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V. O. Key's Southern Politics in State and Nation continues to be a central text in political science, the single most important work in understanding the role of the South in American politics. This article returns to, replicates, and seeks to advance Key's analysis of southern politics in Congress, reanalyzing and extending his account of southern strategies and actions in the House of Representatives. Where Key's text was characterized by an episodic attention to issue substance, we focus directly on how southern representation varied across discrete issue areas. We generate temporally fine-grained issue-specific ideal points for members of Congress that allow us to determine how congressional preferences changed across time, generating a more refined portrait of the process by which southern Democratic members diverged from their northern counterparts. We also thicken and extend Key's account along regional and temporal dimensions, assessing how his findings change when we employ a legal-institutional definition of the South, and include the whole period from the beginning of the New Deal to the close of the Truman administration. The article concludes by detailing the significance of our finding to the study of American politics, particularly American political development.
The brilliant sculptor Pietro Torrigiano mutilated a terracotta Pietà he had executed in early sixteenth-century Spain. He was convicted by the Inquisition for defiling a sacred image, and was imprisoned in Seville until he died in 1528. There are moments and places where artists can still be persecuted for violating religious norms. That, for instance, is the situation of Maqbool Fida Husain, a leading nonagenarian and Muslim Indian contemporary painter who lives in Dubai, afraid to return home because of the controversy that surrounds his nude depictions of Hindu goddesses. Think also of the Taliban's wilful destruction of the monumental Buddhas of Bamyan in 2001, said to be idols forbidden by sharia law. But such instances are in the main shocking exceptions.
This book treats religion and the political imagination in the period spanning this transformation. Until quite recently, a rather simple story prevailed. ‘Secularisation’ purported to describe a universal transition from a traditional religious picture of the world to a rational conception. Every society was thought to be caught up in this global trajectory, even if each progressed along it at different speeds. In this approach, the division and differentiation of church and state into separate spheres was identified with a progressive separation of politics from religion, an overall shift from a religious to a rational and scientific mentality, and a waning acceptance of religious authority. This perspective has, for some time, lost its capacity to persuade. And yet, something profound did happen. How should it be understood, studied and analysed?
‘Toleration is of course an essential and inseparable part of the great tradition of liberalism.’ With this ringing affirmation, Friedrich Hayek identified with Thomas Babington Macaulay, W. E. H. Lecky, Lord Acton, A. A. Seaton, and other nineteenth- and early twentieth-century predecessors who chronicled the welcome rise of toleration in England as a history of ideas and practices that were constitutively embedded within broader liberal and secular trends. Like these scholars, Hayek surely bore in mind how figures central to the development of liberal ideas and institutions, including John Locke, James Madison, John Stuart Mill and John Rawls, strongly advanced complementary arguments and designs for toleration, and how toleration widened and deepened as liberal political regimes matured.
This chapter guardedly probes the ‘of course’ in Hayek's confident statement. It considers the contingent rather than the ‘essential and inseparable’ status of toleration as a valued feature within the liberal tradition. Did toleration arise in tandem with liberalism? Were its timing, content and scope established by how liberal political ideas and institutions developed? Is toleration indeed part of the core configuration of liberal values and arrangements, a member in full standing among basic commitments geared to protect citizens from predatory regimes, including government by consent, the rule of law, rights for individuals, the free circulation of opinion and political representation? Toleration, I argue, is best understood not as a first-order liberal value but as a constellation of ideas, institutions and practices that came to be linked to a developing set of liberal ideas, institutions and practices by way of a ‘curious patchwork of compromise, illogicality and political good sense’, which is how Trevelyan put things when commenting on the Toleration Act of 1689.
The theory of secularisation became a virtually unchallenged truth of twentieth-century social science. First sketched out by Enlightenment philosophers, then transformed into an irreversible global process by nineteenth-century thinkers, the theory was given substance by the precipitate drop in religious practice across Western Europe in the 1960s. However, the re-emergence of acute conflicts at the interface between religion and politics has confounded such assumptions. It is clear that these ideas must be rethought. Yet, as this distinguished, international team of scholars reveal, not everything contained in the idea of secularisation was false. Analyses of developments since 1500 reveal a wide spectrum of historical processes: partial secularisation in some spheres has been accompanied by sacralisation in others. Utilising new approaches derived from history, philosophy, politics and anthropology, the essays collected in Religion and the Political Imagination offer new ways of thinking about the urgency of religious issues in the contemporary world.
I know just how pleased Charles Tilly was to receive the Albert O. Hirschman
Prize. The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is an institution he cherished, and Hirschman is a person for whom Tilly had almost limitless admiration.
He particularly esteemed the assertive analytic power and intellectual modesty that characterized Hirschman's “Rival Interpretations of Market Society,” the brilliant 1982 Marc Bloch Lecture that addressed competing interpretations of modern markets as, respectively, “civilizing, destructive, or feeble.” “However incompatible the various theories may be,” Hirschman (1982: 1481) argued, “each might still have its ‘hour of truth’ and/or its ‘country of truth’ as it applies in a given country or group of countries during some stretch of time,” and he concluded by asking whether it is “not in the interest of social science to embrace complexity, be it at some sacrifice of its claim to predictive power?” (ibid.: 1483). These features, too, were hallmarks of Tilly's audacious originality.
This is a chapter of admiration, concern, and exhortation.
The admiration is for recent research and writing in comparative politics that are as impressive in their way as the landmark structural studies of vast historical change written in the 1960s and 1970s. Building on the intervening generation's diverse institutional studies, this scholarship has been oriented to important problems, notably including politicized identities, civil violence, sources of political legitimacy, and dimensions of inequality. Adopting a mainly pragmatic attitude about method, this work has shown a healthy disrespect both for overly stylized battles about paradigms and for persisting disciplinary tensions that pit qualitative against quantitative methods. Instead, its practitioners prefer to move back and forth from structural to agent-centered levels of analysis via the mediation of historical and rational choice institutional analysis.
There also has been a robust and unanticipated revival of writing based on “huge comparisons” of “big structures” and “large processes” (Tilly 1984). These studies exhibit substantive scope and methodological imagination to ask compelling questions about the creation and character of the modern world. Further, across many spheres in the social sciences, including areas that previously had been rather ahistorical, scholars have taken to heart the idea that social science and history cannot be constituted meaningfully without each other (Pierson and Skocpol 2002; Mahoney and Rueschemeyer 2003).
It would have been difficult to predict this efflorescence a decade ago. Large-scale historical social science seemed a spent force.
We have independently analyzed the effects of the G.I. Bill's widely-utilized education and training benefits, and reached different conclusions. One of us argues that the implementation of these benefits, especially in the South, helped widen the income and wealth gaps between whites and blacks and further marginalized many African Americans; the other considers them to have been a rare example of a relatively inclusive policy, one that fostered equal citizenship. Because we are both historical institutionalists and we both share interests in matters of social policy, equality, and race, these dissimilar accounts require explanation. This dialogue first considers methodological issues, explaining our decisions about which forms of data to use and to emphasize, and how we made sense of contradictory findings. It next discusses interpretive matters, examining the processes through which we sometimes reached different conclusions even when we confronted the same evidence. Finally, the exchange considers some implications of our findings, probing the lessons they convey both about policy research and practice.
At a challenging time marked by global transformations and political uncertainty, and at a moment when modern liberalism has discredited one enemy and is embattled with another, its history, character, and prospects have become ever more urgent. The relationship between republicanism and liberalism, which emerged as a central issue for historians of modern political thought some decades ago, presently can aid such a consideration.
At first, this subject defined an important axis of debate among political historians, especially as they discovered republicanism as an alternative to the liberal tradition in colonial America and the early republic. Studies of the links joining liberalism to an older republicanism then migrated to political theory and to comparative, cross-national investigations. Animated by strong normative motivations, these works have taken what is, by now, a familiar form, where one or the other is endorsed as the superior doctrine and as a better guide to contemporary politics and society. Speaking directly to the standing and possibilities of liberalism today, such discussions consider a range of issues that include tensions joining virtue and self-interest, the common and the personal, sovereignty and representation, authority and freedom, law and ethics.
We contribute to this ongoing conversation by way of a historical and textual strategy. In coming to terms with liberal beginnings, we examine the association – or is it a bond? – connecting liberalism and republicanism. We revisit the origins and development of liberal thought to think about how it ascended, despite many challenges, to today's leading position.
Recent studies in the history of modern political thought increasingly have been turning to the writings of Germaine de Staël. Intriguingly, this revival of interest in a body of thought long neglected by students of political ideas has been marked by a stark dualism. For some, she helps reconsider the character of republicanism. For others, her work clarifies the birth of continental, especially French, liberalism. Each version claims Staël as one of its canonical or foundational figures.
How might we come to terms with such different appraisals? Although her texts are both republican and liberal, they appear so not at the same time but in a sequence characterized by an internal trajectory, a movement from an originally republican to, ultimately, a decidedly liberal stance. First a republican, she increasingly distanced herself from this tradition to become a liberal. It is this shift we seek to understand. The challenge is to appreciate when, why, and how she said farewell to republicanism and embraced liberalism. We do so by identifying a moment of inflection in Staël's orientation.
Unlike others who ask us to choose between a republican or a liberal Staël, Lucien Jaume and Marcel Gauchet also focus on her intellectual transition and political transformation. Our analysis, though, differs from theirs. Jaume's account attributes changes in Staël's thought to both biographical and theoretical causes. He identifies her disenchantment with Bonaparte, whose coup d'état revealed immanent authoritarian and despotic possibilities in the newborn republic.