Political theorist Juan Linz died
Tuesday at the age of 86. His work focused on comparative government, including studies on totalitarian and authoritarian regimes
. Linz was also a prominent critic of the presidential system of government used in the United States and in much of Latin America. In his essay, "The Perils of Presidentialism"
(later expanded into book form as The Failure of Presidential Democracy
), Linz argued that presidential systems are inherently unstable, as they invariably lead to standoffs between the president and the legislature, each with competing claims to legitimacy. Thus, as in many Latin American countries, presidential systems frequently collapse, and often are replaced with dictatorships. The one exception to that pattern has been the United States--at least until recently
. In an interview
in January of this year, Linz argued that the US was succumbing to the same dysfunction as other presidential regimes. In Slate
, Matthew Yglesias commemorates Linz by warning that the American system of government may be doomed to an endless cycle of crisis and constitutional disintegration
, as evidenced by the government shutdown. Dylan Matthews concurs
, arguing that the shutdown is "James Madison's fault."
posted by Cash4Lead
on Oct 2, 2013 -
By many measures, women in political science do not achieve the same success as men. Their ranks among full professors are lower; their teaching evaluations by students are more critical; they hold less prestigious committee appointments; and, according to a new study, their work is cited less frequently.
Why? [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest
on Sep 6, 2013 -
bills itself as "where academia meets public life". Its promotes long-form, accessible articles about a variety of topics.
posted by shothotbot
on Jul 16, 2013 -
Bill Moyers interviews Sheldon Wolin
in two parts.
Moyers: This will strike you as a very simplistic question, but I need to ask it. Do we have a democracy?
Wolin: It isn't a simplistic question, and the answer is I think we don't.
Moyers: *Spock eyebrow raise* [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar
on Jul 2, 2013 -
...Although as he self-styles
himself "King Koopa," it is apparent that he claims (or is seeking) parity of esteem with Princess Peach; that is to say that he does not regard himself as a "terrorist," but as a "freedom fighter" or entitled ruler in his own right.
posted by Navelgazer
on Apr 10, 2013 -
Watch political ideologies emerge and shift over hundreds of years.
ANIMATE is an amazing Java app that lets you track graphically
the ideological position of all the representatives to the US Congress, European Parliament, or the UN over every roll call vote in history. The really interesting part is that the application uses DW-NOMINATE data that maps the ideology of representatives
, and is pretty good at predicting voting patterns. Voteworld
is a related Java application that is a little less dramatic, but allows you to really dig into the data (to access DW-NOMINATE data in Voteworld, click the little orange sphere icon in the application).
On the US side:"There are two major lessons to take away from ANIMATE. First, over time, you see less and less motion of individual legislators, particularly after the Civil War. This shows the stabilization of the American political system. Second, after the Civil War you will see the major party clusters growing further apart until the turn of the century, then come together and overlap, and beginning in the 1970s draw apart again. That is, throughout most of the twentieth century, political divisions blurred but in the last quarter one sees the polarization of American politics."
posted by blahblahblah
on May 31, 2006 -
All Politics is Thymotic.
"Let me tell you what men want. Let me tell you why some middle-age men wear the sports jerseys of semiliterate behemoths half their age while others customize their cars with so many speakers they sound like the hip-hop version of the San Francisco earthquake as they roll down the street.
Recognition. Men want others to recognize their significance. They want to feel important and part of something important." (NYT via donkey o.d.)
posted by ZenMasterThis
on Mar 27, 2006 -
Articles of Faith
"By inviting articles that covered different sides of disputed issues, Father Reese
helped make America Magazine
a forum for intelligent discussion of questions facing the Catholic Church and the country today."
's policy -- to present both sides of the discussion -- apparentlly "did not sit well with Vatican authorities". Reese, a Jesuit and a political scientist, had made a point of publishing both sides of the debate on a range of subjects
, some of them quite delicate for a Catholic magazine -- gay priests, stem-cell research, the responsibility of Catholic politicians confronting laws on abortion and same-sex unions and a Vatican document (the Dominus Iesus
declaration) which outlined the idea that divine truth is most fully revealed in Christianity and the Catholic Church in particular.
Reese, who had described last month the Vatican as behaving like the cranky owner of a good restaurant, resigned yesterday as editor of the magazine. More inside.
posted by matteo
on May 9, 2005 -
More clash from the right.
Political Scientist Samuel Huntington has gone domestic with his “Clash of Civilizations” (previous MeFi links here
). In his new article, “The Hispanic Challenge” (soon to be a book entitled “Who Are We”), he highlights the threat
hispanics pose to what he has decided is "the Anglo-Protestant culture of America."
posted by AwkwardPause
on Apr 19, 2004 -