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Lilly Ledbetter was keynote speaker for Politics and Social Justice Week, April 3-12, 2013
Faculty Research Projects
The Political Science Faculty not only have been busy teaching, but also working on various research and publication projects. Check out some of what has been going on within the department...
Urban Social Capital: Civil Society and City Life"
Justice beyond "Just Us": Dilemmas of Time, Place, and Difference in American Politics
Notions of justice and community in the United States are increasingly challenged by trends like immigration, multiculturalism, and economic inequality as well as historical legacies like Jim Crow-era racial segregation. These dynamics continually re-shape the communities in which people live, whether by generating new forms of interdependency and inequality, creating new social cleavages or exacerbating existing ones, or generating new spaces in which cross-boundary contact, conflict, or cooperation is possible.
Revealing the ways in which notions of justice and community overlap in American politics and public discourse through concrete political questions which emerge when considering dimensions of time, place, and difference, Gregory W. Streich offers a fresh re-examination of the normative ideas of justice and community. He encourages Americans to move from a view of justice that applies only to people who are "like us" to a view of justice that applies to people beyond "just us."
US Foreign Policy: A Documentary and Reference Guide
Written by Dr. Akis Kalaitzidis and Dr. Greg Streich. "Things written, remain," Aaron Burr reportedly noted. That is a boon for those interested in history, as the surest way to determine historical fact is through documentary evidence. To that end, U.S. Foreign Policy: A Documentary and Reference Guide provides readers with important documents from throughout U.S. history, from the administration of George Washington to that of Barack Obama.Organized to allow readers to examine the historical evolution of U.S. foreign policy, the book includes treaties, speeches, and other documents that illustrate important doctrines and decisions over the more than two centuries of American history. It also highlights various phases of foreign policy, from regionalism to westward expansion, from the Cold War to a New World Order. In addition to the documents themselves, the authors provide analysis and commentary that will help students understand what the documents meant in the context of their time and what they mean historically.
Europe's Greece: A Giant in the Making
A look at Immigration with Dr. Akis Kalaitzidis
Dr. Akis Kalaitzidis co-authored the book Immigration: A Documentary and Reference Guide with Thomas Cieslik and David Felsen.
Dr. Akis Kalaitzidis contemplates Tax Reform in Europe
Dr. Akis Kalaitzidis writes a chapter within the book The State of the European Integration by Yannis Stivachtis. The chapter entitled "The Race to the Bottom: Tax Reform and Development in the European Union" investigates the "flat tax" and "What factors ultimately determine whether or not the flat tax is a viable economic strategy for future economic growth."
Dr. Henry Wambuii's Debut Work Examines HIV/AIDS in His Native Kenya
"On the theoretical plane, the present work contributes to our understanding of the role of external shocks in the consolidation of fragile democracies. One would not wish the ravages of AIDS on any country, but it is not uncommon for a great crisis to elicit a noble human response. If popular participation and leadership accountability are the substance of democracy, the response to AIDS while belated, has clearly made Kenya more democratic. The full fruits of the institutional processes set in motion by this response will only be apparent in the years to come."
Professor Paul Clements, Western Michigan University
"This is an intellectually astute and accessible discussion of an issue that has eluded many scholars of Africa and the HIV/AIDS scourge on the continent. With clear examples and using Kenya as a case study, the book offers a brilliant analysis of policy formulation in developing countries that emphasizes the role of ordinary people in claiming and widening democratic spaces even amidst adversity and political intolerance ... Many disciplines interested in issues of HIV and human rights will find the book useful, but it is an essential text in Comparative Political Science, Women's Studies, International Development Studies, African Studies, and HIV/AIDS analyses."
Professor Evan Mwangi, Northwestern University
Department Chair Dr. James Staab Explores Political Philosophy of Justice Scalia
The Political Thought of Justice Antonin Scalia: A Hamiltonian on the Supreme Court traces Justice Antonin Scalia's jurisprudence back to the political and constitutional thought of Alexander Hamilton. Not only is there substantial agreement between these two men in the areas of constitutional interpretation, federalism, separation of powers, executive and judicial power, but the two men also have similar temperaments: bold, decisive, and principled. By examining the congruence in thought between Hamilton and Scalia, it is hoped that a better and deeper understanding of Justice Scalia's jurisprudence will be achieved. While an abundance of scholarship has been written on Justice Scalia, no one has systematically examined his political philosophy.
This book also draws out the important differences between Justice Scalia's jurisprudence and that of the other conservative members of the Court—the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas.
An extensive review of Dr. Staab's book is available online.
Dr. Streich Contributes to a Book on Media and Politics
This edited volume offers a wide-ranging examination of the role of mass media, celebrity, and politics in the United States. In his chapter "Mass Media, Citizenship, and Democracy: Revitalizing Deliberation?," Professor Streich argues that trends within journalism such as horse-race journalism, corporate ownership, and an emphasis on ratings and entertainment serve not to enlighten but to undermine an informed and active citizenry.
From the Publisher
It's Show Time! Media, Politics, and Popular Culture is an exciting collection of original essays introducing undergraduate students and interested readers to the important role that the media and popular culture have in shaping their lives and views on politics. Written by both political scientists and journalists, this book looks at the diverse ways television, movies, the Internet, and even soap operas mold public opinion and define how we view political reality. However, as these essays will reveal, this socialization is not all benign. Instead, this book reveals a corporate media increasingly trapped by the demands to inform, entertain, and make a profit--often at times distorting reality by transforming criminals into heroes, assassination theories into fact, and participatory government into a spectator sport. Overall, It's Show Time! explores the limits and possibilities of the media and emerging information technologies as they shape political perceptions and politics into the twenty-first century.