Reformers lament that, with every effort to regulate the sources of campaign funding, candidates creatively circumvent the new legislation. But in fact, political fundraisers don't need to look for loopholes because, as Raymond J. La Raja proves, legislators intentionally design regulations to gain advantage over their partisan rivals.
La Raja traces the history of the U.S. campaign finance system from the late nineteenth century through the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002. Then, using the 2004 presidential election as a case study, he compares the ways in which Democrats and Republicans adapted their national fund-raising and campaigning strategies to satisfy BCRA regulations. Drawing upon this wealth of historical and recent evidence, he concludes with recommendations for reforming campaign finance in ways that promote fair competition among candidates and guarantee their accountability to voters.
Small Change offers an engaging account of campaign finance reforms' contradictory history; it is a must-read for anyone concerned about influence of money on democratic elections.
During the second half of the eighteenth century, the social role of educated
women and the nature of domesticity were the focus of widespread debate in Britain. The emergence of an identifiably feminist voice in that debate is the subject of Harriet Guest's new study, which explores how small changes in the meaning of patriotism and the relations between public and private categories permitted educated British women to imagine themselves as political subjects.
Small Change considers the celebration of learned women as tokens of national progress in the context of a commercial culture that complicates notions of gender difference. Guest offers a fascinating account of the women of the bluestocking circle, focusing in particular on Elizabeth Carter, hailed as the paradigmatic learned and domestic woman. She discusses the importance of the American war to the changing relation between patriotism and gender in the 1770s and 1780s, and she casts new light on Mary Wollstonecraft's writing of the 1790s, considering it in relation to the anti-feminine discourse of Hannah More, and the utopian feminism of Mary Hays.