years, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been subjected to many solutions and offered many answers by diverse parties. Yet, answers are only as good as the questions that beget them. It is with this simple, but powerful idea, the idea of asking the basic questions anew, that the renowned Palestinian philosopher and activist Sari Nusseibeh begins his book.
The state of Israel is often spoken of as a haven for the Jewish people, a place rooted in the story of a nation dispersed, wandering the earth in search of their homeland. Born in adversity but purportedly nurtured by liberal ideals, Israel has never known peace, experiencing instead a state of constant war that has divided its population along the stark and seemingly unbreachable lines of dissent around the relationship between unrestricted citizenship and Jewish identity.
By focusing on the perceptions and histories of Israel’s most marginalized stakeholders—Palestinian Israelis, Arab Jews, and non-Israeli Jews—Atalia Omer cuts to the heart of the Israeli-Arab conflict, demonstrating how these voices provide urgently needed resources for conflict analysis and peacebuilding. Navigating a complex set of arguments about ethnicity, boundaries, and peace, and offering a different approach to the renegotiation and reimagination of national identity and citizenship, Omer pushes the conversation beyond the bounds of the single narrative and toward a new and dynamic concept of justice—one that offers the prospect of building a lasting peace.
This book looks beyond politics to show how the ability of the U.S. government to implement policies is strongly affected by various economic constraints. These include the credibility of the policies, the ability of government to commit to them, the extent to which firms and consumers rationally anticipate their effects, whether the success of a policy further encourages firms and individuals to behave in intended ways, and whether the behavior of such actors can be sustained without continued government intervention.
The authors apply these concepts to four areas of policy: macroeconomic policies to promote employment and economic growth, redistributive policies to benefit the poor and the elderly, production policies to provide goods and services, and regulatory policies to guide the behavior of firms and individuals. In doing so they provide plausible explanations of many puzzling phenomena—for example, why government has been successful in reducing cigarette smoking, but has failed to get people to install and maintain emission-control devices in their cars.
This book recasts debates about public policy, avoiding conventional “pro-government” or “anti-government” positions; rather, it helps to predict when public policy will succeed.