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Political Theory and Philosophy

Environmentalism and the Political Theory Canon

Contemporary environmental political theory considers the implications of the environmental crisis for such political concepts as rights, citizenship, justice, democracy, the state, race, class, and gender. As the field has matured, scholars have begun to explore connections between Green Theory and such canonical political thinkers as Plato, Machiavelli, Locke, and Marx. The essays in this volume put important figures from the political theory canon in dialogue with current environmental political theory. It is the first comprehensive volume to bring the insights of Green Theory to bear in reinterpreting these canonical theorists.

Individual essays cover such classical figures in Western thought as Aristotle, Hume, Rousseau, Mill, and Burke, but they also depart from the traditional canon to consider Mary Wollstonecraft, W. E. B. Du Bois, Hannah Arendt, and Confucius. Engaging and accessible, the essays also offer original and innovative interpretations that often challenge standard readings of these thinkers. In examining and explicating how these great thinkers of the past viewed the natural world and our relationship with nature, the essays also illuminate our current environmental predicament.

Essays on
Plato • Aristotle • Niccolò Machiavelli • Thomas Hobbes • John Locke • David Hume • Jean-Jacques Rousseau • Edmund Burke • Mary Wollstonecraft • John Stuart Mill • Karl Marx • W. E. B. Du Bois • Martin Heidegger • Hannah Arendt • Confucius

Sheryl D. Breen, W. Scott Cameron, Peter F. Cannavò, Joel Jay Kassiola, Joseph H. Lane Jr. Timothy W. Luke, John M. Meyer, Özgüç Orhan, Barbara K. Seeber, Francisco Seijo, Kimberly K. Smith, Piers H. G. Stephens, Zev Trachtenberg, Andrew Valls, Harlan Wilson

American Power and International Stability

The unprecedented military, economic, and political power of the United States has led some observers to declare that we live in a unipolar world in which America enjoys primacy or even hegemony. At the same time public opinion polls abroad reveal high levels of anti-Americanism, and many foreign governments criticize U.S. policies. Primacy and Its Discontents explores the sources of American primacy, including the uses of U.S. military power, and the likely duration of unipolarity. It offers theoretical arguments for why the rest of the world will—or will not—align against the United States. Several chapters argue that the United States is not immune to the long-standing tendency of states to balance against power, while others contend that wise U.S. policies, the growing role of international institutions, and the spread of liberal democracy can limit anti-American balancing. The final chapters debate whether countries are already engaging in "soft balancing" against the United States. The contributors offer alternative prescriptions for U.S. foreign policy, ranging from vigorous efforts to maintain American primacy to acceptance of a multipolar world of several great powers.

Contributors: Gerard Alexander, Stephen Brooks, John G. Ikenberry, Christopher Layne, Keir Lieber, John Owen IV, Robert Pape, T. V. Paul, Barry Posen, Kenneth Waltz, William Wohlforth

Political Equality and the Welfare State

Since the Reagan and Thatcher revolutions of the 1980s, there has been little consensus on what welfare ought to do or how it ought to function. At the same time, post-Wall continental Europe searches for a "third way" between state-planned socialism and laissez-faire capitalism. In Reflexive Democracy, Kevin Olson takes on this contemporary conceptual crisis. He calls for a "political turn" in considerations of the welfare state, arguing that it should no longer be understood in primarily economic terms—as a redistributive and regulatory mechanism—but in political terms, as a means of living up to deep-seated values of political equality. Drawing on arguments by T. H. Marshall and Jürgen Habermas, Olson proposes a conception of political equality as the normative basis of the welfare state. He argues that there are inextricable connections between democracy and welfare: the welfare state both promotes political equality and depends on it for its own political legitimacy. The paradox of political equality as a precondition for political equality is best solved, Olson argues, by guaranteeing citizens the means for equal participation. This is a reflexive conception of democracy, in which democratic politics circles back to sustain the conditions of equality that make it possible.

This view, Olson writes, is meant not to replace traditional economic concerns but to reveal deep interconnections between democratic equality and economic justice. It counters paternalistic ideas of welfare reform by focusing on citizen participation. This conception moves beyond simple equality in the possession of goods and resources to propose a rich, materially grounded conception of democratic equality.

The Democracy Sourcebook offers a collection of classic writings and contemporary scholarship on democracy, creating a book that can be used by undergraduate and graduate students in a wide variety of courses, including American politics, international relations, comparative politics, and political philosophy. The editors have chosen substantial excerpts from the essential theorists of the past, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, Alexis de Tocqueville, and the authors of The Federalist Papers; they place them side by side with the work of such influential modern scholars as Joseph Schumpeter, Adam Przeworski, Seymour Martin Lipset, Samuel P. Huntington, Ronald Dworkin, and Amartya Sen.

The book is divided into nine self-contained chapters: "Defining Democracy," which discusses procedural, deliberative, and substantive democracy; "Sources of Democracy," on why democracy exists in some countries and not in others; "Democracy, Culture, and Society," about cultural and sociological preconditions for democracy; "Democracy and Constitutionalism," which focuses on the importance of independent courts and a bill of rights; "Presidentialism versus Parliamentarianism"; "Representation," discussing which is the fairest system of democratic accountability; "Interest Groups"; "Democracy's Effects," an examination of the effect of democracy on economic growth and social inequality; and finally, "Democracy and the Global Order" discusses the effects of democracy on international relations, including the propensity for war and the erosion of national sovereignty by transnational forces.

What causes war? How can wars be prevented? Scholars and policymakers have sought the answers to these questions for centuries. Although wars continue to occur, recent scholarship has made progress toward developing more sophisticated and perhaps more useful theories on the causes and prevention of war. This volume includes essays by leading scholars on contemporary approaches to understanding war and peace.

The essays include expositions, analyses, and critiques of some of the more prominent and enduring explanations of war. Several authors discuss realist theories of war, which focus on the distribution of power and the potential for offensive war. Others examine the prominent hypothesis that the spread of democracy will usher in an era of peace. In light of the apparent increase in nationalism and ethnic conflict, several authors present hypotheses on how nationalism causes war and how such wars can be controlled. Contributors also engage in a vigorous debate on whether international institutions can promote peace. In a section on war and peace in the changing international system, several authors consider whether rising levels of international economic independence and environmental scarcity will influence the likelihood of war.

How should the government balance the aims of justice and economic efficiency when intervening in the economy? In Political Economy of Fairness Edward Zajac seeks not only to raise the level of the fairness-economic efficiency debate, but to show both the importance and the difficulty (illustrated by the ongoing struggle of the Supreme Court to put meaning into the Sherman and Clayton antitrust acts) of getting the economic theory right in executing fairness-motivated policy. He also reveals both the pervasiveness of government interference in the marketplace and the generality of the stakeholders-fairness-efficiency paradigm as an organizing framework for identifying and analyzing the interaction of the major elements in the policy debates.

Political Economy of Fairness covers the main advances of fairness theory, providing a vocabulary of concepts and terms that will allow more efficient and informed communication about policy. It explains these sometimes quite difficult concepts in clear language with maximum appeal to intuition and little mathematics and reviews the experimental work of economists as well as the more standard approaches of moral philosophers.

Part I looks at how economists understand and commonly define the concepts of efficiency, costs, prices, exit/entry, externalities, public goods, firms, risks and incentives, and principal-agent theory. Part II reviews fairness theory, including the basic elements of the theories of John Rawls, Robert Nozick, utilitarianism, and superfairness, and the extensive work of experimental economists to develop positive theories of fairness. Part III covers economic theories of regulation and government intervention, introducing the different concepts of taxation, "cures" for market failures, theories of public choice, and rent seeking. Zajac concludes this part by observing that incentive-compatible regulation appears to economists as the most promising approach to government intervention.

The book closes with several case studies that illustrate recurrent themes in regulation and policy. The case studies include progressive taxation, unfair pricing (cross-subsidization and predatory pricing and dumping), mergers and acquisitions, and health, safety, and environmental regulation.

Are democracies less likely to go to war than other kinds of states? This question is of tremendous importance in both academic and policy-making circles and one that has been debated by political scientists for years. The Clinton administration, in particular, has argued that the United States should endeavor to promote democracy around the world. This timely reader includes some of the most influential articles in the debate that have appeared in the journal International Security during the past two years, adding two seminal pieces published elsewhere to make a more balanced and complete collection, suitable for classroom use.

The rapid collapse of socialism has raised new economic policy questions and revived old theoretical issues. In this book, Joseph Stiglitz explains how the neoclassical, or Walrasian model (the formal articulation of Adam Smith's invisible hand), which has dominated economic thought over the past half century, may have wrongly encouraged the belief that market socialism could work. Stiglitz proposes an alternative model, based on the economics of information, that provides greater theoretical insight into the workings of a market economy and clearer guidance for the setting of policy in transitional economies.

Stiglitz sees the critical failing in the standard neoclassical model underlying market socialism to be its assumptions concerning information, particularly its failure to consider the problems that arise from lack of perfect information and from the costs of acquiring information. He also identifies problems arising from its assumptions concerning completeness of markets, competitiveness of markets, and the absence of innovation. Stiglitz argues that not only did the existing paradigm fail to provide much guidance on the vital question of the choice of economic systems, the advice it did provide was often misleading.

The Wicksell Lectures