300 episodes

Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books

New Books in Political Science New Books Network

    • Social Sciences

Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books

    Robert Frank, "Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work" (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Robert Frank, "Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work" (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Psychologists have long understood that social environments profoundly shape our behavior, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. But social influence is a two-way street―our environments are themselves products of our behavior. Under the Influence explains how to unlock the latent power of social context. It reveals how our environments encourage smoking, bullying, tax cheating, sexual predation, problem drinking, and wasteful energy use. We are building bigger houses, driving heavier cars, and engaging in a host of other activities that threaten the planet―mainly because that's what friends and neighbors do.
    In the wake of the hottest years on record, only robust measures to curb greenhouse gases promise relief from more frequent and intense storms, droughts, flooding, wildfires, and famines. In Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work (Princeton UP, 2020), Robert H. Frank describes how the strongest predictor of our willingness to support climate-friendly policies, install solar panels, or buy an electric car is the number of people we know who have already done so. In the face of stakes that could not be higher, the book explains how we could redirect trillions of dollars annually in support of carbon-free energy sources, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone.
    Most of us would agree that we need to take responsibility for our own choices, but with more supportive social environments, each of us is more likely to make choices that benefit everyone. Under the Influence shows how.
    Stephen Pimpare is Senior Lecturer in the Politics & Society Program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of The New Victorians (New Press, 2004), A Peoples History of Poverty in America (New Press, 2008), winner of the Michael Harrington Award, and Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford, 2017).
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    • 29 min
    Lee Drutman, "Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Lee Drutman, "Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    There are quite a few authors writing about the problems facing American democracy and how best to solve those problems. Many of the problematic issues devolve to the question of representation – and how to shift or change the American political system so that it better represents the voters themselves and the plurality of perspectives and opinions across the country. Lee Drutman’s new book, Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America (Oxford UP, 2020) dives into both the problems with the current political dynamic and the possible solutions. As the title indicates, Drutman’s analysis investigates the current binary “doom loop” of two internally consistent parties, and the elected officials who rarely have to compromise within the Madisonian system set up to compel compromise. Drutman’s examination takes the reader through the historical shifts in terms of the parties themselves and American political development, and how Americans have come to find themselves in this “doom loop.” Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop also explores contemporary “toxic politics” and the existential threat that every election seems to pose for parties, partisans, those in elected office, and ultimately for the country itself and public policies. Ultimately, Drutman proposes a number of reforms that, without amending the Constitution, could, as he says, break this doom loop and open up opportunities for more actual representation. Following the examples of a number of cities in the U.S. and the state of Maine, Drutman posits that electoral reform, especially options like ranked choice voting, would shift the dynamic during campaigns, and would lead to coalition building and compromise by lawmakers and elected officials in office. The final section of Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America makes the case for how a multiparty system in the United States would work without amending the political institutions established by the Constitution. This is, ultimately, an optimistic book with a variety of proposals designed to untangle some of the persistent knots within the American political system.
    Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012).
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    • 39 min
    S. Bergès, E. Hunt Botting, A. Coffee, "The Wollstonecraftian Mind" (Routledge, 2019)

    S. Bergès, E. Hunt Botting, A. Coffee, "The Wollstonecraftian Mind" (Routledge, 2019)

    The Wollstonecraftian Mind (Routledge, 2019) is an extensive compendium of Mary Wollstonecraft as a writer, as an interlocutor, as a philosopher and political theorist, and as a feminist thinker. The text, which is impressive in its reach, breath, and considerations, will be of use to any reader or scholar who may want to learn more about Mary Wollstonecraft, her thought, and her influence. But it is much more extensive than that, since it provides deep scholarly examination of all of Wollstonecraft’s works, as well as considering the context for Wollstonecraft’s work, and those with whom she was in intellectual encounters, and those with whom she had contemporary engagement as well.
    In this wide-ranging survey of Mary Wollstonecraft, Sandrine Bergès, Eileen Hunt Botting, Alan Coffee have done an exceptional job of bringing together experts from a diversity of disciplines and perspectives. The Wollstonecraftian Mind projects both backwards and forwards, positioning Wollstonecraft’s thinking within the philosophical tradition in the first section of the text, and then, in the final section, projecting it forward, through a collection of chapters that explore her legacy. The text is part of The Philosophical Mind series at Routledge that examines, in substantial depth, the work of an individual thinker, and The Wollstonecraftian Mind follows the contours of many of the other volumes in this series. The central sections of the book examine the works themselves, the ideas with which Wollstonecraft was in dialogue, and explorations of her philosophy. This is an incredibly useful text and resource for scholars and students, with accessible analyses and an array of considerations and perspectives.
    Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012).
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Saladin Ambar, "Reconsidering American Political Thought: A New Identity" (Routledge, 2019)

    Saladin Ambar, "Reconsidering American Political Thought: A New Identity" (Routledge, 2019)

    Saladin Ambar has written a masterful examination and analysis of American political thought in this new book which does, in fact, reconsider our thinking about this particular branch of political theory. Ambar has integrated into Reconsidering American Political Thought: A New Identity (Routledge, 2019) the variegated threads of many of the traditional texts within the American political thought canon while also weaving in texts, authors, and ideas that have usually been relegated to secondary considerations. Mapping on to American political development over the course of four hundred years, Ambar has written essentially a companion reader to be used as both a primary document and as a supplementary source for students and scholars of American thought. This is an insightful exploration of the American mind, in its many facets, bringing together not only thinkers and theorists, but writers, artists, poets, and musicians, as well as the political history of the continent, all in dialogue with each other as they individually, and through encounter, contribute to and tease at the idea of American identity and American political thought. Foregrounding voices and considerations of race and gender, Ambar takes the reader through a host of political eras, beginning in 1619 and concluding today, weaving together traditional analyses with a diversity of perspectives and contributors. This is an important and accessible book, urging the reader to dig into primary source documents, novels, short stories, lyrics, religion, and various kinds of images, all pulled together in an effort to understand American thinking, the American mind, and the tensions inherent in American national identity.
    Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015).
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    • 42 min
    Co-Authored: Frank Baumgartner and Bryan Jones on American Politics and Policy

    Co-Authored: Frank Baumgartner and Bryan Jones on American Politics and Policy

    The Co-Authored podcast takes you behind the major academic collaborations in the study of politics. The first episode of the Co-Authored podcast focuses the multiple decade collaboration between Frank Baumgartner and Bryan Jones. This study initially focused on American politics and policy change, but it grew and grew to encompass new questions about information and new places stretched out across the world. Listen to the co-authors, collaborators, and former student share all the inside secrets.
    The Co-Authored podcast is supported by the American Political Science Association Centennial Center and the New Books Network. It is written and produced by Heath Brown and edited by Sam Anderson.
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    • 37 min
    Michael Bobelian, "Battle for the Marble Palace: Abe Fortas, Earl Warren, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and the Forging of the Modern Supreme Court" (Schaffner, 2019)

    Michael Bobelian, "Battle for the Marble Palace: Abe Fortas, Earl Warren, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and the Forging of the Modern Supreme Court" (Schaffner, 2019)

    Michael Bobelian has written a history of the nomination of Abe Fortas to be Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1968. In Battle for the Marble Palace: Abe Fortas, Earl Warren, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and the Forging of the Modern Supreme Court (Schaffner, 2019), he reminds us of the intense political battle over Lyndon Johnson’s legacy nomination of then-associate justice Abe Fortas to the chief justiceship. Bobelian’s account, relying upon a wealth of archival materials, including primary sources from presidential libraries, Senate hearings, and interviews, recreates the political world of Washington, D.C. in the 1960s, during the height of the Warren Court’s influence. Bobelian assesses the motives for various actors, such as segregationist Strom Thurmond, moderate Robert Griffin, and liberals Abe Fortas and Earl Warren, in their roles in the nomination process. He makes the argument that the politicization of the nomination process did not begin with Robert Bork’s nomination in 1987, but truly began with the nomination of Fortas. Bobelian also considers the political and popular responses to the then-novel consistently activist Warren Court and how the Fortas nomination and the opposition to it were motivated by combinations of jurisprudential ideology, institutional prerogatives, and the dynamics of personal relationships.
    Ian J. Drake is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair State University. His scholarly interests include American legal and constitutional history and political theory.
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    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

Mawbrown110 ,

Great pod

Great information from a diverse range of up and comers in the world of political science.

very funny and clever pod ,

Lefty crap

Mostly far left bs from far left academics

NeilE ,

Argh

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