This bold, groundbreaking study of American political development assesses the presidency of Abraham Lincoln through the lenses of governmental power, economic policy, expansion of executive power, and natural rights to show how Lincoln not only believed in the limitations of presidential power but also dedicated his presidency to restraining the scope and range of it.
Though Lincoln’s presidency is inextricably linked to the Civil War, and he is best known for his defense of the Union and executive wartime leadership, Lincoln believed that Congress should be at the helm of public policy making. Likewise, Lincoln may have embraced limited government in vague terms, but he strongly supported effective rule of law and distribution of income and wealth. Placing the Lincoln presidency within a deeper and more meaningful historical context, Abraham Lincoln’s Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy highlights Lincoln’s significance in the development of American power institutions and social movement politics.
Using Lincoln’s prepresidential and presidential words and actions, this book argues that decent government demands a balance of competing goods and the strong statesmanship that Lincoln exemplified. Instead of relying too heavily on the will of the people and institutional solutions to help prevent tyranny, Jon D. Schaff proposes that American democracy would be better served by a moderate and prudential statesmanship such as Lincoln’s, which would help limit democratic excesses.
Schaff explains how Lincoln’s views on prudence, moderation, natural rights, and economics contain the notion of limits, then views Lincoln’s political and presidential leadership through the same lens. He compares Lincoln’s views on governmental powers with the defense of unlimited government by twentieth-century progressives and shows how Lincoln’s theory of labor anticipated twentieth-century distributist economic thought. Schaff’s unique exploration falls squarely between historians who consider Lincoln a protoprogressive and those who say his presidency was a harbinger of industrialized, corporatized America.
In analyzing Lincoln’s approach, Abraham Lincoln’s Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy rejects the idea he was a revolutionary statesman and instead lifts up Lincoln’s own affinity for limited presidential power, making the case for a modest approach to presidential power today based on this understanding of Lincoln’s statesmanship. As a counterpoint to the contemporary landscape of bitter, uncivil politics, Schaff points to Lincoln’s statesmanship as a model for better ways of engaging in politics in a democracy.
After Queer Theory makes the provocative claim that queer theory has run its course, made obsolete by the elaboration of its own logic within capitalism. James Penney argues that far from signalling the end of anti-homophobic criticism, however, the end of queer presents the occasion to rethink the relation between sexuality and politics.
Through a critical return to Marxism and psychoanalysis (Freud and Lacan), Penney insists that the way to implant sexuality in the field of political antagonism is paradoxically to abandon the exhausted premise of a politicised sexuality.
After Queer Theory argues that it is necessary to wrest sexuality from the dead end of identity politics, opening it up to a universal emancipatory struggle beyond the reach of capitalism's powers of commodification.
In 1955 the Supreme Court ruled that veterans of the U.S. armed forces could not be court-martialed for overseas crimes that were not detected until after they had left military service. Territorial limitations placed such acts beyond the jurisdiction of civilian courts, and there was no other American court in which they could be adjudicated. As a result, a jurisdictional gap emerged that for decades exempted former troops from prosecution for war crimes. “This was not merely a theoretical possibility,” Patrick Hagopian writes. Over a dozen former soldiers who participated in the My Lai massacre did in fact “get away with murder.” Further court rulings expanded the gap to cover civilian employees and contractors that accompanied the armed forces. In American Immunity, Hagopian places what he calls the “superpower exemption” in the context of a long-standing tension between international law and U.S. sovereignty. He shows that despite the U.S. role in promulgating universal standards of international law and forming institutions where those standards can be enforced, the United States has repeatedly refused to submit its own citizens and troops to the jurisdiction of international tribunals and failed to uphold international standards of justice in its own courts. In 2000 Congress attempted to close the jurisdictional gap with passage of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. The effectiveness of that legislation is still in question, however, since it remains unclear how willing civilian American juries will be to convict veterans for conduct in foreign war zones.
Anti-Literature articulates a rethinking of what is meant today by “literature.” Examining key Latin American forms of experimental writing from the 1920s to the present, Adam Joseph Shellhorse reveals literature’s power as a site for radical reflection and reaction to contemporary political and cultural conditions. His analysis engages the work of writers such as Clarice Lispector, Oswald de Andrade, the Brazilian concrete poets, Osman Lins, and David Viñas, to develop a theory of anti-literature that posits the feminine, multimedial, and subaltern as central to the undoing of what is meant by “literature.”
By placing Brazilian and Argentine anti-literature at the crux of a new way of thinking about the field, Shellhorse challenges prevailing discussions about the historical projection and critical force of Latin American literature. Examining a diverse array of texts and media that include the visual arts, concrete poetry, film scripts, pop culture, neo-baroque narrative, and others that defy genre, Shellhorse delineates the subversive potential of anti-literary modes of writing while also engaging current debates in Latin American studies on subalternity, feminine writing, posthegemony, concretism, affect, marranismo, and the politics of aesthetics.
Avant-Garde Performance and the Limits of Criticism looks at the American avant-garde during the Cold War period, focusing on the interrelated questions of performance practices, cultural resistance, and the politics of criticism and scholarship in the U.S. counterculture. It develops three case studies: the Living Theatre's influential production of Jack Gelber's The Connection, which subverted the historical and political assumptions of the War on Drugs, utilized cutting-edge jazz both formally and thematically, and inspired a generation of artists and activists to rethink the nature of community and communication; the earliest American performance art, namely the Happenings and Fluxus events, which responded in astounding ways to the avaricious movements of Cold War capitalism; and the Black Arts Movement, which brought about practical and theoretical innovations that effectively evade the conceptual categories of Euro-American philosophy and historiography.
Mike Sell's study is groundbreaking in its consideration of the avant-garde in relationship to a crucial but rarely considered agent: the scholar and critic. The book examines the role of the scholar and critic in the cultural struggles of radical artists and activists and reveals how avant-garde performance identifies the very limits of critical consideration. The book also explores the popularization of the avant-garde: how formerly subversive art is eventually discovered by the mass media, is gobbled up by the marketplace, and eventually finds its way onto the syllabi of college and university courses. Avant-Garde Performance and the Limits of Criticism is a timely and significant book that will become a standard reference for scholars in the fields of avant-garde literary criticism, theater history, critical theory, and performance studies.
"A provocative exploration of relations between the historical avant-garde and Cold War vanguard art and theatre. Sell's compelling historical and cultural narrative shows how the connections between the two exist at a very deep level of radical politics and aesthetics--an amazing concoction of rigorous scholarship, interdisciplinary learning, and progressive theorizing."
--Michael Vanden Heuvel, University of Wisconsin, Madison
"One of the most sophisticated, engaged, and engaging studies of the avant-garde in the United States that I've read-an important study that will raise the bar not only on scholarship of the Black Arts Movement, but on U.S. avant-gardism generally."
--James Smethurst, University of Massachusetts
A volume in the series Theater: Theory/Text/Performance. A list of recent titles in the series appears at the front of this volume.
In Blood and Boundaries, Stuart B. Schwartz takes us to late medieval Latin America to show how Spain and Portugal’s policies of exclusion and discrimination based on religious origins and genealogy were transferred to their colonies in Latin America. Rather than concentrating on the three principal divisions of colonial society—Indians, Europeans, and people of African origins—as is common in studies of these colonial societies, Schwartz examines the three minority groups of moriscos, conversos, and mestizos. Muslim and Jewish converts and their descendants, he shows, posed a special problem for colonial society: they were feared and distrusted as peoples considered ethnically distinct, but at the same time their conversion to Christianity seemed to violate stable social categories and identities. This led to the creation of “cleanliness of blood” regulations that explicitly discriminated against converts. Eventually, Schwartz shows, those regulations were extended to control the subject indigenous and enslaved African populations, and over time, applied to the growing numbers of mestizos, peoples of mixed ethnic origins. Despite the efforts of civil and church and state institutions to regulate, denigrate, and exclude, members of these affected groups often found legal and practical means to ignore, circumvent, or challenge the efforts to categorize and exclude them, creating in the process the dynamic societies of Latin America that emerged in the nineteenth century.
In 1650, Archbishop James Ussher of Armagh joined the long-running theological debate on the age of the earth by famously announcing that creation had occurred on October 23, 4004 B.C. Although widely challenged during the Enlightenment, this belief in a six-thousand-year-old planet was only laid to rest during a revolution of discovery in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In this relatively brief period, geologists reconstructed the immensely long history of the earth-and the relatively recent arrival of human life. Highlighting a discovery that radically altered existing perceptions of a human's place in the universe as much as the theories of Copernicus, Darwin, and Freud did, Bursting the Limits of Time is a herculean effort by one of the world's foremost experts on the history of geology and paleontology to sketch this historicization of the natural world in the age of revolution.
Addressing this intellectual revolution for the first time, Rudwick examines the ideas and practices of earth scientists throughout the Western world to show how the story of what we now call "deep time" was pieced together. He explores who was responsible for the discovery of the earth's history, refutes the concept of a rift between science and religion in dating the earth, and details how the study of the history of the earth helped define a new branch of science called geology. Rooting his analysis in a detailed study of primary sources, Rudwick emphasizes the lasting importance of field- and museum-based research of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Bursting the Limits of Time, the culmination of more than three decades of research, is the first detailed account of this monumental phase in the history of science.
Politicians, citizens, and police agencies have long embraced community policing, hoping to reduce crime and disorder by strengthening the ties between urban residents and the officers entrusted with their protection.
That strategy seems to make sense, but in Citizens, Cops, and Power, Steve Herbert reveals the reasons why it rarely, if ever, works. Drawing on data he collected in diverse Seattle neighborhoods from interviews with residents, observation of police officers, and attendance at community-police meetings, Herbert identifies the many obstacles that make effective collaboration between city dwellers and the police so unlikely to succeed. At the same time, he shows that residents’ pragmatic ideas about the role of community differ dramatically from those held by social theorists.
Surprising and provocative, Citizens, Cops, and Power provides a critical perspective not only on the future of community policing, but on the nature of state-society relations as well.
The Civil War is often portrayed as the most brutal war in America's history, a premonition of twentieth-century slaughter and carnage. In challenging this view, Mark E. Neely, Jr., considers the war's destructiveness in a comparative context, revealing the sense of limits that guided the conduct of American soldiers and statesmen.
Neely begins by contrasting Civil War behavior with U.S. soldiers' experiences in the Mexican War of 1846. He examines Price's Raid in Missouri for evidence of deterioration in the restraints imposed by the customs of war; and in a brilliant analysis of Philip Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley campaign, he shows that the actions of U.S. cavalrymen were selective and controlled. The Mexican war of the 1860s between French imperial forces and republicans provided a new yardstick for brutality: Emperor Maximilian's infamous Black Decree threatened captured enemies with execution. Civil War battles, however, paled in comparison with the unrestrained warfare waged against the Plains Indians. Racial beliefs, Neely shows, were a major determinant of wartime behavior.
Destructive rhetoric was rampant in the congressional debate over the resolution to avenge the treatment of Union captives at Andersonville by deliberately starving and freezing to death Confederate prisoners of war. Nevertheless, to gauge the events of the war by the ferocity of its language of political hatred is a mistake, Neely argues. The modern overemphasis on violence in Civil War literature has led many scholars to go too far in drawing close analogies with the twentieth century's "total war" and the grim guerrilla struggles of Vietnam.
Introductory physics is not often a popular class among liberal arts majors. With its lively prose and analogies from the arts, humanities, and social sciences, however, Contemporary Physics and the Limits of Knowledge is guaranteed to enlighten and delight nonscience majors. Morton Tavel contends that every one of the six topics that he explores--symmetry, special and general relativity, statistical physics, quantum mechanics, and chaos--has played a role in telling us what we are unable to know about the physical world. He explains what each of the topics reveals about our attempts to pinpoint reality, and how each scientific revelation forces us to acknowledge a narrowing rather than a broadening of our knowledge. Chaos theory, for example, reveals a way to understand the randomness that seems so prevalent in natural phenomena such as weather. This development unifies our understanding of many phenomena that had been previously thought unrelated. Yet, chaos represents a significant diminution in what we can hope to predict about the course of natural events. It has increased our knowledge or understanding of a phenomena, but has seriously eroded our long-held, Newtonian vision of prediction and control. Tavel emphasizes the features of physics that make it a very human endeavor and serve to build bridges to all other intellectual disciplicnes.
What do community organizations and organizers do, and what should they do? For the past thirty years politicians, academics, advocates, and activists have heralded community as a site and strategy for social change. In contrast, Contesting Community paints a more critical picture of community work which, according to the authors--in both theory and practice--has amounted to less than the sum of its parts. Their comparative study of efforts in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada describes and analyzes the limits and potential of this work.
Covering dozens of groups, including ACORN, Brooklyn's Fifth Avenue Committee, and the Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal, and discussing alternative models, this book is at once historical and contemporary, global and local. Contesting Community addresses one of the vital issues of our day--the role and meaning of community in people's lives and in the larger political economy.
Critics will always disagree, but, maintains Wayne Booth, their disagreement need not result in critical chaos. In Critical Understanding, Booth argues for a reasoned pluralism—a criticism more various and resourceful than can be caught in any one critic's net. He relates three noted pluralists—Ronald Crane, Kenneth Burke, and M. H. Abrams—to various currently popular critical approaches. Throughout, Booth tests the abstractions of metacriticism against particular literary works, devoting a substantial portion of his discussion to works by W. H. Auden, Henry James, Oliver Goldsmith, and Anatole France.
In Dante and the Limits of the Law, Justin Steinberg offers the first comprehensive study of the legal structure essential to Dante’s Divine Comedy. Steinberg reveals how Dante imagines an afterlife dominated by sophisticated laws, hierarchical jurisdictions, and rationalized punishments and rewards. He makes the compelling case that Dante deliberately exploits this highly structured legal system to explore the phenomenon of exceptions to it, crucially introducing Dante to current debates about literature’s relation to law, exceptionality, and sovereignty.
Examining how Dante probes the limits of the law in this juridical otherworld, Steinberg argues that exceptions were vital to the medieval legal order and that Dante’s otherworld represents an ideal “system of exception.” In the real world, Dante saw this system as increasingly threatened by the dual crises of church and empire: the abuses and overreaching of the popes and the absence of an effective Holy Roman Emperor. Steinberg shows that Dante’s imagination of the afterlife seeks to address this gap between the universal validity of Roman law and the lack of a sovereign power to enforce it. Exploring the institutional role of disgrace, the entwined phenomena of judicial discretion and artistic freedom, medieval ideas about privilege and immunity, and the place of judgment in the poem, this cogently argued book brings to life Dante’s sense of justice.
Musical sound has been central to heteromasculinist productions of nation and homeland, whether Chicano, Tejano, Texan, Mexican, or American. If this assertion holds true, as Deborah R. Vargas suggests, then what are we to make of those singers and musicians whose representations of gender and sexuality are irreconcilable with canonical Chicano/Tejano music or what Vargas refers to as “la onda”? These are the “dissonant divas” Vargas discusses, performers who stimulate our listening for alternative borderlands imaginaries that are inaudible within the limits of “la onda.”
Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music focuses on the Texan monument of the Alamo and its association with Rosita Fernandez; Tejano corrido folklore and its musical antithesis in Chelo Silva; the female accordion-playing bodies of Ventura Alonza and Eva Ybarra as incompatible with the instrumental labor of conjunto music; geography as national border, explored through the multiple national music scales negotiated by Eva Garza; and racialized gender, viewed through Selena’s integration of black diasporic musical sound. Vargas offers a feminist analysis of these figures’ contributions by advancing a notion of musical dissonance—a dissonance that recognizes the complexity of gender, sexuality, and power within Chicana/o culture.
Incorporating ethnographic fieldwork, oral history, and archival research, Vargas’s study demonstrates how these singers work together to explode the limits of Texan, Chicano, Tejano, Mexican, and American identities.
When Czechoslovakia became independent in 1918, Czechs embraced democracy, which they saw as particularly suited to their national interests. Politicians enthusiastically supported a constitution that proclaimed all citizens, women as well as men, legally equal. But they soon found themselves split over how to implement this pledge. Some believed democracy required extensive egalitarian legislation. Others contended that any commitment to equality had to bow before other social interests, such as preserving the traditional family.
On the eve of World War II, Czech leaders jettisoned the young republic for an “authoritarian democracy” that firmly placed their nation, and not the individual citizen, at the center of politics. In 1948, they turned to a Communist-led “people's democracy,” which also devalued individual rights.
By examining specific policy issues, including marriage and family law, civil service regulations, citizenship law, and abortion statutes, Elusive Equality demonstrates the relationship between Czechs' ideas about gender roles and their attitudes toward democracy. Gradually, many Czechs became convinced that protecting a traditionally gendered family ideal was more important to their national survival than adhering to constitutionally prescribed standards of equal citizenship. Through extensive original research, Melissa Feinberg assembles a compelling account of how early Czech progress in women's rights, tied to democratic reforms, eventually lost momentum in the face of political transformations and the separation of state and domestic issues. Moreover, Feinberg presents a prism through which our understanding of twentieth-century democracy is deepened, and a cautionary tale for all those who want to make democratic governments work.
In Elusive Unity, Armstrong-Fumero examines early twentieth-century peasant politics and twenty-first-century indigenous politics in the rural Oriente region of Yucatán.
The rural inhabitants of this region have had some of their most important dealings with their nation’s government as self-identified “peasants” and “Maya.” Using ethnography, oral history, and archival research, Armstrong-Fumero shows how the same body of narrative tropes has defined the local experience of twentieth-century agrarianism and twenty-first-century multiculturalism.
Through these recycled narratives, contemporary multicultural politics have also inherited some ambiguities that were built into its agrarian predecessor. Specifically, local experiences of peasant and indigenous politics are shaped by tensions between the vernacular language of identity and the intense factionalism that often defines the social organization of rural communities. This significant contribution will be of interest to historians, anthropologists, and political scientists studying Latin America and the Maya.
In the early fall of 1897, yellow fever shuttered businesses, paralyzed trade, and caused tens of thousand of people living in the southern United States to abandon their homes and flee for their lives. Originating in Cuba, the deadly plague inspired disease-control measures that not only protected U.S. trade interests but also justified the political and economic domination of the island nation from which the pestilence came. By focusing on yellow fever, Epidemic Invasions uncovers for the first time how the devastating power of this virus profoundly shaped the relationship between the two countries.
Yellow fever in Cuba, Mariola Espinosa demonstrates, motivated the United States to declare war against Spain in 1898, and, after the war was won and the disease eradicated, the United States demanded that Cuba pledge in its new constitution to maintain the sanitation standards established during the occupation. By situating the history of the fight against yellow fever within its political, military, and economic context, Espinosa reveals that the U.S. program of sanitation and disease control in Cuba was not a charitable endeavor. Instead, she shows that it was an exercise in colonial public health that served to eliminate threats to the continued expansion of U.S. influence in the world.
Bernard Williams is an eloquent member of that small but important group of distinguished thinkers who are trying to erase the borders between the experts and all of us who grapple with moral issues in our own lives. In this book he delivers a sustained indictment of systematic moral theory from Kant onward and offers a persuasive alternative.
Kant’s ideas involved a view of the self we can no longer accept. Modern theories such as utilitarianism and contractualism usually offer criteria that lie outside the self altogether, and this, together with an emphasis on system, has weakened ethical thought. Why should a set of ideas have any special authority over our sentiments just because it has the structure of a theory? How could abstract theory help the individual answer the Socratic question “How should I live?”
Williams’s goal is nothing less than to reorient ethics toward the individual. He accuses modern moral philosophers of retreating to system and deserting individuals in their current social context. He believes that the ethical work of Plato and Aristotle is nearer to the truth of what ethical life is, but at the same time recognizes that the modern world makes unparalleled demands on ethical thought. He deals with the most thorny questions in contemporary philosophy and offers new ideas about issues such as relativism, objectivity, and the possibility of ethical knowledge. Williams has written an imaginative, ingenious book that calls for philosophers to transcend their self-imposed limits and to give full attention to the complexities of the ethical life.
In this highly acclaimed, provocative book, Robert Kuttner disputes the laissez-faire direction of both economic theory and practice that has been gaining in prominence since the mid-1970s. Dissenting voices, Kuttner argues, have been drowned out by a stream of circular arguments and complex mathematical models that ignore real-world conditions and disregard values that can't easily be turned into commodities. With its brilliant explanation of how some sectors of the economy require a blend of market, regulation, and social outlay, and a new preface addressing the current global economic crisis, Kuttner's study will play an important role in policy-making for the twenty-first century.
"The best survey of the limits of free markets that we have. . . . A much needed plea for pragmatism: Take from free markets what is good and do not hesitate to recognize what is bad."—Jeff Madrick, Los Angeles Times
"It ought to be compulsory reading for all politicians—fortunately for them and us, it is an elegant read."—The Economist
"Demonstrating an impressive mastery of a vast range of material, Mr. Kuttner lays out the case for the market's insufficiency in field after field: employment, medicine, banking, securities, telecommunications, electric power."—Nicholas Lemann, New York Times Book Review
"A powerful empirical broadside. One by one, he lays on cases where governments have outdone markets, or at least performed well."—Michael Hirsh, Newsweek
"To understand the economic policy debates that will take place in the next few years, you can't do better than to read this book."—Suzanne Garment, Washington Post Book World
According to security elites, revolutions in information, transport, and weapons technologies have shrunk the world, leaving the United States and its allies more vulnerable than ever to violent threats like terrorism or cyberwar. As a result, they practice responses driven by fear: theories of falling dominoes, hysteria in place of sober debate, and an embrace of preemptive war to tame a chaotic world.
Patrick Porter challenges these ideas. In The Global Village Myth, he disputes globalism's claims and the outcomes that so often waste blood and treasure in the pursuit of an unattainable "total" security. Porter reexamines the notion of the endangered global village by examining Al-Qaeda's global guerilla movement, military tensions in the Taiwan Strait, and drones and cyberwar, two technologies often used by globalists to support their views. His critique exposes the folly of disastrous wars and the loss of civil liberties resulting from the globalist enterprise. Showing that technology expands rather than shrinks strategic space, Porter offers an alternative outlook to lead policymakers toward more sensible responses—and a wiser, more sustainable grand strategy.
Combining Maurice Merleau-Ponty's 1960 course notes on Edmund Husserl's "The Origin of Geometry," his course summary, related texts, and critical essays, this collection offers a unique and welcome glimpse into both Merleau-Ponty's nuanced reading of Husserl's famed late writings and his persistent effort to track the very genesis of truth through the incarnate idealization of language.
"Lesbian feminism began and has fueled itself with the rejection of liberalism.... In this rejection, lesbian feminists were not alone. They were joined by the New Left, by many blacks in the civil rights movement, by male academic theorists.... What all these groups shared was an intense awareness of the ways in which liberalism fails to account for the social reality of the world, through a reliance upon law and legal structure to define membership, through individualism, through its basis in a particular conception of rationality."
In tracing how lesbian feminism came to be defined in uneasy relationships with the Women’s Movement and gay rights groups, Shane Phelan explores the tension between liberal ideals of individual rights and tolerance and communitarian ideals of solidarity. The debate over lesbian sado-masochism—an expression of individual choice or pornographic, anti-feminist behavior?—is considered as a test case.
Phelan addresses the problems faced by "the woman-identified woman" in a liberal society that presumes heterosexuality as the biological, psychological, and moral standard. Often silenced by laws defining their sexual behavior as criminal and censured by a medical establishment that persists in defining homosexuality as perversion, lesbians, like blacks and other groups, have fought to have the same rights as others in their communities and even in their own homes. Lesbian feminists have also sought to define themselves as a community that would be distinctly different, a community that would disavow the traditional American obsession with individual advancement in the world as it is.
In this controversial study of political philosophy and the women’s movement, Phelan argues that "the failure to date to produce a satisfying theory and program for lesbian action is reflective of the failure of modern political thinking to produce a compelling, nonsuspect alternative to liberalism."
In the series Women in the Political Economy, edited by Ronnie J. Steinberg.
The emergence of New Institutional Economics toward the end of the twentieth century profoundly changed our ideas about the organization of economic systems and their social and political foundations. Imperfect Institutions explores recent developments in this field and pushes the discussion forward by allowing for incomplete knowledge of social systems and unexpected system dynamics and, above all, by focusing explicitly on institutional policy. Empirical studies extending from Africa to Iceland are cited in support of the theoretical argument.
In Imperfect Institutions Thráinn Eggertsson extends his attempt to integrate and develop the new field that began with his acclaimed Economic Behavior and Institutions (1990), which has been translated into six languages. This latest work analyzes why institutions that create relative economic backwardness emerge and persist and considers the possibilities and limits of institutional reform.
Thráinn Eggertsson is Professor of Economics at the University of Iceland and Global Distinguished Professor of Politics at New York University. Previously published works include Economic Behavior and Institutions (1990) and Empirical Studies in Institutional Change with Lee Alston and Douglass North (1996).
An irony inherent in all political systems is that the principles that underlie and characterize them can also endanger and destroy them. This collection examines the limits that need to be imposed on democracy, liberty, and tolerance in order to ensure the survival of the societies that cherish them. The essays in this volume consider the philosophical difficulties inherent in the concepts of liberty and tolerance; at the same time, they ponder practical problems arising from the tensions between the forces of democracy and the destructive elements that take advantage of liberty to bring harm that undermines democracy.
Written in the wake of the assasination of Yitzhak Rabin, this volume is thus dedicated to the question of boundaries: how should democracies cope with antidemocratic forces that challenge its system? How should we respond to threats that undermine democracy and at the same time retain our values and maintain our commitment to democracy and to its underlying values?
All the essays here share a belief in the urgency of the need to tackle and find adequate answers to radicalism and political extremism. They cover such topics as the dilemmas embodied in the notion of tolerance, including the cost and regulation of free speech; incitement as distinct from advocacy; the challenge of religious extremism to liberal democracy; the problematics of hate speech; free communication, freedom of the media, and especially the relationships between media and terrorism.
The contributors to this volume are David E. Boeyink, Harvey Chisick, Irwin Cotler, David Feldman, Owen Fiss, David Goldberg, J. Michael Jaffe, Edmund B. Lambeth, Sam Lehman-Wilzig, Joseph Eliot Magnet, Richard Moon, Frederick Schauer, and L.W. Sumner. The volume includes the opening remarks of Mrs.Yitzhak Rabin to the conference--dedicated to the late Yitzhak Rabin--at which these papers were originally presented. These studies will appeal to politicians, sociologists, media educators and professionals, jurists and lawyers, as well as the general public.
Limits and Possibilities was first published in 1990. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The nature of the Eastern European Socialist state and its potential for transformation without sacrificing its specific identity is the subject of extensive current debate. Limits and Possibilities is the first book to be written that deals conceptually and historically with the myriad kinds of change a state might undergo. Bogdon Denitch has chosen the Yugoslavian model to frame his analysis because it initiated these "modernizing" changes in the 1960s and can therefore provide a case study of the limits of reforms possible in Communist regimes. In using the Yugoslav case paradigmatically, the volume addresses in a more general sense the issues of decentralization, autonomy for nonparty and nonstate institutions, multi-ethnicity, new social movements, including the "greens," and the role of women and women's movements.
The Limits of Alignment is an engaging and accessible study that explores how small states and middle powers of Southeast Asia ensure their security in a world where they are overshadowed by greater powers. John D. Ciorciari challenges a central concept in international relations theory—that states respond to insecurity by either balancing against their principal foes, “bandwagoning” with them, or declaring themselves neutral. Instead, he shows that developing countries prefer limited alignments that steer between strict neutrality and formal alliances to obtain the fruits of security cooperation without the perils of undue dependency.
Ciorciari also shows how structural and normative shifts following the end of the Cold War and the advent of U.S. primacy have increased the prevalence of limited alignments in the developing world and that these can often place constraints on U.S. foreign policy. Finally, he discusses how limited alignments in the developing world may affect the future course of international security as China and other rising powers gather influence on the world stage.
Once considered a period of decline, Late Antiquity (third through eighth centuries C.E.) is now seen as a creative period of transition between the ancient and medieval worlds. Ostensibly an "otherworldly" religion, Christianity became a powerful worldly cultural force. But this power was shaped and severely limited by a large number of factors, including its own highly diverse traditions, scriptures, practices, and theologies.
William Klingshirn and Mark Vessey have assembled some of the most influential scholars in the study of Late Antiquity to test the limits of Christianity. The sixteen essays in this collection investigate the ways in which the concept of "limits" (temporal, spatial, ideological, social, and cultural) can help us to understand the texture of Christianity during this formative period. Taken together, the essays in this volume constitute as yet the most sustained study of cultural transformations evoked by Robert Markus's phrase "the end of ancient Christianity."
This timely volume will interest students of early Christian history and theology, as well as historians of the Roman empire and early middle ages. Because it examines a formative period of western civilization, it will also speak to anyone who wonders why Christianity takes the form it does today.
Contributors include Gerald Bonner, Peter Brown, Virginia Burrus, John Cavadini, Elizabeth Clark, Paula Fredriksen, Sidney Griffith, David Hunter, Conrad Leyser, Paul Meyvaert, Oliver Nicholson, James O'Donnell, Philip Rousseau, Frederick Russell, Carole Straw, and Robert Wilken.
William E. Klingshirn is Associate Professor of Greek and Latin, The Catholic University of America. Mark Vessey is Associate Professor of English, University of British Columbia.
The New Hollywood era of the late 1960s and early 1970s has become one of the most romanticized periods in motion picture history, celebrated for its stylistic boldness, thematic complexity, and the unshackling of directorial ambition. The Limits of Auteurism aims to challenge many of these assumptions. Beginning with the commercial success of Easy Rider in 1969, and ending two years later with the critical and commercial failure of that film’s twin progeny, The Last Movie and The Hired Hand, Nicholas Godfrey surveys a key moment that defined the subsequent aesthetic parameters of American commercial art cinema.
The book explores the role that contemporary critics played in determining how the movies of this period were understood and how, in turn, strategies of distribution influenced critical responses and dictated the conditions of entry into the rapidly codifying New Hollywood canon. Focusing on a small number of industrially significant films, this new history advances our understanding of this important moment of transition from Classical to contemporary modes of production.
Faith in the power and righteousness of retribution has taken over the American criminal justice system. Approaching punishment and responsibility from a philosophical perspective, Erin Kelly challenges the moralism behind harsh treatment of criminal offenders and calls into question our society’s commitment to mass incarceration.
In many Western countries, rights that once belonged solely to citizens are being extended to immigrants, a trend that challenges the nature and basis of citizenship at a time when nation-states are fortifying their boundaries through restirictive border controls and expressions of nationalist ideologies. In this book, Yasemin Soysal compares the different ways European nations incorporate immigrants, how these policies evolved, and how they are influenced by international human rights discourse.
Soysal focuses on postwar international migration, paying particular attention to "guestworkers." Taking an in-depth look at France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, she identifies three major patterns that reflect the varying emphasis particular states place on individual versus corporate groups as the basis for incorporation. She finds that the global expansion and intensification of human rights discourse puts nation-states under increasing outside pressure to extend membership rights to aliens, resulting in an increasingly blurred line between citizen and noncitizen. Finally, she suggests a possible accommodation to these shifts: specifically, a model of post-national membership that derives its legitimacy from universal personhood, rather than national belonging.
This fresh approach to the study of citizenship, rights, and immigration will be invaluable to anyone involved in issues of human rights, international migration, and transnational cultural interactions, as well as to those who study the contemporary transformation of the nation-state, nationalism, and globalization.
The Limits of Critique
Rita Felski University of Chicago Press, 2015 Library of Congress PN81.F44 2015 | Dewey Decimal 801.95
Why must critics unmask and demystify literary works? Why do they believe that language is always withholding some truth, that the critic’s task is to reveal the unsaid or repressed? In this book, Rita Felski examines critique, the dominant form of interpretation in literary studies, and situates it as but one method among many, a method with strong allure—but also definite limits.
Felski argues that critique is a sensibility best captured by Paul Ricoeur’s phrase “the hermeneutics of suspicion.” She shows how this suspicion toward texts forecloses many potential readings while providing no guarantee of rigorous or radical thought. Instead, she suggests, literary scholars should try what she calls “postcritical reading”: rather than looking behind a text for hidden causes and motives, literary scholars should place themselves in front of it and reflect on what it suggests and makes possible.
By bringing critique down to earth and exploring new modes of interpretation, The Limits of Critique offers a fresh approach to the relationship between artistic works and the social world.
The Limits of Ferocity is a powerful critique of the culture of extremity represented in the works of D. H. Lawrence, Georges Bataille, Henry Miller, and Norman Mailer. Daniel Fuchs provides close readings of their literary and intellectual texts, which convey a loathing of middle-class culture or, as the case may be, society itself, in favor of a rebellion often expressed as an aggressive, even apocalyptic, sexuality. The Marquis de Sade is the precursor of this literature, which idealizes the self that violates taboos and laws in the search for erotic transcendence. Fuchs shows as well how these writers reflected and contributed to a broader cultural assault on liberal moderation and Freudian humanism. He explains Freud’s theories of culture and sexual aggression and describes how they were rejected or reworked, sometimes in favor of a liberating violence, by theorists including Wilhelm Reich, Norman O. Brown, and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Fuchs concludes with a reflection on books by William Burroughs, Bret Easton Ellis, and the sociologist Philip Rieff. This absorbing study illuminates the utopianism and narcissism in works of intellectual and artistic “ferocity” that characterized the turn in American consciousness from the period after the Second World War to the late 1960s and 1970s.
Our legal system is committed to the idea that private markets and the law of contracts that supports them are the primary institutions for allocating goods and services in a modern economy. Yet the market paradigm, this book argues, leaves substantial room for challenge.
The plots of Homeric poems depend upon the uncertainty of Odysseus and Achilles getting what they want, while the endings imply that getting what one wants may itself be a disaster. By examining specific episodes of the Odyssey, Mark Buchan illustrates the centrality of hazard and doubt to decision-making, and argues that such uncertainty affects not only the heroes themselves, but also the world around them. Buchan goes on to introduce the paradoxes of female desire in the poems, uncovering the ways that female desire at once upholds and threatens the poems' heroic male ideology. Finally, The Limits of Heroism questions the interplay between desire and ideals of heroism, and finds that the poems critique the very ideology that motivates their heroes.
The Limits of History
Constantin Fasolt University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress D16.8.F328 2004 | Dewey Decimal 901
History casts a spell on our minds more powerful than science or religion. It does not root us in the past at all. It rather flatters us with the belief in our ability to recreate the world in our image. It is a form of self-assertion that brooks no opposition or dissent and shelters us from the experience of time.
So argues Constantin Fasolt in The Limits of History, an ambitious and pathbreaking study that conquers history's power by carrying the fight into the center of its domain. Fasolt considers the work of Hermann Conring (1606-81) and Bartolus of Sassoferrato (1313/14-57), two antipodes in early modern battles over the principles of European thought and action that ended with the triumph of historical consciousness. Proceeding according to the rules of normal historical analysis—gathering evidence, putting it in context, and analyzing its meaning—Fasolt uncovers limits that no kind of history can cross. He concludes that history is a ritual designed to maintain the modern faith in the autonomy of states and individuals. God wants it, the old crusaders would have said. The truth, Fasolt insists, only begins where that illusion ends.
With its probing look at the ideological underpinnings of historical practice, The Limits of History demonstrates that history presupposes highly political assumptions about free will, responsibility, and the relationship between the past and the present. A work of both intellectual history and historiography, it will prove invaluable to students of historical method, philosophy, political theory, and early modern European culture.
When the U.S. Supreme Court announces a decision, reporters simplify and dramatize the complex legal issues by highlighting dissenting opinions and thus emphasizing conflict among the justices themselves. This often sensationalistic coverage fosters public controversy over specific rulings despite polls which show that Americans strongly believe in the Court’s legitimacy as an institution. In The Limits of Legitimacy, Michael A. Zilis illuminates this link between case law and public opinion. Drawing on a diverse array of sources and methods, he employs case studies of eminent domain decisions, analysis of media reporting, an experiment to test how volunteers respond to media messages, and finally the natural experiment of the controversy over the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
Zilis finds that the media tends not to quote from majority opinions. However, the greater the division over a particular ruling among the justices themselves, the greater the likelihood that the media will criticize that ruling, characterize it as "activist," and employ inflammatory rhetoric. Hethen demonstrates that the media’s portrayal of a decision, as much as the substance of the decision itself, influences citizens’ reactions to and acceptance of it.
This meticulously constructed study and its persuasively argued conclusion advance the understanding of the media, judicial politics, political institutions, and political behavior.
"The Limits of Liberty is concerned mainly with two topics. One is an attempt to construct a new contractarian theory of the state, and the other deals with its legitimate limits. The latter is a matter of great practical importance and is of no small significance from the standpoint of political philosophy."—Scott Gordon, Journal of Political Economy
James Buchanan offers a strikingly innovative approach to a pervasive problem of social philosophy. The problem is one of the classic paradoxes concerning man's freedom in society: in order to protect individual freedom, the state must restrict each person's right to act. Employing the techniques of modern economic analysis, Professor Buchanan reveals the conceptual basis of an individual's social rights by examining the evolution and development of these rights out of presocial conditions.
The Limits of Literary Historicism is a collection of essays arguing that historicism, which has come to dominate the professional study of literature in recent decades, has become ossified. By drawing attention to the limits of historicism—its blind spots, overreach, and reluctance to acknowledge its commitments—this provocative new book seeks a clearer understanding of what historicism can and cannot teach us about literary narrative.
Editors Allen Dunn and Thomas F. Haddox have gathered contributions from leading scholars that challenge the dominance of contemporary historicism. These pieces critique historicism as it is generally practiced, propose alternative historicist models that transcend mere formula, and suggest alternatives to historicism altogether. The volume begins with the editors’ extended introduction, “The Enigma of Critical Distance; or, Why Historicists Need Convictions,” and then is divided into three sections: “The Limits of Historicism,” “Engagements with History,” and “Alternatives to History.”
Defying convention, The Limits of Literary Historicism shakes up established modes to move beyond the claustrophobic analyses of contemporary historicism and to ask larger questions that envision more fulfilling and more responsible possibilities in the practice of literary scholarship.
The last quarter century has seen a broad, but qualified, belief in the efficacy of market organization slide into an unyielding dogma that the market, as unconstrained as possible, is the best way to govern virtually all economic activity. However, unrestricted markets can often lead to gross inequalities in access to important resources, the creation of monopolies, and other negative effects that require regulation or public subsidies to remedy. In The Limits of Market Organization, editor Richard Nelson and a group of economic experts take a more sophisticated look at the public/private debate, noting where markets are useful, where they can be effective only if augmented by non-market mechanisms, and where they are simply inappropriate. The Limits of Market Organization examines the appropriateness of markets in four areas where support for privatization varies widely: human services, public utilities, science and technology, and activities where market involvement is altogether inappropriate. Richard Murnane makes the case that a social interest in providing equal access to high quality education means that for school voucher plans to be effective, substantial government oversight is necessary. Federal involvement in a transcontinental railroad system was initially applauded, but recent financial troubles at Amtrak have prompted many to call for privatization of the rails. Yet contributor Elliot Sclar argues that public subsidies are the only way to maintain this vital part of the American transportation infrastructure. While market principles can promote competition and foster innovation, applying them in certain areas can actually stifle progress. Nelson argues that aggressive patenting has hindered scientific research by restricting access to tools and processes that could be used to generate new findings. He suggests that some kind of exception to patent law should be made for scientists who seek to build off of patented findings and then put their research results into the public domain. In other spheres, market organization is altogether unsuitable. Legal expert Richard Briffault looks at one such example—the democratic political process—and profiles the successes and failures of campaign finance reform in preventing parties from buying political influence. This important volume shows that market organization has its virtues, but also its drawbacks. Just as regulation can be over-applied, so too can market principles. The Limits of Market Organization encourages readers to think more discriminately about the march toward privatization, and to remember the importance of public institutions.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Europeans raised a number of questions about the nature of reality and found their answers to be different from those that had satisfied their forebears. They discounted tales of witches, trolls, magic, and miraculous transformations and instead began looking elsewhere to explain the world around them. In The Limits of Matter, Hjalmar Fors investigates how conceptions of matter changed during the Enlightenment and pins this important change in European culture to the formation of the modern discipline of chemistry.
Fors reveals how, early in the eighteenth century, chemists began to view metals no longer as the ingredients for “chrysopoeia”—or gold making—but as elemental substances, or the basic building blocks of matter. At the center of this emerging idea, argues Fors, was the Bureau of Mines of the Swedish State, which saw the practical and profitable potential of these materials in the economies of mining and smelting.
By studying the chemists at the Swedish Bureau of Mines and their networks, and integrating their practices into the wider European context, Fors illustrates how they and their successors played a significant role in the development of our modern notion of matter and made a significant contribution to the modern European view of reality.
Edward Golub, distinguished researcher and former professor of immunology, shows that
major advances in medicine are caused by changes in the way scientists describe disease.
Bleeding, sweating, and other treatments we consider barbaric were standard treatments for
centuries because they conformed to a conception of disease shared by patients and doctors.
Scientific breakthroughs in the understanding of disease in the nineteenth century transformed
treatment and the goals of medicine. Golub argues that the ongoing revolution in molecular
genetics has opened the door to the "biology of complexity," again transforming our view of
disease. This thought-provoking, timely book reveals a crucial but overlooked role of science
in medicine, and offers a new vision for the goals of both science and medicine as we enter the
The Limits of Money examines money as a historical phenomenon and speculates on its future possibilities and limitations. The volume opens with a concise history of monetary systems and then examines how the advent of numbers transformed money into the main determinant of fiscal value. Simon Goudsmit concludes by looking at the tension between the power of financial incentives and the civic structures and behaviors needed to maintain Western democracy.
The Limits of Money is an intriguing and much-needed study of the role of money in daily life and human societies.
Since its incorporation into the Japanese nation-state in 1879, Okinawa has been seen by both Okinawans and Japanese as an exotic “South,” both spatially and temporally distinct from modern Japan. In The Limits of Okinawa, Wendy Matsumura traces the emergence of this sense of Okinawan difference, showing how local and mainland capitalists, intellectuals, and politicians attempted to resolve clashes with labor by appealing to the idea of a unified Okinawan community. Their numerous confrontations with small producers and cultivators who refused to be exploited for the sake of this ideal produced and reproduced “Okinawa” as an organic, transhistorical entity. Informed by recent Marxist attempts to expand the understanding of the capitalist mode of production to include the production of subjectivity, Matsumura provides a new understanding of Okinawa's place in Japanese and world history, and it establishes a new locus for considering the relationships between empire, capital, nation, and identity.
To many observers, Congress has become a deeply partisan institution where ideologically-distinct political parties do little more than engage in legislative trench warfare. A zero-sum, winner-take-all approach to congressional politics has replaced the bipartisan comity of past eras. If the parties cannot get everything they want in national policymaking, then they prefer gridlock and stalemate to compromise. Or, at least, that is the conventional wisdom.
In The Limits of Party, James M. Curry and Frances E. Lee challenge this conventional wisdom. By constructing legislative histories of congressional majority parties’ attempts to enact their policy agendas in every congress since the 1980s and by drawing on interviews with Washington insiders, the authors analyze the successes and failures of congressional parties to enact their legislative agendas.
Their conclusions will surprise many congressional observers: Even in our time of intense party polarization, bipartisanship remains the key to legislative success on Capitol Hill. Congressional majority parties today are neither more nor less successful at enacting their partisan agendas. They are not more likely to ram though partisan laws or become mired in stalemate. Rather, the parties continue to build bipartisan coalitions for their legislative priorities and typically compromise on their original visions for legislation in order to achieve legislative success.
Michael Hayes offers a vigorous defense of incrementalism: the theory that the policymaking process typically should involve bargaining, delay, compromise, and, therefore, incremental change. Incrementalism, he argues, is one result of a checks-and-balances system in which politicians may disagree over what we want to achieve as a nation or what policies would best achieve shared goals.
Many political scientists have called for reforms that would facilitate majority rule and more radical policy change by strengthening the presidency at the expense of Congress. But Hayes develops policy typologies and analyzes case studies to show that the policy process works best when it conforms to the tenets of incrementalism. He contends that because humans are fallible, politics should work through social processes to achieve limited ends and to ameliorate—rather than completely solve—social problems. Analyzing the evolution of air pollution policy, the failure of President Clinton’s health care reform in 1994, and the successful effort at welfare reform in 1995-96, Hayes calls for changes that would make incrementalism work better by encouraging a more balanced struggle among social interests and by requiring political outcomes to conform to the rule of law.
Written for students and specialists in politics, public policy, and public administration, The Limits of Policy Change examines in detail a central issue in democratic theory.
Conventional wisdom holds that free trade is economically beneficial to nations. But this does not prevent industries and interest groups from lobbying their governments for protection, which creates a fear of electoral backlash among politicians hoping to promote free trade. The Limits of Protectionism demonstrates how governments can attain those economic benefits while avoiding the political costs.
Michael Lusztig’s theoretical model focuses on a process by which protectionists can be pushed to restructure and compete in a global economy. In this process, a small cutback in domestic protection leads to lost market shares at home; producers must then turn to overseas exports, and, as the size of foreign profits grow, former protectionists become active advocates for more and greater free trade opportunities.
In a wide-ranging array of case studies—from nineteenth-century Britain to Depression-era United States to contemporary New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, and Mexico—Lusztig reveals that, if skillfully handled, governments can eliminate the obstacles to free trade and enjoy continued economic growth without fear of protectionist groups seeking revenge at the ballot box.
In this distinguished contribution to Latin American colonial history, Douglas Cope draws upon a wide variety of sources—including Inquisition and court cases, notarial records and parish registers—to challenge the traditional view of castas (members of the caste system created by Spanish overlords) as rootless, alienated, and dominated by a desire to improve their racial status. On the contrary, the castas, Cope shows, were neither passive nor ruled by feelings of racial inferiority; indeed, they often modified or even rejected elite racial ideology. Castas also sought ways to manipulate their social "superiors" through astute use of the legal system. Cope shows that social control by the Spaniards rested less on institutions than on patron-client networks linking individual patricians and plebeians, which enabled the elite class to co-opt the more successful castas.
The book concludes with the most thorough account yet published of the Mexico City riot of 1692. This account illuminates both the shortcomings and strengths of the patron-client system. Spurred by a corn shortage and subsequent famine, a plebeian mob laid waste much of the central city. Cope demonstrates that the political situation was not substantially altered, however; the patronage system continued to control employment and plebeians were largely left to bargain and adapt, as before.
A revealing look at the economic lives of the urban poor in the colonial era, The Limits of Racial Domination examines a period in which critical social changes were occurring. The book should interest historians and ethnohistorians alike.
The Limits of Rationality
Edited by Karen Schweers Cook and Margaret Levi University of Chicago Press, 1990 Library of Congress HM101.L495 1990 | Dewey Decimal 303.4
Prevailing economic theory presumes that agents act rationally when they make decisions, striving to maximize the efficient use of their resources. Psychology has repeatedly challenged the rational choice paradigm with persuasive evidence that people do not always make the optimal choice. Yet the paradigm has proven so successful a predictor that its use continues to flourish, fueled by debate across the social sciences over why it works so well.
Intended to introduce novices to rational choice theory, this accessible, interdisciplinary book collects writings by leading researchers. The Limits of Rationality illuminates the rational choice paradigm of social and political behavior itself, identifies its limitations, clarifies the nature of current controversies, and offers suggestions for improving current models.
In the first section of the book, contributors consider the theoretical foundations of rational choice. Models of rational choice play an important role in providing a standard of human action and the bases for constitutional design, but do they also succeed as explanatory models of behavior? Do empirical failures of these explanatory models constitute a telling condemnation of rational choice theory or do they open new avenues of investigation and theorizing?
Emphasizing analyses of norms and institutions, the second and third sections of the book investigate areas in which rational choice theory might be extended in order to provide better models. The contributors evaluate the adequacy of analyses based on neoclassical economics, the potential contributions of game theory and cognitive science, and the consequences for the basic framework when unequal bargaining power and hierarchy are introduced.
Religion’s place in American public life has never been fixed. As new communities have arrived, as old traditions have fractured and reformed, as cultural norms have been shaped by shifting economic structures and the advance of science, and as new faith traditions have expanded the range of religious confessions within America’s religious landscape, the claims posited by religious faiths—and the respect such claims may demand—have been subjects of near-constant change. In The Limits of Religious Tolerance, Alan Jay Levinovitz pushes against the widely held (and often unexamined) notion that unbounded tolerance must and should be accorded to claims forwarded on the basis of religious belief in a society increasingly characterized by religious pluralism. Pressing at the distinction between tolerance and respect, Levinovitz seeks to offer a set of guideposts by which a democratic society could identify and observe a set of limits beyond which religiously grounded claims may legitimately be denied the expectation of unqualified non-interference.
The Limits Of Science
Nicholas Rescher University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999 Library of Congress HD9744.F554K734 1999 | Dewey Decimal 338.762340947
Perfected science is but an idealization that provides a useful contrast to highlight the limited character of what we do and can attain. This lies at the core of various debates in the philosophy of science and Rescher’s discussion focuses on the question: how far could science go in principle—what are the theoretical limits on science? He concentrates on what science can discover, not what it should discover. He explores in detail the existence of limits or limitations on scientific inquiry, especially those that, in principle, preclude the full realization of the aims of science, as opposed to those that relate to economic obstacles to scientific progress. Rescher also places his argument within the politics of the day, where "strident calls of ideological extremes surround us," ranging from the exaggeration that "science can do anything"—to the antiscientism that views science as a costly diversion we would be well advised to abandon. Rescher offers a middle path between these two extremes and provides an appreciation of the actual powers and limitations of science, not only to philosophers of science but also to a larger, less specialized audience.
The Limits of Scientific Reasoning was first published in 1984. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The study of human judgment and its limitations is essential to an understanding of the processes involved in the acquisition of scientific knowledge. With that end in mind, David Faust has made the first comprehensive attempt to apply recent research on human judgment to the practice of science. Drawing upon the findings of cognitive psychology, Faust maintains that human judgment is far more limited than we have tended to believe and that all individuals - scientists included—have a surprisingly restricted capacity to interpret complex information. Faust's thesis implies that scientists do not perform reasoning tasks, such as theory evaluation, as well as we assume they do, and that there are many judgments the scientist is expected to perform but cannot because of restrictions in cognitive capacity.
"This is a very well-written, timely, and important book. It documents and clarifies, in a very scholarly fashion, what sociologists and psychologists of science have been flirting with for several decades—namely, inherent limitations of scientific judgment," –Michael Mahoney, Pennsylvania State University
David Faust is director of psychology at Rhode Island Hospital and a faculty member of the Brown University Medical School. He is co-author of Teaching Moral Reasoning: Theory and Practice.
Americans take for granted that government does not have the right to permanently seize private property without just compensation. Yet for much of American history, such a view constituted the weaker side of an ongoing argument about government sovereignty and individual rights. What brought about this drastic shift in legal and political thought?
Daniel W. Hamilton locates that change in the crucible of the Civil War. In the early days of the war, Congress passed the First and Second Confiscation Acts, authorizing the Union to seize private property in the rebellious states of the Confederacy, and the Confederate Congress responded with the broader Sequestration Act. The competing acts fueled a fierce, sustained debate among legislators and lawyers about the principles underlying alternative ideas of private property and state power, a debate which by 1870 was increasingly dominated by today’s view of more limited government power.
Through its exploration of this little-studied consequence of the debates over confiscation during the Civil War, The Limits of Sovereignty will be essential to an understanding of the place of private property in American law and legal history.
"City air makes people free." With this adage Murray Bookchin begins a remarkable essay on the evolution of urbanism. With a wealth of learning and a depth of passion, Bookchin convincingly argues that there was once a human and progressive tradition of urban life, and that this heritage has reached its "ultimate negation in the modern metropolis".
Transnationalism means many things to many people, from crossing physical borders to crossing intellectual ones. The Limits of Transnationalism reassesses the overly optimistic narratives often associated with this malleable term, revealing both the metaphorical and very real obstacles for transnational mobility. Nancy L. Green begins her wide-ranging examination with the story of Frank Gueydan, an early twentieth-century American convicted of manufacturing fake wine in France who complained bitterly that he was neither able to get a fair trial there nor to enlist the help of US officials. Gueydan’s predicament opens the door for a series of inquiries into the past twenty-five years of transnational scholarship, raising questions about the weaknesses of global networks and the slippery nature of citizenship ties for those who try to live transnational lives. The Limits of Transnationalism serves as a cogent reminder of this topic’s complexity, calling for greater attention to be paid to the many bumps in the road.
The long history of slavery in the Americas has left a wealth of archaeological evidence from excavations of southern and Caribbean plantations. These excavations have largely informed our ideas of African slavery, but, more recently, scholars have also focused on northern slave sites and the various degrees of slavery pertaining not only to Africans but to Native Americans and even European immigrants as well. The Limits of Tyranny brings together nine essays that illuminate the struggles of slaves against the structure of inequality found throughout the Americas in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
These essays use the concept of struggle to explore the archaeological dimensions of various sites in the Caribbean and the American South and Northeast. The actions of the enslaved, both collectively and as individuals, altered or eliminated the social forces that oppressed them. The contributors discuss the physical struggle through slave uprisings and organized rebellions and the moral struggle through historic laws and ethical behavior common in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They also define the limits of oppression and use the material evidence associated with each site to determine the lengths to which slaves would go to fight their enslavement. The Limits of Tyranny advances the study of the African diaspora and reconsiders the African American experience in terms of dominance and resistance. This volume will appeal to any archaeologist looking to move beyond the common discourse on slavery and assess more closely the African struggle against tyranny.
James A. Delle is a professor in the Anthropology and Sociology Department at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. He is coauthor, with Mark Leone, of An Archaeology of Social Space and coeditor, with Stephen Mrozowski and Robert Paynter, of Lines That Divide: Historical Archaeologies of Race, Class, and Gender.
The Limits of Utilitarianism
Harlan B. Miller and William H. Williams, Editors University of Minnesota Press, 1982 Library of Congress B843.L55 1982 | Dewey Decimal 144.6
The Limits of Utilitarianism was first published in 1982. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Many philosophers have argued that utilitarianism is an unacceptable moral theory and that promoting the general welfare is at best only one of the legitimate goals of public policy. Utilitarian principles seem to place no limits on the extent to which society may legitimately interfere with a person's liberties - provided that such actions can be shown to promote the long-term welfare of its members. These issues have played a central role in discussions of utilitarianism since the time of Bentham and Mill. Despite criticisms, utilitarianism remains the most influential and widely accepted moral theory of recent times.
In this volume contemporary philosophers address four aspects of utilitarianism: the principle of utility; utilitarianism vis-à-vis contractarianism; welfare; and voluntary cooperation and helping others. The editors provide an introduction and a comprehensive bibliography that covers all books and articles published in utilitarianism since 1930.
Vladimir E. Alexandrov advocates a broad revision of the academic study of literature, proposing an adaptive, text-specific approach designed to minimize the circularity of interpretation inherent in the act of reading. He illustrates this method with the example of Tolstoy's classic novel via a detailed "map" of the different possible readings that the novel can support. The novel Anna Karenina emerges as deeply conflicted, polyvalent, and quite unlike what one finds in other critical studies.
Post-apartheid South Africa has been characterized by race tensions, social inequalities, and unemployment that are contributing to widespread crises. In addressing the transition to democracy, Limits to Liberation examines issues of culture and identity, drawing attention to the creative agency of citizens of the “new” South Africa. The writers question the classical western model of citizenship and procedural democracy in the face of the inability of most African states to provide basic needs. Their bold, interdisciplinary inquiry contributes to South African and international scholarship on urban planning, governance, and citizenship.ABOUT THE AUTHOR---Steven L. Robins is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
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
"Andrea O'Donnell did not fit what criminal justice experts call the "victim profile." The twenty-seven-year old women's studies major at San Diego State University was the director of the campus Women's Resource Center and a self-defense instructor. Nevertheless, in the early morning hours of November 5, 1994, she was brutally murdered. Her decomposed body was discovered in the apartment that she shared with her boyfriend, Andres English-Howard. In August 1995, he was convicted of first-degree murder. The night before he was scheduled to appear in court for sentencing, English-Howard hanged himself in his jail cell."--BOOK JACKET. "Author Kathleen B. Jones, one of O'Donnell's professors, was particularly shaken by her death. In Living Between Danger and Love, she examines O'Donnell's death and what it has to say to all of us. She provokes readers to consider the irony that our ideas about choice might prevent us from imagining and discovering social relationships of intimacy where love and power are not in conflict
With the defeat of national health reform, many liberals have looked to the states as the source of health policy innovation. At the same time, many in the new Republican majority and several governors also support increased state control. In contrast, Michael S. Sparer convincingly argues that states by themselves can neither satisfy the liberal hope for universal coverage nor the conservative hope for cost containment. He also points to two critical drawbacks to a state-dominated health care system: the variation in coverage among states and the intergovernmental tension that would inevitably accompany such a change.
Supporting his arguments, Sparer analyzes the contradictions in operations and policies between the New York and California Medicaid programs. For instance, why does New York spend an average of $7,286 on its Medicaid beneficiaries and California an average of $2,801? The answer, the author suggests, is rooted in bureaucratic politics. California officials enjoy significant bureaucratic autonomy, while the system in New York is fragmented, decentralized, and interest-group dominated. The book supports this conclusion by exploring nursing home and home care policy, hospital care policy, and managed care policy in the two states. Sparer's dissection of the consequences of state-based reform make a persuasive case for national health insurance.
After the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army considered counterinsurgency (COIN) a mistake to be avoided. Many found it surprising, then, when setbacks in recent conflicts led the same army to adopt a COIN doctrine. Scholarly debates have primarily employed existing theories of military bureaucracy or culture to explain the army’s re-embrace of COIN, but Peter Campbell advances a unique argument centering on military realism to explain the complex evolution of army doctrinal thinking from 1960 to 2008.
In five case studies of U.S. Army doctrine, Campbell pits military realism against bureaucratic and cultural perspectives in three key areas—nuclear versus conventional warfare, preferences for offense versus defense, and COIN missions—and finds that the army has been more doctrinally flexible than those perspectives would predict. He demonstrates that decision makers, while vowing in the wake of Vietnam to avoid (COIN) missions, nonetheless found themselves adapting to the geopolitical realities of fighting “low intensity” conflicts. In essence, he demonstrates that pragmatism has won out over dogmatism. At a time when American policymakers remain similarly conflicted about future defense strategies, Campbell’s work will undoubtedly shape and guide the debate.
This provocative, lucidly written reconstruction of utilitarianism focuses on the practical constraints involved in ethical choice: information may be inadequate, and understanding of causes and effects may be limited. Good decision making may be especially constrained if other people are closely involved in determining an outcome. Hardin demonstrates that many of these structural issues can and should be distinguished from the thornier problems of utilitarian value theory, and he is able to show what kinds of moral conclusions we can reach within the limits of reason.
Wait—what's wrong with rights? It is usually assumed that trans and gender nonconforming people should follow the civil rights and "equality" strategies of lesbian and gay rights organizations by agitating for legal reforms that would ostensibly guarantee nondiscrimination and equal protection under the law. This approach assumes that the best way to address the poverty and criminalization that plague trans populations is to gain legal recognition and inclusion in the state's institutions. But is this strategy effective?
In Normal Life Dean Spade presents revelatory critiques of the legal equality framework for social change, and points to examples of transformative grassroots trans activism that is raising demands that go beyond traditional civil rights reforms. Spade explodes assumptions about what legal rights can do for marginalized populations, and describes transformative resistance processes and formations that address the root causes of harm and violence.
In the new afterword to this revised and expanded edition, Spade notes the rapid mainstreaming of trans politics and finds that his predictions that gaining legal recognition will fail to benefit trans populations are coming to fruition. Spade examines recent efforts by the Obama administration and trans equality advocates to "pinkwash" state violence by articulating the US military and prison systems as sites for trans inclusion reforms. In the context of recent increased mainstream visibility of trans people and trans politics, Spade continues to advocate for the dismantling of systems of state violence that shorten the lives of trans people. Now more than ever, Normal Life is an urgent call for justice and trans liberation, and the radical transformations it will require.
Now Available in Paperback from Duke University Press
Wait—what's wrong with rights? It is usually assumed that trans and gender nonconforming people should follow the civil rights and “equality” strategies of lesbian and gay rights organizations by agitating for legal reforms that would ostensibly guarantee equal access, nondiscrimination, and equal protection under the law. This approach assumes that the best way to address the poverty and criminalization that plague trans populations is to get recognized by law and included in the state's institutions. But does changing what the law says about a targeted and marginalized population bring material relief? And what if many of the problems that shorten trans people's lives stem from the ordinary, banal ways that gender norm categories are administered by virtually every state and private institution?
In Normal Life Dean Spade presents revelatory critiques of the legal equality framework for social change and points to examples of transformative grassroots trans activism that is raising demands that go beyond traditional civil rights reforms. Spade explodes the assumptions about what legal rights can do for marginalized populations and describes transformative resistance processes and formations that address the root causes of harm and violence. Setting forth a politic that goes beyond the quest for mere legal inclusion, Normal Life is an urgent call for justice and trans liberation, and the radical transformations it will require.
Over the course of the nineteenth century in both Europe and the United States, the state usurped the traditional authority of the church in regulating sexual expression and behavior. In the same century philosophers of classical liberalism identified that state function as a threat to individual liberty. Since then, liberalism has provided the framework for debates over obscenity around the globe.
But liberalism has recently been under siege, on the one side from postmodern thinkers skeptical about its andro- and ethnocentric assumptions, and on the other side from religious thinkers doubtful of the moral integrity of the Enlightenment project writ large.The principal challenge for those who conduct academic work in this realm is to formulate new models of research and analysis appropriate to understanding and evaluating speech in the present-day public sphere.
Toward those ends, Obscenity and the Limits of Liberalism contains a selection of essays and interventions by prominent authors and artists in a variety of disciplines and media. These writings, taken as a whole, put recent developments into historical and global contexts and chart possible futures for a debate that promises to persist well into the new millennium.
Historians have long maintained that the rise of the British empire brought an end to the great age of piracy, turning the once violent Atlantic frontier into a locus of orderly commerce by 1730. In this book, Guy Chet reassesses that view by documenting the persistence of piracy, smuggling, and other forms of illegal trade throughout the eighteenth century despite ongoing governmental campaigns to stamp it out. The failure of the Royal Navy to police oceanic trade reflected the state’s limited authority and legitimacy at port, in the courts, and in the hearts and minds of Anglo-American constituents. Chet shows how the traditional focus on the growth of the modern state overlooked the extent to which old attitudes and cultural practices continued to hold sway. Even as the British government extended its naval, legal, and bureaucratic reach, in many parts of the Atlantic world illegal trade was not only tolerated but encouraged. In part this was because Britain’s constabulary command of the region remained more tenuous than some have suggested, and in part because maritime insurance and wartime tax policies ensured that piracy and smuggling remained profitable. When Atlantic piracy eventually waned in the early nineteenth century, it had more to do with a reduction in its profitability at port than with forceful confrontation at sea. Challenging traditional accounts that chronicle forces of civilization taming a wild Atlantic frontier, this book is a valuable addition to a body of borderlands scholarship reevaluating the relationship between the emerging modern state and its imperial frontiers.
Does Descartes belong to metaphysics? What do we mean when we say "metaphysics"? These questions form the point of departure for Jean-Luc Marion's groundbreaking study of Cartesian thought. Analyses of Descartes' notion of the ego and his idea of God show that if Descartes represents the fullest example of metaphysics, he no less transgresses its limits. Writing as philosopher and historian of philosophy, Marion uses Heidegger's concept of metaphysics to interpret the Cartesian corpus—an interpretation strangely omitted from Heidegger's own history of philosophy. This interpretation complicates and deepens the Heideggerian concept of metaphysics, a concept that has dominated twentieth-century philosophy. Examinations of Descartes' predecessors (Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and Suarez) and his successors (Leibniz, Spinoza, and Hegel) clarify the meaning of the Cartesian revolution in philosophy.
Expertly translated by Jeffrey Kosky, this work will appeal to historians of philosophy, students of religion, and anyone interested in the genealogy of contemporary thought and its contradictions.
When the San Diego Comic-Con was founded in 1970, it provided an exclusive space where fans, dealers, collectors, and industry professionals could come together to celebrate their love of comics and popular culture. In the decades since, Comic-Con has grown in size and scope, attracting hundreds of thousands of fans each summer and increased attention from the media industries, especially Hollywood, which uses the convention’s exclusivity to spread promotional hype far and wide. What made the San Diego Comic-Con a Hollywood destination? How does the industry’s presence at Comic-Con shape our ideas about what it means to be a fan? And what can this single event tell us about the relationship between media industries and their fans, past and present? Only at Comic-Con answers these questions and more as it examines the connection between exclusivity and the proliferation of media industry promotion at the longest-running comic convention in North America.
The first study of its kind to appear in English, The Phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty is a sustained ontological reading of Merleau-Ponty which traces the evolution of his philosophy of being from his early work to his late, unfinished manuscripts and working notes. Merleau-Ponty, who contributed greatly to the theoretical foundations of hermeneutics, is here approached hermeneutically.
Most commentators are agreed that towards the end Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy underwent a strange and interesting mutation. The exact nature of this mutation or conceptual shift is what this study seeks to disclose. Thus, although Madison proceeds in a generally progressive, chronological fashion, examining Merleau-Ponty’s major works in the order of their composition, his reading is ultmately regressive in that Merleau-Ponty’s earlier works are viewed in the light of the new and enigmatic ontological orientation which makes its appearance in his later work. The merit of this approach is that, as Paul Ricoeur has remarked, it enables the author to expose the “anticipatory, hollowed-out presence” of Merleau-Ponty’s late philosophy “in the difficulties of his early phenomenology,” such that “the unifying intention between his first philosophy of meaning and the body and the late, more ontological philosophy is made manifest.”
This book begins with a detailed study of Merleau-Ponty’s two major early works, The Structure of BehaviorThe Phenomenology of Perception. In the following three chapters, Madison traces the development of Merleau-Ponty’s thought from the beginning to the end of his philosophical career in regard to three topics of special concern to the French phenomenologist: painting, language, philosophy. In the final chapter, he is concerned to articulate, as much as the unfinished state of Merleau-Ponty’s final work allows, the unspoken thought of this work and of The Visible and Invisible in particular. Merleau-Ponty’s notion of “wild being” and his attempt to work out an “indirect” or “negative” ontology are thoroughly analyzed.
In the end the reader will see that through his self-criticism and the development in his own phenomenology Merleau-Ponty has brought phenomenology itself to its limits and to the point where it must transcend itself as a philosophy of consciousness in the Husserlian sense if it is to remain faithful to Husserl’s own goal of bringing “experience to the full expression of its own meaning.” Because Madison submits Merleau-Ponty to the same kind of interpretive retrieval as the latter did with Husserl, Roger Cailloise has said of this “clear and very complete book” that it “goes will beyond a simple exposition and merits being read as an original work.”
Planet Management is a study of, and contribution to, the history of "globality"--the emergence of a complex organization of politics, economics, and culture at a planetary rather than a national level. Drawing on historical archival research as well as recent theoretical work in science studies and critical theory, the book tell the story of the central role of technoscientific discourses and practices in the emergence of globality.
The United States Constitution was designed to secure the rights of individuals and minorities from the tyranny of the majority—or was it? Jennifer Nedelsky's provocative study places this claim in an utterly new light, tracing its origins to the Framers' preoccupation with the protection of private property. She argues that this formative focus on property has shaped our institutions, our political system, and our very understanding of limited government.
Provides an introductory analysis of attempts to combine cycle analytical and social theory. Starting from a discussion of the work of Freud, the book goes on to look at more recent attempts to combine the two in the work of members of the Frankfurt school and others such as Christopher Badcock, Christopher Lasch, Talcott Parsons and Eric Erickson. The analysis also covers modern feminist approaches to Freud, notably through the writings of Nancy Chodorow and Juliet Mitchell. The author argues that there is no simple way of combining psychoanalytical and social theory, and that both approaches are limited in scope.
This study of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land guides the reader through the poem line by line, taking into account a number of previous interpretations. Aims to offer a part-by-part analysis of the poem with periodic summations and a meditation on the limits of interpretation and the problematic nature of reading in the late 20th century.
Much of what we could do, we shouldn’t—and we don’t. Mark Osiel shows that common morality—expressed as shame, outrage, and stigma—is society’s first line of defense against transgressions. Social norms can be indefensible, but when they complement the law, they can save us from an alternative that is far worse: a repressive legal regime.
To most laypersons and scientists, science and progress appear to go hand in hand, yet philosophers and historians of science have long questioned the inevitability of this pairing. As we take leave of a century acclaimed for scientific advances and progress, Science at Century's End, the eighth volume of the Pittsburgh-Konstanz Series in the Philosophy and History of Science, takes the reader to the heart of this important matter. Subtitled Philosophical Questions on the Progress and Limits of Science, this timely volume contains twenty penetrating essays by prominent philosophers and historians who explore and debate the limits of scientific inquiry and their presumed consequences for science in the 21st century.
The concept sensus communis—a term that means a great deal more than its English translation “common sense”—has served as a key principle in the theory of knowledge from the ancient Greeks through the Enlightenment philosophers. John D. Schaeffer shows how the seventeenth-century Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico synthesized Greek and Roman ideas of what sensus communis and what this synthesis implies for current discussions of rhetoric and hermeneutics. Arguments for ethical relativism emerge from divisions between sensus communis as an ethical judgment (a concept that Richard Rorty, Richard Bernstein, and others have tried to rescue) and as a linguistic consensus, a division against which Vico argued and which his own concept of sensus communis attempted to reconcile. In extended commentaries on Gadamer, the Gadamer/Habermas debate, and Derrida, Schaeffer shows that Vico offers the possibility of analyzing social phenomena and constellations of power from within the humanist rhetorical tradition. Vico’s achievements have powerful implications for relating ethics and hermeneutics to the world of concrete social practice, particularly in an age in which the electronic media have replaced print as the primary means of communication and in which a “secondary orality” (a cast of mind similar to that of nonliterate peoples) is appearing within our literate civilization.
From concerns over the bullying of LGBTQ youth and battles over sex education to the regulation of sexual activity and the affirmation of queer youth identity, sexuality saturates the school day. Rather than understand these conflicts as an interruption to the work of education, Jen Gilbert explores how sexuality comes to bear on and to enliven teaching and learning.
Gilbert investigates the breakdowns, clashes, and controversies that flare up when sexuality enters spaces of schooling. Education must contain the volatility of sexuality, Gilbert argues, and yet, when education seeks to limit the reach of sexuality, it risks shutting learning down. Gilbert penetrates this paradox by turning to fiction, film, legal case studies, and personal experiences. What, she asks, can we learn about school from a study of sexuality?
By examining the strange workings of sexuality in schools, Gilbert draws attention to the explosive but also compelling force of erotic life in teaching and learning. Ultimately, this book illustrates how the most intimate of our experiences can come to shape how we see and act in the world.
Rap’s critique of police brutality in the 1980s. The Hip Hop Political Convention. The rise (and fall) of Kwame Kilpatrick, the “hip-hop mayor” of Detroit. Barack Obama echoing the body language of Jay-Z on the campaign trail.
A growing number of black activists and artists claim that rap and hip-hop are the basis of an influential new urban social movement. Simultaneously, black citizens evince concern with the effect that rap and hip-hop culture exerts on African American communities. According to a recent Pew survey conducted on the opinions of Black Americans, 71 percent of blacks think that rap is a bad influence. To what extent are African American hopes and fears about hip-hop’s potential political power justified? In Stare in the Darkness, Lester K. Spence answers this question using a blend of neoliberal analysis, survey data, experiments, and case studies.
Spence finds that rap does in fact influence black political attitudes. However, rap also reproduces rather than critiques neoliberal ideology. Furthermore, black activists seeking to create an innovative model of hip-hop politics are hamstrung by their reliance on outmoded forms of organizing. By considering the possibilities inherent in the most prolific and prominent activities of hip-hop politics, Stare in the Darkness reveals, in a clear and practical manner, the political consequences of rap culture for black publics.
The essays in Strange Science examine marginal, fringe, and unconventional forms of scientific inquiry, as well as their cultural representations, in the Victorian period. Although now relegated to the category of the pseudoscientific, fields like mesmerism and psychical research captured the imagination of the Victorian public. Conversely, many branches of science now viewed as uncontroversial, such as physics and botany, were often associated with unorthodox methods of inquiry. Whether ultimately incorporated into mainstream scientific thought or categorized by 21st century historians as pseudo- or even anti-scientific, these sciences generated conversation, enthusiasm, and controversy within Victorian society.
To date, scholarship addressing Victorian pseudoscience tends to focus either on a particular popular science within its social context or on how mainstream scientific practice distinguished itself from more contested forms. Strange Science takes a different approach by placing a range of sciences in conversation with one another and examining the similar unconventional methods of inquiry adopted by both now-established scientific fields and their marginalized counterparts during the Victorian period. In doing so, Strange Science reveals the degree to which scientific discourse of this period was radically speculative, frequently attempting to challenge or extend the apparent boundaries of the natural world. This interdisciplinary collection will appeal to scholars in the fields of Victorian literature, cultural studies, the history of the body, and the history of science.
Boilerplate language in contracts tends to stick around long after its origins and purpose have been forgotten. Usually there are no serious repercussions, but sometimes it can cause unexpected problems. Such was the case with the obscure pari passu clause in cross-border sovereign debt contracts, until a novel judicial interpretation rattled international finance by forcing a defaulting sovereign—for one of the first times in the market’s centuries-long history—to repay its foreign creditors. Though neither party wanted this outcome, the vast majority of contracts subsequently issued demonstrate virtually no attempt to clarify the imprecise language of the clause.
Using this case as a launching pad to explore the broader issue of the “stickiness” of contract boilerplate, Mitu Gulati and Robert E. Scott have sifted through more than one thousand sovereign debt contracts and interviewed hundreds of practitioners to show that the problem actually lies in the nature of the modern corporate law firm. The financial pressure on large firms to maintain a high volume of transactions contributes to an array of problems that deter innovation. With the near certainty of massive sovereign debt restructuring in Europe, The Three and a Half Minute Transaction speaks to critical issues facing the industry and has broader implications for contract design that will ensure it remains relevant to our understanding of legal practice long after the debt crisis has subsided.
What makes people decide to vote? In addressing this simple question, André Blais examines the factors that increase or decrease turnout at the aggregate, cross-national level and considers what affects people’s decision to vote or to abstain. In doing so, Blais assesses the merits and limitations of the rational choice model in explaining voter behavior. The past few decades have witnessed a rise in the popularity of the rational choice model in accounting for voter turnout, and more recently a groundswell of outspoken opposition to rational choice theory.
Blais tackles this controversial subject in an engaging and personal way, bringing together the opposing theories and literatures, and offering convincing tests of these different viewpoints. Most important, he handles the discussion in a clear and balanced manner. Using new data sets from many countries, Blais concludes that while rational choice is an important tool—even when it doesn’t work—its empirical contribution to understanding why people vote is quite limited.
Whether one supports rational choice theory or opposes it, Blais’s evenhanded and timely analysis will certainly be of interest, and is well-suited for advanced undergraduate and graduate-level classes.
Government seizure of the nation’s strikebound steel mills on 8 April 1952 stands as one of President Harry S Truman’s most controversial actions, representing an unprecedented use of presidential power. On 8 June 1952 the United States Supreme Court invalidated Truman’s order with its monumental decision in Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer. The history and significance of this case constitute the subject of Maeva Marcus’s meticulously researched, brilliantly analyzed, and authoritative study. From Truman’s initial assertion of "inherent" executive power under the Constitution to the High Court’s seven opinions, Marcus assesses the influence of the case on the doctrine of separation of powers and, specifically, the nature and practice of executive authority. First published in 1977 (Columbia University Press), and reissued here in paperback with a new foreword by Louis Fisher, this book remains the definitive account of the Steel Seizure incident and its political and legal ramifications.
Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of Harry S. Truman’s presidency is his judicial legacy, with even the finest of Truman biographies neglecting to consider the influence he had on the Supreme Court. Yet, as Rawn James lays out in engaging detail, president Harry Truman successfully molded the high court into a judicial body that appeared to actively support his administration’s political agenda. In rulings that sparked controversy in their own time, the Supreme Court repeatedly upheld Truman’s most contentious policies, including actions to restrict free speech, expand civil rights, and manage labor union unrest.
The Truman Court: Law and the Limits of Loyalty argues that the years between FDR’s death in 1945 and Chief Justice Earl Warren’s confirmation in 1953—the dawn of the Cold War—were, contrary to widespread belief, important years in Supreme Court history. Never before or since has a president so quickly and completely changed the ideological and temperamental composition of the Court. With remarkable swiftness and certainty, Truman constructed a Court on which he relied to lend constitutional credence to his political agenda.
In this new edition of a classic work -- now with a new preface -- on the roots of social scientific thinking, Immanuel Wallerstein develops a thorough-going critique of the legacy of nineteenth-century social science for social thought in the new millennium. We have to "unthink" -- radically revise and discard -- many of the presumptions that still remain the foundation of dominant perspectives today. Once considered liberating, these notions are now barriers to a clear understanding of the social world. They include, for example, ideas built into the concept of "development." In place of such a notion, Wallerstein stresses transformations in time and space. Geography and chronology should not be regarded as external influences upon social transformations but crucial to what such transformation actually is. Unthinking Social Science applies the ideas thus elaborated to a variety of theoretical areas and historical problems. Wallerstein also offers a critical discussion of the key figures whose ideas influenced the position he formulates -- including Karl Marx and Fernand Braudel, among others. In the concluding sections of the book, Wallerstein demonstrates how these new insights lead to a revision of world-systems analysis.
In Urban Horror Erin Y. Huang theorizes the economic, cultural, and political conditions of neoliberal post-socialist China. Drawing on Marxist phenomenology, geography, and aesthetics from Engels and Merleau-Ponty to Lefebvre and Rancière, Huang traces the emergence and mediation of what she calls urban horror—a sociopolitical public affect that exceeds comprehension and provides the grounds for possible future revolutionary dissent. She shows how documentaries, blockbuster feature films, and video art from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan made between the 1990s and the present rehearse and communicate urban horror. In these films urban horror circulates through myriad urban spaces characterized by the creation of speculative crises, shifting temporalities, and dystopic environments inhospitable to the human body. The cinematic image and the aesthetics of urban horror in neoliberal post-socialist China lay the groundwork for the future to such an extent, Huang contends, that the seeds of dissent at the heart of urban horror make it possible to imagine new forms of resistance.
In Violence Work Micol Seigel offers a new theorization of the quintessential incarnation of state power: the police. Foregrounding the interdependence of policing, the state, and global capital, Seigel redefines policing as “violence work,” showing how it is shaped by its role of channeling state violence. She traces this dynamic by examining the formation, demise, and aftermath of the U.S. State Department's Office of Public Safety (OPS), which between 1962 and 1974 specialized in training police forces internationally. Officially a civilian agency, the OPS grew and operated in military and counterinsurgency realms in ways that transgressed the borders that are meant to contain the police within civilian, public, and local spheres. Tracing the career paths of OPS agents after their agency closed, Seigel shows how police practices writ large are rooted in violence—especially against people of color, the poor, and working people—and how understanding police as a civilian, public, and local institution legitimizes state violence while preserving the myth of state benevolence.
Vitality Politics focuses on a slow racial violence against African Americans through everyday, accumulative, contagious, and toxic attritions on health. The book engages with recent critical disability studies scholarship to recognize that debility, or the targeted maiming and distressing of Black populations, is a largely unacknowledged strategy of the U.S. liberal multicultural capitalist state. This politicization of biological health serves as an instrument for insisting on a racial state of exception in which African Americans’ own unhealthy habits and disease susceptibility justifies their legitimate suspension from full rights to social justice, economic opportunity, and political freedom and equality. The book brings together disability studies, Black Studies, and African American literary history as it highlights the urgent need and gives weight to a biopolitics of debilitation and medicalization to better understand how Black lives are made not to matter in our supposedly race-neutral multicultural democracy.
Often considered America’s greatest twentieth-century poet, Wallace Stevens is without a doubt the Anglo-modernist poet whose work has been most scrutinized from a philosophical perspective. Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing both synthesizes and extends the critical understanding of Stevens’s poetry in this respect. Arguing that a concern with the establishment and transgression of limits goes to the heart of this poet’s work, Bart Eeckhout traces both the limits of Stevens’s poetry and the limits of writing as they are explored by that poetry.
Stevens’s work has been interpreted so variously and contradictorily that critics must first address the question of limits to the poetry’s signifying potential before they can attempt to deepen our appreciation of it. In the first half of this book, the limits of appropriating and contextualizing Stevens’s “The Snow Man,” in particular, are investigated. Eeckhout does not undertake this reading with the negative purpose of disputing earlier interpretations but with the more positive intention of identifying the intrinsic qualities of the poetry that have been responsible for the remarkable amount of critical attention it has received.
Having identified the major sources of Stevens’s polysemy and of the seeming free-for-all of his critical afterlife, Eeckhout then deals with ten of the poet’s shorter works, including “The Idea of Order at Key West,” and proceeds to analyze some of the important limits of writing explored by the poetry. These limits all revolve around the nexus of perception, thought, and language that constitutes the core dynamic out of which Stevens’s poetry is generated and to which it continually returns.
Stevens’s work presents one of the most poignant opportunities for letting the reader feel the ever-problematic relationship between specificity and generality that is at the heart of all literary writing. By negotiating between the particularity of poetic detail and the universality of philosophical ideas, Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing seeks to contribute both to the study of Stevens and to the fields of literary theory and philosophy.