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Subject: Political Science and International Relations

The American Untouchables: America & the Racial Contract

A historical perspective on race-based politics
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-147-3
May 2017
Availability: In stock

The issue of race is often a scab Americans choose to ignore. However social science has a responsibility and an obligation to examine not simply the amenable subjects but also the controversial. This work, in a word, is controversial. Thomas Franks (2004) argued that cultural differences led white Kansans to abandon the Democratic Party for the Republican Party during the 1980s. He specifically argued that abortion was the unifying issue in this ideological migration. Simultaneously, future President Ronald Reagan opened his campaign for the presidency in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the sight of the massacre of four young civil rights activists over a decade earlier. Race has and is a factor in the American experience; Franks’ premise is simply that the absence of the concentration of African Americans in the Kansas area negated the influence of the “black threat hypothesis” on the observed ideological switch of white Kansans. This work argues that Franks’ premise fails to incorporate the over arching ideological switch of white voter migration to the Republican party that was occurring during the same period, and that Reagan’s speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi was an overt cue that he was rejecting the civil rights consensus for an historically established “race-based social contract” that positioned people of color outside the traditional bounds of the social contract. The study is a sociopolitical analysis of the African American experience utilizing the “racial contract” framework developed by Charles Mills. The “racial contract” holds that the social contract explicitly dictates interactions and transaction costs between citizens and government. Mills supposition is that historically non-Western Europeans were excluded from the penalties for violations of the social contract, and a tacit race based contract dictated transaction costs and interactions between Europeans and non-Europeans. The work utilizes the framework to trace the sociopolitical environment from the first appearance of Africans in America to the present. It has the supposition that the initial sociopolitical status of Africans in America was as a result of the reformation of the Western feudal agrarian culture, with African captives attached to the land as the neo-serfs; but that the reformation of feudalism was only possible within the context that Africans were implicitly viewed as outside the bounds of the codified social contract. It traces American sociopolitical conflict over the expansion of the “racial contract,” which was the basis of the American Civil War; and the establishment of an implicit sociopolitical order within the bounds of the racial contract at the end of the Civil War, with codified sanctions for violations of commensality and endogamy.

Mustard Seeds in the Public Square

Between and Beyond Theology, Philosophy, and Society
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-169-5
April 2017
Availability: In stock

This volume seeks to explore the intersection of theology, philosophy and the public sphere not by referring the social and political to ethics and deontology as is often the case, but rather to ontology itself, to the very nature of beings. The meaning of history and historicity is most pertinent to this enquiry and is approached here both from the perspective of social reality and from the perspective of ontology. Joining together contributions focusing on theory of the public sphere and metaphysics, chapters explore subjects as diverse as the political implications of the Incarnation, the paradox between ontology and history, politically left and right appropriations of Christianity, the fecundity of Maximus the Confessor’s insights for a contemporary political philosophy, modern Orthodox political theology focusing on Christos Yannaras and numerous thematic areas that together form the mosaic of the enquiry in question.

Memes of Misinformation: Federal Spending

Unraveling the controversial, socio-economic and political issues behind those annoying social media memes
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-251-7
March 2017
Availability: In stock

In this first installment of the Misinformation series, the author tackles complex socio-economic and political topics related to the economy of the United States, such as the federal budget, wasteful spending, the national debt, unemployment and social security. By breaking down each subject into layman’s terms, the author clearly and concisely presents, in an unbiased manner, the facts behind the fake news, half-truths and general misinformation from the annoying headlines and memes cluttering social media on these volatile subjects.

The Bottom Line: Unfortunate Side Effects of Capitalist Culture

1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-159-6
February 2017
Availability: In stock

This monograph explores the role of culture in modern societies and the side effects that result when that role is distorted. The basic premise of this book is that many of the dominant cultural characteristics of modern life, like the ideologies and values associated with materialism and consumer capitalism, are cultural phenomena with influences that are in many ways problematic and in some ways downright detrimental to our sustained societal well-being. I argue in this book that the globalized capitalist economic system has become increasingly efficient in terms of scale and scope, but has also become less humane in many regards; less connected to human needs and concerns. Of particular concern is the encroachment of economic interests into areas of human society that traditionally have been free from profit motives, or at least only minimally influenced by them; areas such as scientific research, the justice system, and even family relationships. I suggest that there is a slow but steady intrusion into these areas of human life that were once considered off-limits to naked economic incentives and calculations. This intrusion puts the idea of America as a free and democratic society increasingly at risk when private economic stakeholders meddle in the political and cultural areas of society in ever more insidious ways to further their own enrichment at the expense of the public. Furthermore, the vast capitalist economic system is in many ways increasingly disconnected or disembedded from the contexts and regulations of traditional social relations as in the past.

Freedom, Authority and Economics: Essays on Michael Polanyi's Politics and Economics

1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-131-2
October 2016
Availability: In stock

This edited volume of original contributions deals with the economic and political thought of Michael Polanyi. Requiring little prior knowledge of Polanyi, this volume further develops a somewhat neglected side of Polanyi's work. In particular it examines the 'tacit integration', of subsidiary details into focal objects or actions as central to all knowing and action. It traces ontological counterparts in the structures of comprehensive entities and complex actions, and a multi-level universe in which lower levels have their boundary conditions, the extents to which they apply, determined by those of the next higher level, whilst each possessing its own laws or operative principles. This schema of 'dual control' preserves the reality and relative autonomy of each level, and its interactions with others, against the various reductions. The essays in this volume also employ and develop important additional concepts and distinctions such as: 'corporate' and 'spontaneous' order; 'public' and 'private' liberties; 'general' and 'specific authority'; and 'moral inversion'; which, as the essays show, are necessary for understanding and maintaining a free society and the freedom of institutions within it. Among the topics treated with them are: more of the prerequisites of freedom in public liberties dedicated to principles and transcendent values; totalitarianism and society as spontaneous order; the balance of general and specific authority in society and particular institutions; reductionism, totalitarianism and consumption in consumer societies, as moral inversions; the mutual interactions of economics and politics as distinct and autonomous but interacting levels; the sociological aspects of economics; and Polanyi's own contributions to sociology. Although, as indicated, Polanyi has his special terms, the essays in this volume, like his works, give them meaning with concrete examples and so avoid merely shuffling a mass of abstractions. Together the essays show that his work is a rich seam of ideas and inspiration for yet further extension and application.

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