Jamila Celestine Michener, Andrew Dilts, and Cathy J. Cohen
Political participation has been a fundamental constant in the lives of African American people. Whether it is voting, membership in social/political community organizations, or participation in social movements for causes ranging from abolition to civil rights, black Americans have consistently leveraged politics and civic engagement as vehicles for freedom and justice. This article focuses on the history of political activism among African American women, reviewing the manifold ways they have participated while traversing the often perilous American political landscape. It highlights significant trends and provides a broader context for understanding those trends. To that end, the article begins with a broad discussion of the intersectional positioning of African American women. Subsequently, it discusses the patterns of black women's participation between Reconstruction and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Finally, it rounds out the historical account by addressing black women's traditional forms of participation since the Voting Rights Act.
Richard W. Waterman
This article summarizes the literature on the president's unilateral powers and explores the implications of the related unitary executive model. It first investigates the association between unilateral power and Richard Neustadt's bargaining model. Neustadt argues that presidents must use their resources wisely if they are to have influence in Washington. Unilateral action provides an alternative to the Neustadt bargaining model for presidents who seek to increase their political influence. While there are a number of unilateral powers, political scientists focus most of their attention on executive orders. A central concept of the unitary executive is the idea of ‘departmentalism’ or ‘coordinate construction’. The issues raised by the unitary executive and the president's unilateral powers offer fodder for additional qualitative and quantitative studies of the presidency, as well as more developed theories that will better help in the understanding of the continuing evolution of the presidential office and presidential power.
This chapter explains basic concepts used by the executive branch and Congress in requesting and allocating federal budget resources for national security. It provides a context for mandatory and discretionary budgeting and also defines some basic budget terms, such as “budget authority” and “outlays.” The chapter briefly explains the budgeting process, first within the executive branch (e.g., the White House and Departments of Defense and State) and then within the Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate. In addition, the chapter highlights some of the trade-offs that the executive branch and Congress must make in allocating federal budget resources to national security.
Jonathan Bendor and Thomas H. Hammond
This article summarizes several major choice-theoretic approaches to bureaucratic structure. It begins by presenting the contributions of four choice-theoretic approaches to the understanding of bureaucratic structure: social choice theory (SCT), noncooperative game theory, normative theories of choice under uncertainty, and theories of boundedly rational decision making. It also presents an overview of each perspective. SCT highlights a central feature of decision making in democracies: it is a collective choice process. These four choice-theoretic approaches to bureaucratic structure are important for understanding American bureaucracy. The article then turns to six major ways in which SCT can debunk claims about the structures of public agencies. The six relate to Pareto-optimal structures, the ‘inheritance’ thesis, ‘chaos’ theorems, unrealistic aspirations regarding bureaucratic structure, the impossibility of a neutral hierarchy, and information aggregation. It is believed that every important aspect of organizational structure and bureaucratic design can be illuminated by choice-theoretic approaches.
This article describes development in the economy of New York State. National and international trends play a large role in the decline of New York's manufacturing economy. New York's economy has been dominated by the financial and insurance industries. The New York State economic development climate is daunting to business, especially when viewed against several key criteria. The state has at least two distinct economies, with the upstate segment containing more of the intractable locus of economic challenge in recent years. Economic development approaches that engage private sector investment have over time come to be favored over those that rely on public funding alone. In the aftermath of the “Great Recession,” and in the context of the state's current fiscal condition, New York's competitive position in economic development remains difficult to improve.
Gary J. Miller and Andrew B. Whitford
This article explores the key attributes of applying experimental methods to the study of bureaucracy. It engages in experimental research on incentives, structure, and other fundamental questions about bureaucracy. Next, it addresses two of the most prominent criticisms of experimental research on American bureaucracies: they lack external validity, and they cannot create laboratory environments that replicate organizational settings. While both pose knotty problems for any experimental research, each has special wrinkles in the case of experimental research on bureaucracy at both the individual and organizational levels. Is also important to note that field experiments suffer from a type of effect that is addressed most concretely in the case of laboratory experiments: the experimenter effect. The experimental approach applied to surveys may be less useful in the case of surveying real bureaucrats. The article finally covers several promising future possibilities for experimental research on American bureaucracy.
This article describes how game theory has contributed to the understanding of the American presidency as well as how future research could use this technique to advance the understanding even further. The three topics covered here include presidential vetoes, public opinion, and Supreme Court nominations. It also determines several additional areas that seem especially suitable for new game theoretic analysis. Additionally, special attention is given to the limitations of game theory. The data shows how blame game theory can help identify personal versus institutional determinants of veto usage. Game theoretic models of vetoes have not only aided econometric analysis, but also qualitative empirical work. A more detailed description of how game theory has altered the substantive understanding of public opinion is offered. Simple differences in the assumptions of the models can produce vastly different predictions; thus it would be a shame if the theories were only produced by ‘outsiders’ to the field.
This chapter focuses on Jack L. Walker’s 1969 paper “The Diffusion of Innovations among the American States,” which analyzes the phenomenon of diffusion as well as interdependent decision-making in a collective setting. The chapter summarizes Walker’s arguments and the reception of his work in, and its influence on, the field of political science. It then considers the research questions posed, such as why some states act as pioneers by adopting new programs more readily than others, and whether there are more or less stable patterns of diffusion of innovations. It also revisits Walker’s debate with Virginia Gray with regards to the latter’s seminal study “Innovation in the States: A Diffusion Study.” The chapter offers some suggestions on the future progress of diffusion scholarship and its potential to redefine our understanding of politics and policy.
Robert B. Ward
This article explores New York State's dollars-and-cents relationship with Washington and the nation in the context of broad changes over time in the respective fiscal roles of Washington and the states. The 1970s brought what many participants and observers called the “New Federalism,” in which Washington provided “more fiscal aid on a more flexible basis to state and local governments in the form of revenue sharing and block grants.” Furthermore, it turns to a description of broad fiscal policies and trends in the Empire State itself. Seeking new federal funding is a basic part of annual budget strategy. Federal funding was a significant source of assistance for cities in the 1970s, but has not kept pace with growth in overall budgets since then. Issues of federalism will continue to produce important impacts on the scope, nature, cost, and quality of public services in New York and the nation.
Norrin M. Ripsman, Rosella Cappella Zielinski, and Kaija E. Schilde
National security has typically been studied as analytically separate and distinct from political economy. This chapter explores the economic underpinnings of national security and, in particular, the key economic dimensions of contemporary U.S. security policy dilemmas. It offers an overview of the problems associated with security policy in an era of austerity, the economic dimensions of power transition from unipolarity to multipolarity, and the security consequences of U.S. and global populist discontent. We then move beyond the traditional relationship between economics and security to discuss several important contemporary political economy dilemmas that face the U.S. security establishment. Finally, it discusses the economic dimensions of counterterrorism, counterproliferation strategies, and war mobilization.
This article elaborates on the understanding of New York's public fiscal position. The choice of counting rules has a dramatic impact on the understanding of the size of government and interpretation of its fiscal health. The decentralized character of New York's public fiscal position derives from impacts of policy practices in four key areas: social welfare, education, public employee pensions, and collective bargaining. Debt is both a useful and respected tool of public finance and a dangerous temptation for elected officials. New York is among the most heavily indebted states in the nation. With respect to Medicaid and public assistance, the City of New York and virtually all counties favor increased state financing. The area with the greatest potential for change is the heavy decentralization of public fiscal matters in New York.
David R. Mayhew
This article discusses congressional scholarship within the context of some literature and analytical schools that have focused on the study of Congress. In this article, various rubrics, each of which featured in the Wilsonian sense, are analyzed. The rubrics discussed herein are: spatial dissonance; norms and rules systems under the framework of sociology, goals-oriented or purposive politicians, and formal theorists.
Ross K. Baker
David R. Matthew's U.S. Senators and their World has set the standard on the interview-based approach on congressional studies. Since its publication fifty years ago, Matthew's approach has contributed to the understanding of Congress. However, interview-based research is relatively unexplored, illustrating the difficulty of conducting this type of research. This article discusses interview-based and direct observational-based studies on Congress. It reviews the contributions of the most influential works, which relied on interview material. It examines the works of David Matthew, John W. Kingsdon, C. Lawrence Evans, Richard L. Hall, Richard F. Fenno, and Nelson Polsby. The article also addresses some of the practical problems of interviewing members of Congress. It also addresses why these interviews form a distinct, elite category.
This article first examines the various ways in which scholars explain the relationship between war and racial reform. Upon identifying gaps in the literature on the subject, it then outlines a framework through which at least some of the gaps may be filled. It then examines the effect of the Civil War on African American citizenship in light of the proposed framework. This is followed by the examination of the Spanish-American war and World War I and World War II, followed by an analysis of the World War II and the Korean War. Conclusions of the article illustrate how African American military service influenced change in at least two phases. A top-down mechanism prevailed in the aftermath of the Civil War and one in which many black veterans were integral to the success of local movements, pushing change from the bottom up in the postwar South during the civil rights movement.