Meredith A. Katz
This chapter presents a historical overview of political consumerism in the United States and Canada, highlighting how societal and cultural shifts have influenced participation over time. The chapter begins by discussing the debatable origins of political consumerism in the Boston Tea Party to present-day examples, including fair trade and ecoconsumption. Throughout the chapter, there is an emphasis on the heterogeneity of political consumers, with particular attention to how marginalized groups, particularly women and African Americans, have used political consumerism to bring about social change. The chapter also argues that producer-consumer solidarity campaigns, including the antisweatshop movement and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Campaign for Fair Food, are preferable to consumer-led campaigns. Finally, this chapter concludes with methodological considerations for studying political consumerism in North America and suggestions for future research.
Matto Mildenberger and Leah C. Stokes
Energy resource debates sit at the center of both policymaking and electoral battles across North America. Yet in contrast to Europe, strong international institutions to manage continental energy policy have not developed. Instead, North American energy politics are shaped by four key factors: the federalist nature of North American countries, the absence of effective continental energy institutions, regional economic interdependence, and the relative power asymmetries between the United States and its neighbors, Canada and Mexico. Taken together, these features of North American energy regionalism distinguish it in both form and dynamics from energy politics in Europe and Asia. The North American energy system is an example of regional energy management in which a single dominant state pulls neighbors into a fragmented institutional framework.
Jeffrey M. Berry
This article explores the changing nature of urban interest group politics and contrasts trends and developments at the urban level with what is known about lobbies in Washington. It also examines the barriers to entry for interest group politics and finds strikingly low barriers at the local level. Analysis then turns to the politics of location, maintaining that the traditional image of downtown business groups dominating local politics while neighbourhoods are politically feeble is outdated and misleading. The revival of citizen participation programs in urban politics is addressed. It is shown that it presents neighbourhoods leverage that they would not otherwise possess. The possible commonalities in future research on national and local interest groups are reviewed. The interest group subfield will reorient itself, with research crossing boundaries set by tradition.
Kenneth W. Stein
The US–Israeli relationship is complicated, dynamic, multidimensional, and enduring. From initial American governmental opposition to the present, Washington has become Israel’s most trusted ally. Rooted in common bonds, entrenched military sharing, and valued strategic interests, the association has also greatly influenced the shaping and sustenance of American Jewish identity. Four factors have influenced the relationship’s evolution: (1) deep American Jewish involvement in the American electoral system; (2) American government impatience with regularly objectionable Arab state behavior toward Washington; (3) a US imperative to contain threats to the region’s politics and states, including the Cold War, Islamic radicalism, and Iranian adventurism; and (4) how Washington retained its perceived need not to alienate Arab oil-producing states. The evolving relationship is explained in three time periods: distance after World War II, the unwavering embrace of Israel’s security from the1960s onward, and deep disagreements with that sustained embrace seventy years later.