By Political Science & Politics, Special for US Daily Review.
Published by Cambridge University Press for the American Political Science Association, PS is the only quarterly professional news and commentary journal in the field of political science. The July edition offers fascinating articles on:
Rudeness in public life
In a six-article symposium, Political Civility, eight authors put incivility in politics in the spotlight, holding political leaders, campaign consultants, the media, and voters themselves to account for defaulting to a position of rudeness and entrenchment that undermines useful compromise. A common theme is that current levels of incivility are troubling and are preventing much-needed bipartisanship in the face of the nation’s problems. Although many established politicians regularly demonstrate an aptitude for civility, the media’s focus on conflict has led to a substantial cohort of voters who are trained to respond to the rude, uncompromising face of politicians, pushing the dream of a politics of compromise even further away.
Unleashing the pet-factor
The way presidents use their pets to communicate with the nation and strengthen their position is examined in Unleashing Presidential Power: The Politics of Pets in the White House. Authors Forrest Maltzman, James Lebovic, Elizabeth Saunders, and Emma Furth demonstrate that pets can be both an important power center in the White House and a crucial part of a president’s strategy to engage the public. The authors outline the conditions under which presidents are most likely to trot out their four-legged friends and show that presidents give much careful thought to when to conduct a dog and pony show. In times of war or scandal, dogs are welcome public companions, but in periods of economic hardship they are best left in the kennel.
Obama’s GLB backlash?
How much Obama owes to the gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) vote and how much they may punish him for failing to pass employment laws to protect them come under discussion in President Obama and Gay Rights: The 2008 and 2012 Presidential Election. Mary McThomas and Robert Buchanan examine the past role and potential impact of GLB voters in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections to assess fluctuations in support for the Democratic Party by GLB voters. They estimate how much the GLB vote counted toward Obama’s victory margin in battleground states and argue that, with the Obama Administration’s failure to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the president could be held accountable in the 2012 election for failing to protect GLB people from job discrimination.
Getting it Right in Left-dominated higher education
In Diversifying the Academy: How Conservative Academics Can Thrive in Liberal Academia, two Republican political scientists, Robert Maranto and Matthew Woessner, take on received wisdom that conservative academics face severe discrimination in a higher education world dominated by left leaning professors. Exploring emerging research and drawing on their own experiences, Maranto and Woessner find a more complex picture, arguing that conservative intellectuals can survive and even thrive (at least in political science). They go on to recommend steps that right leaning faculty can take to avoid needless political conflict and work happily in a profession largely dominated by the Left.
Women publish but still perish on the academic ladder
The well-known academic mantra, “publish or perish” holds true in political departments up and down the United States – except if you are a woman ambitious to move from assistant to associate professor. This is the shocking finding of Vicki Hesli, Jae Mook Lee, and Sara McLaughlin Mitchell outlined in their article Predicting Rank Attainment in Political Science: What Else Besides Publications Affects Promotion? The trio present research that substantiates “publish or perish” but with the notable exception of the movement of women up a ranking system where they found that men have a significant advantage in gaining tenure. Analyzing the main factors that have a bearing on climbing the ladder in political departments, they uncovered no discernible link among women between the number of publications they have produced and the likelihood of their being an associate professor. Hearteningly, they also found that those women who survive the tenure process are as likely as men to move up the academic ladder to full professor.
It all makes for great reading, says PS Managing Editor, Barbara Walthall, and that’s not all:
“We also have some superb reports on an analysis of polls that show that 25% of Americans think President Obama is Muslim, an examination of a growing trend of class disparities in youth voting, and the findings of a 13-year study comparing online and traditional learning.”
“It’s a really intriguing collection of timely articles, for specialist or nonspecialist,that are both interesting and exceptionally timely!”