front cover of Ideational Leadership in German Welfare State Reform
Ideational Leadership in German Welfare State Reform
How Politicians and Policy Ideas Transform Resilient Institutions
Sabina Stiller
Amsterdam University Press, 2010

An important contribution to the debates surrounding the evolution of the European welfare state model, this volume investigates the role that “ideational leadership” has played in the passing of structural reforms in the change-resistant German welfare state. Based on in-depth case studies of individual reforms in health care, pensions, and unemployment insurance since the early 1990s, Stiller illuminates the ways in which Germany has made the transition from its Bismarckian past to a hybrid welfare state.


front cover of In a New Century
In a New Century
Essays on Queer History, Politics, and Community Life
John D’Emilio
University of Wisconsin Press, 2014
For gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the United States, the twenty-first century has brought dramatic changes: the end of sodomy laws, the elimination of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a move toward recognition of same-sex marriage, Gay-Straight Alliances in thousands of high schools, and an explosion of visibility in the media and popular culture. All of this would have been unimaginable to those living just a few decades ago. Yet, at the same time, the American political system has grown ever more conservative, and increasing economic inequality has been a defining feature of the new century.
            A pioneering scholar of gay history, John D’Emilio reflects in this wide-ranging collection of essays upon the social, cultural, and political changes provoked by LGBT activism. He offers provocative questions and historical analyses: What can we learn from a life-long activist like Bayard Rustin, who questioned the wisdom of “identity politics”? Was Richard Nixon a “gay liberationist”? How can knowing local stories—like those of Chicago in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s—help build stronger communities and enrich traditions of activism? Might the focus on achieving actually be evidence of growing conservatism in LGBT communities?
            In a New Century provides a dynamic, thoughtful, and important resource for identifying changes that have occurred in the United States since 1960, taking stock of the work that still needs to be done, and issuing an urgent call to action for getting there.

Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians

Best Special Interest Books, selected by the Public Library Reviewers

front cover of In Defense of Youth
In Defense of Youth
A Study of the Role of Counsel in American Juvenile Courts
William Vaughn Stapleton
Russell Sage Foundation, 1972
In recent years the decisions of the United States Supreme Court in the area of juvenile law and the growing public awareness of the delinquency problem have brought about drastic changes in American juvenile courts. This book represents a major research effort to determine the effect of defense counsel's performance on the conduct and outcome of delinquency cases. After a brief historical analysis of the factors leading to changes in juvenile law, the authors explore in detail the impact of the lawyer's presence and performance on the outcomes of cases in two juvenile courts. The analysis further explores the various factors influencing a lawyer's defense posture and develops the thesis that the effectiveness of counsel is determined largely by the structure of the delinquency hearing and the willingness and ability of court personnel and procedures to adapt to the introduction of an adversarial role of defense counsel. What makes this study unique is the large-scale effort to combine legal analysis and sociological methodology to the study of an action-oriented program. The use of the classical experimental design, the selection of control and experimental groups by random assignment, and the extent to which the use of this methodology increases the validity of the results, will be of interest to both lawyers and social scientists. The book is a major contribution to the growing literature in the field of the sociology of law.

front cover of In Lady Liberty's Shadow
In Lady Liberty's Shadow
The Politics of Race and Immigration in New Jersey
Robyn Magalit Rodriguez
Rutgers University Press, 2017
Home to Ellis Island, New Jersey has been the first stop for many immigrant groups for well over a century. Yet in this highly diverse state, some of the most anti-immigrant policies in the nation are being tested. American suburbs are home to increasing numbers of first and second-generation immigrants who may actually be bypassing the city to settle directly into the neighborhoods that their predecessors have already begun to plant roots in—a trajectory that leads to nativist ordinances and other forms of xenophobia.
In Lady Liberty’s Shadow examines popular white perceptions of danger represented by immigrants and their children, as well the specter that lurks at the edges of suburbs in the shape of black and Latino urban underclasses and the ever more nebulous hazard of (presumed-Islamic) terrorism that threatening to undermine “life as we know it.” Robyn Magalit Rodriguez explores the impact of anti-immigrant municipal ordinances on a range of immigrant groups living in varied suburban communities, from undocumented Latinos in predominantly white suburbs to long-established Asian immigrants in “majority-minority” suburbs. The “American Dream” that suburban life is supposed to represent is shown to rest on a racialized, segregated social order meant to be enjoyed only by whites. Although it is a case study of New Jersey, In Lady Liberty’s Shadow offers crucial insights that can shed fresh light on the national immigration debate. 

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front cover of In the Wake of Disaster
In the Wake of Disaster
Religious Responses to Terrorism and Catastrophe
Harold G Koenig
Templeton Press, 2006

In a timely book with a powerful and persuasive message, Dr. Harold G. Koenig addresses federal, state, and local government policy leaders, urging them to more fully integrate religious organizations into the formal disaster response system, and he then provides recommendations on how this can effectively be done. Koenig also advocates faith communities and organizations to learn more about the role they can play in responding to disasters and terrorism.

The chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina made extraordinarily clear the gaps in the United States' disaster policies. At the same time, the contributions of organized faith communities were highlights amidst the bungled federal, state, and local responses. One example is the New York Times, September 9, 2005, headline: "A New Meaning for 'Organized Religion': It Helps the Needy Quickly." But as faith-based organizations look for ways to help, there are few, if any, guidelines for them.
This book provides information on the psychological, social, and spiritual responses to trauma. It addresses how the emergency response system works, and the role that religious communities can play in disaster response and recovery in terms of providing emotional and spiritual care for victims. It advocates integrating mental health into emergency response systems directed at those affected by hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and terrorism. "The aim is to help victims of disaster to better cope with the stresses they face, as well as help direct care workers (firefighters, police, health care providers, etc.) to deal better emotionally with the trauma to which they are exposed so they can remain effective and functional on the job," explains Dr. Koenig, whose research on the healing power of faith has been published worldwide.
Increasing the resiliency of our communities in the face of disaster is crucial. Religious communities have tremendous potential to contribute to this. Here are guidelines on how to do that more effectively, alongside data on how to facilitate the integration of these contributions with the formal disaster-response system.



front cover of The Inclusion Illusion
The Inclusion Illusion
How Children with Special Educational Needs Experience Mainstream Schools
Rob Webster
University College London, 2022
An examination of contemporary inclusive pedagogy and how it is failing students with special educational needs and disabilities. 

Inclusion conjures images of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) learning in classes alongside peers in a mainstream school. For pupils in the UK with high-level SEND, who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (formerly a Statement), this implies an everyday educational experience similar to that of their typically developing classmates. Yet in vital respects, they are worlds apart.
Based on the UK’s largest observation study of pupils with high-level SEND, this book exposes how attendance at a mainstream school is no guarantee of receiving a mainstream education. Observations of nearly 1,500 lessons in English schools show that these students’ everyday experience of school is characterized by separation and segregation. Furthermore, interviews with nearly five hundred pupils, parents, and school staff reveal the effect of this marginalization on the quality of their education. The book argues that inclusion is an illusion. The way schools are organized and how classrooms are composed creates a form of structural exclusion that preserves mainstream education for typically developing pupils and justifies offering a diluted pedagogy for pupils with high-level SEND. Ultimately, the book suggests why a more authentic form of inclusion is needed, and how it might be achieved.

front cover of Intimate Geopolitics
Intimate Geopolitics
Love, Territory, and the Future on India’s Northern Threshold
Sara Smith
Rutgers University Press, 2020
Winner of the 2021 Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award from the American Association of Geographers​
2021 Foreword Indies Finalist - Politics and Social Sciences

Intimate Geopolitics begins with a love story set in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, in India’s Jammu and Kashmir State, but this is also a story about territory, and the ways that love, marriage, and young people are caught up in contemporary global processes. In Ladakh, children grow up to adopt a religious identity in part to be counted in the census, and to vote in elections. Religion, population, and voting blocs are implicitly tied to territorial sovereignty and marriage across religious boundaries becomes a geopolitical problem in an area that seeks to define insiders and outsiders in relation to borders and national identity. This book populates territory, a conventionally abstract rendering of space, with the stories of those who live through territorial struggle at marriage and birth ceremonies, in the kitchen and in the bazaar, in heartbreak and in joy. Intimate Geopolitics argues for the incorporation of the role of time–temporality–into our understanding of territory.

front cover of The Ironies of Affirmative Action
The Ironies of Affirmative Action
Politics, Culture, and Justice in America
John David Skrentny
University of Chicago Press, 1996
Affirmative action has been fiercely debated for more than a quarter of a century, producing much partisan literature, but little serious scholarship and almost nothing on its cultural and political origins. The Ironies of Affirmative Action is the first book-length, comprehensive, historical account of the development of affirmative action.

Analyzing both the resistance from the Right and the support from the Left, Skrentny brings to light the unique moral culture that has shaped the affirmative action debate, allowing for starkly different policies for different citizens. He also shows, through an analysis of historical documents and court rulings, the complex and intriguing political circumstances which gave rise to these controversial policies.

By exploring the mystery of how it took less than five years for a color-blind policy to give way to one that explicitly took race into account, Skrentny uncovers and explains surprising ironies: that affirmative action was largely created by white males and initially championed during the Nixon administration; that many civil rights leaders at first avoided advocacy of racial preferences; and that though originally a political taboo, almost no one resisted affirmative action.

With its focus on the historical and cultural context of policy elites, The Ironies of Affirmative Action challenges dominant views of policymaking and politics.

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