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Kirk Randazzo is the author (with Richard Waterman) of Checking the Courts: Law, Ideology, and Contingent Discretion (SUNY Press 2014). Randazzo is associate professor of political science at the University of South Carolina. He has previously written several books on the courts and foreign policy.

How does legislative language affect the courts? Randazzo and Waterman take on this long-standing question with original data and analysis of the factors that drive judicial behavior. Their approach is innovative and methodologically novel. Using newly constructed measures of statutory detail, they find that judges are influenced by the level of discretion afforded to them in the writing of legislation. The book helps scholars of political science and the law to better understand the interactions between the branches of government.


Darrell M. WestBillionaires: Reflection on the Upper Crust

October 20, 2014

So how many billionaires are there in the world? And what do they have to do with politics? Darrell  M. West has answered those questions in Billionaires: Reflection on the Upper Crust (Brookings 2014). West is vice president of Governance Studies and director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution. As an [...]

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Matthew HuberLifeblood: Oil, Freedom, and the Forces of Capital

October 17, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Geography]  Lifeblood: Oil, Freedom, and the Forces of Capital (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) is an incisive look into how oil permeates our lives and helped shape American politics during the twentieth century. Author Matthew Huber shows the crucial role oil and housing policy played in the New Deal and how, in subsequent decades, government [...]

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Mark CornerThe European Union: An Introduction

October 16, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in European Studies] Some say it should be a loose collection of sovereign nation states; others say it should aspire to be a kind of super-nation state itself. Or is it, in truth, a messy but workable mixture of a number of extremes, ideals and concepts? These are the type of questions [...]

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Andrea Louise CampbellTrapped in America’s Safety Net: One Family’s Struggle

October 13, 2014

Andrea Louise Campbell is the author of Trapped in America’s Safety Net: One Family’s Struggle (University of Chicago Press, 2014). Campbell is professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Trapped in America’s Safety Net sheds light on the reality of means-tested programs in the United States. Following an accident that left her [...]

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Gregory WeeksUnderstanding Latin American Politics

October 8, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Latin American Studies] What factors compel Central American residents to flee their home countries and head to the United States? What do national elections in Latin America mean, and why should the U.S. be concerned? Which Latin American nations are emerging international powers? These are some of the questions Dr. Gregory Weeks prepares [...]

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Ajay K. MehrotraMaking the Modern American Fiscal State: Law Politics, and the Rise of Progressive Taxation, 1877-1929

October 7, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Intellectual History] Prior to the passage of the Sixteenth Amendment, the United States did not have a national system of taxation—it had a regional system, a system linked to political parties, and a system that, in many instances, preserved and protected trade.  In his superbly written and thoughtful book Making the Modern American [...]

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Robert J. Pekkanen, Steven Rathgeb Smith, and Yutaka TsujinakaNonprofits & Advocacy: Engaging Community and Government in an Era of Retrenchment

October 6, 2014

Robert J. Pekkanen, Steven Rathgeb Smith, and Yutaka Tsujinaka are the authors of Nonprofits & Advocacy: Engaging Community and Government in an Era of Retrenchment (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014). Pekkanen is professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of [...]

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Iqbal SeveaThe Political Philosophy of Muhammad Iqbal: Islam and Nationalism in Late Colonial India

October 2, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies]  The towering Indian Muslim poet and intellectual Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938) is among the most contested figures in the intellectual and political history of modern Islam. Heralded by some as the father of Pakistan and by others as a champion of pan-Islam, Iqbal’s legacy is as keenly debated as [...]

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Philip KretsedemasMigrants and Race in the US: Territorial Racism and the Alien/Outside

September 29, 2014

Philip Kretsedemas is the author of Migrants and Race in the US: Territorial Racism and the Alien/Outside (Routledge, 2014). Kretsedemas is associate professor of sociology at University of Massachusetts-Boston. This is the second time he has been featured on New Books in Political Science podcast. In Migrants and Race in the US, Kretsedemas explains how [...]

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