logo for University of Minnesota Press
The Third Space of Sovereignty
The Postcolonial Politics of U.S.–Indigenous Relations
Kevin Bruyneel
University of Minnesota Press, 2007

The imposition of modern American colonial rule has defined U.S.–indigenous relations since the time of the American Civil War. In resistance, Kevin Bruyneel asserts, indigenous political actors work across American spatial and temporal boundaries, demanding rights and resources from the government while also challenging the imposition of colonial rule over their lives. This resistance engenders what he calls a “third space of sovereignty,” which resides neither inside nor outside the U.S. political system but rather exists on its boundaries, exposing both the practices and limitations of American colonial rule. 

The Third Space of Sovereignty offers fresh insights on such topics as the crucial importance of the formal end of treaty-making in 1871, indigenous responses to the prospect of U.S. citizenship in the 1920s, native politics during the tumultuous civil rights era of the 1960s, the question of indigenousness in the special election of California’s governor in 2003, and the current issues surrounding gaming and casinos.

In this engaging and provocative work, Bruyneel shows how native political actors have effectively contested the narrow limits that the United States has imposed on indigenous people’s ability to define their identity and to develop economically and politically on their own terms.

Kevin Bruyneel is assistant professor of politics at Babson College.


front cover of Trust
Representatives and Constituents
William T. Bianco
University of Michigan Press, 1994

Why do constituents sometimes defer to their representative's judgment, rewarding her for acting as she thinks best, even when she ignores their demands? By making decisions about trust, constituents determine whether their representative is rewarded for implementing their demands or for using her judgment. These decisions shape legislator behavior and, through behavior, policy outcomes. Therefore, any attempt to explain or evaluate representative institutions such as the modern Congress requires an answer to a simple question: When do constituents trust their representative, and what is the basis of that trust?

This book is the first systematic analysis of constituent trust. It assumes that elected officials and ordinary citizens are rational actors. However, the book moves beyond the standard rational choice framework in three ways. It avoids narrow, unrealistic assumptions about motivations and information. It shows that many kinds of behavior not usually thought of as rational choices, such as a voter's desire to be represented by "someone like them," are the product of a systematic, predictable calculus---a calculus aimed at securing favorable policy outcomes. Finally, the book uses interviews with ninety-three members of the U.S. House of Representatives to test its predictions about trust.


front cover of Turf Wars
Turf Wars
How Congressional Committees Claim Jurisdiction
David C. King
University of Chicago Press, 1997
For most bills in American legislatures, the issue of turf—or which committee has jurisdiction over a bill—can make all the difference. Turf governs the flow and fate of all legislation. In this innovative study, David C. King explains how jurisdictional areas for committees are created and changed in Congress.

Political scientists have long maintained that jurisdictions are relatively static, changing only at times of dramatic reforms. Not so, says King. Combining quantitative evidence with interviews and case studies, he shows how on-going turf wars make jurisdictions fluid.

According to King, jurisdictional change stems both from legislators seeking electoral advantage and from nonpartisan House parliamentarians referring ambiguous bills to committees with the expertise to handle the issues. King brilliantly dissects the politics of turf grabbing and at the same time shows how parliamentarians have become institutional guardians of the legislative process.

Original and insightful, Turf Wars will be valuable to those interested in congressional studies and American politics more generally.


front cover of Tyranny of the Minority
Tyranny of the Minority
The Subconstituency Politics Theory of Representation
Benjamin G. Bishin
Temple University Press, 2009

Why do politicians frequently heed the preferences of small groups of citizens over those of the majority? Breaking new theoretical ground, Benjamin Bishin explains how the desires of small groups, which he calls “subconstituencies,” often trump the preferences of much larger groups.

Demonstrating the wide applicability of his “unified theory of representation,” Bishin traces politicians' behavior in connection with a wide range of issues, including the Cuban trade embargo, the extension of hate-crimes legislation to protect gay men and lesbians, the renewal of the assault-weapons ban, and abortion politics. In the process, he offers a unique explanation of when, why, and how special interests dominate American national politics.


Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter