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Political science is a discipline in constant danger of fragmentation because of the centrifugal pulls of our subfields and the contradictions in our scientific and humanistic traditions. We are, however, periodically brought together by the need to respond to major developments that are reshaping the political universe. We are today confronted with a unifying challenge in the crisis of authoritarianism that is undermining the legitimacy of all types of authoritarian systems throughout the world, including the Marxist-Leninist regimes. The crisis will not necessarily produce democracies, but rather a variety of part-free, part-authoritarian systems which do not conform to our classical typologies. Although the crisis of authoritarianism stems from profound social, economic, and cultural trends, the outcome in each case will be decided by political responses. Political science, therefore, has the responsibility to lead intellectually other social sciences in analyzing the fundamental change in political life that involves the clash between individual political cultures and the world culture of modernization.
I analyze the governmental regulation of internationally traded goods produced by U.S. industries. General theories of regulation—most notably “capture” theories and the theory of “congressional dominance”—are used to analyze the decision-making behavior of the U.S. International Trade Commission, which plays a major role in approving and providing tariffs, quotas, and various types of nontariff trade barriers sought by these industries. Unlike previous studies, this one simultaneously accounts for both the supply and demand sides of trade regulation. This work seeks to predict, on a basis of domestic politics, the factors that affect the demand for, and supply of, trade protection for U.S. industries. The methodology consists of applying a nested logit framework to capture the decision behavior of the International Trade Commission and industries simultaneously. The analysis shows that industries do appear to self-select themselves in applying for protection from the International Trade Commission. In light of these findings, it appears that trade protection is subject to domestic political forces similar to those affecting other regulatory policy areas.
Using borders and alliances as indicators of opportunity and willingness, respectively, we test the relationship between these and the diffusion of war during the 1816–1965 period. The impact of borders and alliances, individually and in combination, on the growth of ongoing war through “infectious” diffusion is shown through the comparison of baseline cases to cases where states at peace were exposed to various “treatments” comprised of warring border nations or warring alliance partners. The findings indicate that the probability of war diffusion is substantially increased as opportunities and willingness increase, particularly when such geographic and political factors are combined. The applicability of the opportunity and willingness framework to the study of war and diffusion is expanded and confirmed.
The significance of legitimacy to regime maintenance has been much neglected in recent investigations of the Third World, particularly by behavioralists and rational choice theorists. I define legitimacy, discuss factors that may have contributed to this neglect, and explore the significance of nationalism and religion as major sources of legitimacy in the Middle East. Both a misunderstanding of the role of higher values and rationality in individuals' relationship to social systems and a faulty projection applied to the mainsprings of behavior in other cultures have distorted the perceptions of a number of Western analysts. The relationship between religion and nationalism is complex. Contrary to the common assumption in the West, Islam in general has generated fairly sophisticated constitutional theories. Islamic fundamentalism in particular has been a major source of innovation and adaptation—as well as of spiritual gratification—for the Muslim masses.
Using Habermas' theory of communicative action and his remarks on the legitimacy of the state under modern social conditions as a starting point, I combine normative democratic theory with the critique of ideology. I first outline four necessary-but-not-sufficient conditions of communication for democratic decision making: such agreements must (1) be formally and procedurally correct, (2) be cognitively adequate, (3) concern issues on which consensus or compromise can be reached, and (4) be free of ideology. The first three conditions form the core of a normative democratic theory, one that is not purely procedural, as many have argued it is. I then discuss the fourth condition and establish the relation between ideology and democracy. Taken together, these conditions not only provide an answer to troubling questions for democratic theory but also delineate the extent to which politics is rational and political claims are “truthlike.”
Political parties in the United States are usually regarded as too weak and decentralized, too much the prey of office-seeking politicians and special interests, to function effectively as programmatic., policy-effecting agents within the separation of powers. This has been taken as a serious flaw in the U.S. version of representative democracy, prompting cycles of proposed reform; criticisms of the existing set-up as a capitalistic sham; or alternative justifications of the system as pluralist rather than strictly party democracy. Our research challenges these assumptions by demonstrating the existence of strong links between postwar (1948–1985) election platforms and governmental outputs. Platforms' sentences, coded into one of 54 subject categories, are used as indicators of programmatic emphases and are related to corresponding federal expenditure shares. Resulting regression models demonstrate the full applicability of party mandate theory to the United States, and they operationalize its U.S. variants concretely.
We return to the analysis of cooperation among interdependent rational individuals. We emphasize the limited impact of iteration (or repeated play) and explore the possibility of an alternative: intervention by rational agents, whom we call leaders. We show that leadership is more significant for initiating cooperation than for sustaining it. In addition, we identify two features of organizations that are critical in determining a leader's ability to initiate and sustain cooperation by structuring the incentives of his followers: the leader's capabilities (information and strategy sets) and reward structure (payoff function).
A diverse set of congressional studies portrays members of standing committees as more or less homogeneous “high demanders” or “preference outliers” relative to members of the larger legislature. Using interest group ratings of members of the Ninety-sixth to Ninety-ninth Congresses, I conduct conventional statistical hypothesis tests to discern whether standing committees are more extreme and more homogeneous than the legislature as a whole. With only a few exceptions, the tests do not allow confident rejection of null hypotheses of identical committee and chamber preferences. The absence of convincing evidence of preference outliers is broadly consistent with emerging incomplete information game-theoretic legislative research and difficult to reconcile with many previous formal theories of legislative politics.
We investigate a sequential voting model in which voters' forecasts of outcomes on future issues are determined endogenously. Voters are assumed to make decisions in an environment in which future outcomes are uncertain. The uncertainty arises from two possible sources. Voters may be uncertain of other voters' preferences. In addition, events that occur before future issues are decided may affect voters' preferences on future votes. Information available to voters at each point in time is characterized. An equilibrium to the voting problem, if one exists, is one for which the outcome on the issue currently being decided and voters' forecasts of outcomes on future issues are determined simultaneously. We show that an equilibrium exists under a particular voting institution and characterize voters' forecasts for this equilibrium.
Though liberalism has been widely criticized for its attempt to frame a detached judgment of society based on an asocial conception of individuals, insufficient attention has been paid to the particular social and political relationships this search for an Archimedean point presupposes. Using collective choice theory, I show that liberalism has adopted two distinct kinds of Archimedean points reflecting different and unjustified presuppositions about the true institutional relation between politics and society. Liberalism's Archimedean search is not merely unsuccessful but biased in a way that is significant even for positions critical of liberalism. It is possible, I argue, to have a normative political theory that avoids an asocial conception of individuals without falling victim to liberalism's specific biases concerning institutional relations. The implications for both Rawlsian- or Nozickian-style liberalism are discussed, including the possibility of a political philosophy that avoids their “analytical extremism.“
The traditional emphasis on human nature as the foundation of politics needs to be reexamined from the perspective of contemporary biology. Because biological processes operate independently on the individual, the social group, and the species, an evolutionary approach to both observational research and cost-benefit analysis does not entail reductionism. Selfishness and altruism, participation in social groups, languages and cultures, and the rise and fall of centralized states can all be illuminated by empirical evidence and theories in the life sciences. For political philosophy, a new “naturalism” points to a return to the Aristotelian view that values or standards of judgment have rationally intelligible foundations, thereby challenging the relativist or nihilistic orientation that has characterized most contemporary thought.
Women have long faced special barriers in their efforts to gain election to political office. We show that the hurdles women encounter go beyond the often-described familial responsibilities and occupational disadvantages to include perceptual and political barriers unique to women. Using a two-wave, five-year panel of people serving on city councils, we find women likely to pursue higher office only under particular conditions—conditions that seem to matter little to men. Additionally, the success of women in pursuing higher office is more closely tied to the circumstances in which they find themselves than is the success of men. We suggest that the motivational circumstances of women and men in pursuing a political career are more complex than previously assumed. It is not just that men and women differ in their career attitudes and perceptions but that these attitudes and perceptions have different meaning for the two sexes.
We examine the role that one group of party units—county party organizations—play in electoral politics, based on electoral and county party organizational data collected during 1980–84. Local party chairs report their organizations are involved in a number of electorally relevant activities, including candidate recruitment, joint planning with candidate organizations, and various independent campaign activities. The data demonstrate that county party organizations are indeed effective. The probability of a minority party's running candidates for lower-level offices, which appears to contribute to higher vote totals for higher-level offices, is a function of the local strength and activity level of the party; whereas direct effects are seen to be small. These data suggest that even if mainly at the candidate recruitment stage of the process, party organizations play an important role in local electoral politics.
If candidates are uncertain about the policy position preferred by the median voter and therefore face the risk of stating an unpopular position, in equilibrium both candidates may prefer to make their positions ambiguous rather than to specify them. The incentives to be ambiguous are further increased if the position announced by one candidate allows the other candidate to estimate the preferences of the voters better.
In the September 1987 issue of this Review, we developed a game-theoretic model of committee or legislative decision making, showing the extent to which members may have incentives to share, or conceal, information. Because the formal analysis and statement of results for this model were in error, we offer this correction.
In “A Culturalist Theory of Political Change” in the September 1988 issue of this Review, Harry Eckstein argued that “a cogent, potentially powerful theory of political change can be derived from culturalist premises.” But Herbert Werlin finds Eckstein's effort to accommodate culture theory to political change unsatisfactory. Werlin argues that politics in the sense of political engineering, rather than cultural changes, mainly accounts for transformations in political life. Eckstein responds, arguing that the political methods for inducing change are themselves culturally conditioned.