A central current in the history of democratic politics is the tensions between the political culture of an informed citizenry and the potentially antidemocratic impulses of the larger mass of individuals who are only marginally involved in the political world. Given the public’s low level of political interest and knowledge, it is paradoxical that the democratic system works at all.In The Paradox of Mass Politics W. Russell Neuman analyzes the major election surveys in the United States for the period 1948–1980 and develops for each a central index of political sophistication based on measures of political interest, knowledge, and style of political conceptualization. Taking a fresh look at the dramatic findings of public apathy and ignorance, he probes the process by which citizens acquire political knowledge and the impact of their knowledge on voting behavior.The book challenges the commonly held view that politically oriented college-educated individuals have a sophisticated grasp of the fundamental political issues of the day and do not rely heavily on vague political symbolism and party identification in their electoral calculus. In their expression of political opinions and in the stability and coherence of those opinions over time, the more knowledgeable half of the population, Neuman concludes, is almost indistinguishable from the other half. This is, in effect, a second paradox closely related to the first.In an attempt to resolve a major and persisting paradox of political theory, Neuman develops a model of three publics, which more accurately portrays the distribution of political knowledge and behavior in the mass population. He identifies a stratum of apoliticals, a large middle mass, and a politically sophisticated elite. The elite is so small (less than 5 percent) that the beliefs and behavior of its member are lost in the large random samples of national election surveys, but so active and articulate that its views are often equated with public opinion at large by the powers in Washington. The key to the paradox of mass politics is the activity of this tiny stratum of persons who follow political issues with care and expertise. This book is essential reading for concerned students of American politics, sociology, public opinion, and mass communication.
Judith M. Heimann entered the diplomatic life in 1958 to join her husband, John, in Jakarta, Indonesia, at his American Embassy post. This, her first time out of the United States, would set her on a path across the continents as she mastered the fine points of diplomatic culture. She did so first as a spouse, then as a diplomat herself, thus becoming part of one of the Foreign Service’s first tandem couples.
Heimann’s lively recollections of her life in Africa, Asia, and Europe show us that when it comes to reconciling our government’s requirements with the other government’s wants, shuttle diplomacy, Skype, and email cannot match on-the-ground interaction. The ability to gauge and finesse gesture, tone of voice, and unspoken assumptions became her stock-in-trade as she navigated, time and again, remarkably delicate situations.
This insightful and witty memoir gives us a behind-the-scenes look at a rarely explored experience: that of one of the very first married female diplomats, who played an unsung but significant role in some of the important international events of the past fifty years. To those who know something of today’s world of diplomacy, Paying Calls in Shangri-La will be an enlightening tour through the way it used to be—and for aspiring Foreign Service officers and students, it will be an inspiration.
Published in association with ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Series
Few institutions are as well suited as the monarchy to provide a window on postwar Japan. The monarchy, which is also a family, has been significant both as a political and as a cultural institution.This comprehensive study analyzes numerous issues, including the role of individual emperors in shaping the institution, the manner in which the emperor’s constitutional position as symbol has been interpreted, the emperor’s intersection with politics through ministerial briefings, memories of Hirohito’s wartime role, nationalistic movements in support of Foundation Day and the reign-name system, and the remaking of the once sacrosanct throne into a “monarchy of the masses” embedded in the postwar culture of democracy. The author stresses the monarchy’s “postwarness,” rather than its traditionality.
This insider's view of Washington in the 1950s and 1960s, of the tumultuous presidency of Lyndon Johnson, and of the conflicts and factions of the president's staff has become a political classic since its original publication in 1972. In this reissue, Harry McPherson adds a new preface in which he reflects on changes in Washington since the Johnson era and on the lessons Bill Clinton could learn from the presidency of Lyndon Johnson.
With the collapse of the Cold War following the Eastern European revolutions and the ongoing democratization of the Soviet republics, optimism about peace has transformed the international political climate. Incidents such as the Gulf War, however, have tempered this optimism and cast doubts on the prospects for demilitarization. In this book, Martin Shaw examines some of the developments that lie behind the recent momentous changes and argues that, despite the Gulf War and other regional wars, militarism is in decisive retreat.
Writing from a broadly sociological perspective, Shaw examines the roles of war and military institutions in human society and the ways in which preoccupation with war has affected domestic, regional, and international politics in the twentieth century. In doing so, he asks: When does the post-war era end? How have nuclear weapons altered the perception of war by society? What is the relationship between industrialism and militarism?
The author contends that, despite the militarism of some Third World countries, societies in the advanced industrial world (especially in Europe) have been undergoing a profound demilitarization. These societies have become politically insulated from war preparation, have recognized the effect of social movements on inter-state relations, and are experiencing a "revolution of rising expectations."
Offering evidence of "post-military citizenship," Shaw describes the increasing resistance to military conscription throughout the Western world, the replacement of blind obedience with demand for accountability in Eastern bloc countries, and the simultaneous rise of nationalism and communitarianism among common market members. And, in light of the collapse of Stalinist militarism in Europe and the USSR, Shaw suggests some of the changes that face Soviet society.
Judith Michaels provides an in-depth examination of the Senate-confirmed presidential appointees of the Gorge H. W. Bush administration, and analyzes what these choices reveal about him, his administration, and the institution of political appointments itself. She compares this research to other administrations in the modern era. Particularly fascinating is how Bush's appointees compare with those of Ronald Reagan.
The essays in Public Affairs reflect on a number of sex scandals while emphasizing the Clinton/Lewinsky affair, certainly the most avidly followed and momentous sex scandal in American political history. Leading scholars situate contemporary public affairs in the context not only of earlier sex scandals in American politics (such as Thomas Jefferson’s and Sally Hemings’s affair), but also of more purely political scandals (including Teapot Dome and Watergate) and sex scandals centered around public figures other than politicians (such as the actor Hugh Grant and the minister Jimmy Swaggart). Some essays consider the Clinton affair in light of feminist and anti-racist politics, while others discuss the dynamics of scandals as major media events. By charting a critical path through the muck of scandal rather than around it, Public Affairs illuminates why sex scandals have become such a prominent feature of American public life.
Contributors. Paul Apostolidis, Jodi Dean, Joshua Gamson, Theodore J. Lowi, Joshua D. Rothman, George Shulman, Anna Marie Smith, Jeremy Varon, Juliet A. Williams
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