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Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books

Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books
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Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books




Brian Frederick, “American Presidential Candidate Spouses: The Public’s Perspective” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018)

Laurel Elder, Brian Frederick, and Barbara Burrell are the authors of American Presidential Candidate Spouses: The Public’s Perspective (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018). Elder is professor of political science at Hartwick College; Frederick is associate professor and chair of political science at Bridgewater State University; Burrell is professor emeritus of political science...


Bernard Fraga, “The Turnout Gap: Race, Ethnicity, and Political Inequality in a Diversifying America” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

Following a historic election, we return again to the question of turnout. Who turned out in large numbers to shift power in the House back to the Democrats? What we know about the past is that there are substantial gaps in turnout between different groups. White Americans have turned out...


Kristina C. Miler, “Poor Representation: Congress and the Politics of Poverty in the United States” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

It’s been an article of faith among scholars and activists alike that poor Americans are ignored in national politics. But what if that conventional wisdom is wrong, and poor people, at least rhetorically, are in fact as commonly referred to by Presidents in their State of the Union addresses and...


Paul Djupe and Ryan L. Claassen, eds., “The Evangelical Crackup?: The Future of the Evangelical-Republican Coalition” (Temple UP, 2018)

In 2016, despite only mixed support from evangelical leaders, Donald Trump won an enormous share of the white evangelical vote. How did Trump manage to overcome the seeming mix-match between his record on social and moral issues and the longstanding views of evangelical voters? The authors and editors of The...


David Rondel, “Pragmatist Egalitarianism” (Oxford UP, 2018)

Pragmatism is a longstanding philosophical idiom that advocates public-facing philosophy – philosophy that abandons merely academic puzzles and addresses itself to the social and political problems of the day. This commitment is perhaps most firmly manifest in John Dewey. Unsurprisingly, Dewey wrote extensively in social and political philosophy, focusing in...


J. Eric Oliver and Thomas J. Wood, “Enchanted America: How Intuition and Reason Divide Our Politics” (U Chicago Press, 2018)

Magical thinking lies at the heart of J. Eric Oliver and Thomas J. Wood’s new book, Enchanted America: How Intuition and Reason Divide Our Politics (University of Chicago Press, 2018). Oliver is professor of political science at the University of Chicago and Wood is assistant professor of political science at...


Robert Kagan, “The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World” (Knopf, 2018)

Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a columnist for The Washington Post. He is also the author of The Return of History and the End of Dreams, Dangerous Nation, Of Paradise and Power, and A Twilight Struggle. He served in the U.S. State Department from...


Chloe Thurston, “At the Boundaries of Homeownership: Credit, Discrimination, and the American State” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

Earlier this year, we heard from Suzanne Mettler and her book on the politics of policies hidden from view. Mettler explained that most Americans are benefiting from numerous public policies, but often fail to notice it because participation is hidden in the tax code. This leads to a disconnect between...


Stella M. Rouse and Ashley D. Ross, “The Politics of Millennials: Political Beliefs and Policy Preferences of America’s Most Diverse Generation” (U Michigan Press, 2018)

The Millenial generation, those born between the early 1980s and late 1990s, are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in US history. They also grew up during the birth of the digital revolution and two cataclysmic events: September 11th and the Great Recession. What they believe has remained largely speculation,...


Michael G. Hanchard, “The Spectre of Race: How Discrimination Haunts Western Democracies” (Princeton UP, 2018)

Michael G. Hanchard’s new book The Spectre of Race: How Discrimination Haunts Western Democracies (Princeton University Press, 2018) is a rich and complex examination of the question of discrimination in general, and racial discrimination specifically, within the study of comparative politics as a discipline, but more broadly how this particular issue, discrimination—of...


Steve Kornacki, “The Red and The Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism” (Ecco, 2018)

How did American politics become so polarized? MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki points to clash of two larger-than-life characters in the 1990s, Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, as the origin of our viciously tribal politics. In The Red and The Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism (Ecco, 2018), Kornacki traces...


Michael Koncewicz, “They Said No to Nixon: Republicans Who Stood Up to the President’s Abuses of Power” (U California Press, 2018)

Is it possible for a president’s political appointees to rein in a president with a penchant for abusing power? Yes. Michael Koncewicz, who listened to hundreds of hours of the Nixon tapes, digs deep into the Richard Nixon presidency and shows exactly how Republicans put loyalty to the Constitution over...


Jeffrey D. Sachs, “A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism” (Columbia UP, 2018)

If you are tired of reading the same, Washington-based, consensus, ‘realist’ and or ‘neo-conservative’, critiques of American foreign policy, here is something to salivate on: Jeffrey D. Sachs’, A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism (Columbia University Press, 2018). By turns, noted author Jeffrey Sachs’ book is unorthodox, iconoclastic, novel...


K. Dittmar, K. Sanbonmatsu, and S. Carroll, “A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen’s Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters” (Oxford UP, 2018)

Interviewing one member of Congress is a feat for most researchers. Interviewing nearly 100 and almost every women member of Congress is remarkable. Even more remarkable is what we can learn from that data collection about the perceptions of women members of Congress, especially about the way they perceive recent...


Daniel E. Ponder, “Presidential Leverage: Presidents, Approval, and the American State” (Stanford UP, 2018)

Dan Ponder’s new book, Presidential Leverage: Presidents, Approval, and the American State (Stanford University Press, 2018), is an important and thoughtful exploration of the concept of presidential leverage, specifically how much capacity the president has to accomplish goals, particularly in terms of asserting power to produce outcomes from Congress. Ponder examines...


Joel R. Pruce, “The Mass Appeal of Human Rights” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

How can human rights campaigns function in consumer and celebrity society? In The Mass Appeal of Human Rights (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), Joel Pruce, assistant professor in political science at the University of Dayton, explores this question through the framework of the Frankfurt School’s critical theory. Rich with examples and detailed histories of...


P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking, “LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018)

LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018), by P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking, outlines the history of social media platforms and their use in popular culture and modern conflict. The authors make comparisons to previous technological advancements (such as telegraph and radio) and connect the use...


Candice Delmas, “A Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil” (Oxford UP, 2018)

According to a long tradition in political philosophy, there are certain conditions under which citizens may rightly disobey a law enacted by a legitimate political authority. That is, it is common for political philosophers to recognize the permissibility of civil disobedience, even under broadly just political conditions. There are, of...


Samuel Helfont, “Compulsion in Religion: Saddam Hussein, Islam and the Roots of Insurgencies in Iraq” (Oxford UP, 2018)

Samuel Helfont‘s Compulsion in Religion: Saddam Hussein, Islam and the Roots of Insurgencies in Iraq (Oxford University Press, 2018) makes an invaluable contribution to an understanding of Iraqi strongman’s Saddam Hussein harnessing of Islam in support of his Baathist regime and ideology and to ensure that Islam as a social institution...


Nicholas Carnes, “The Cash Ceiling: Why Only the Rich Run for Office and What We Can Do About It” (Princeton UP, 2018)

In 2018, much attention has been drawn to candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Randy Bryce: candidates for Congress who’ve made a living doing working class jobs. They are unusual because Congressional candidates are almost always drawn from white collar professions. Why do so few working class candidates run for office?...