Volume - Number -

Review Essay: Pity the Poor Autocrat: Vladimir Putin, Russia’s “Weak Strongman”
KATHRYN STONER assesses Timothy Frye’s Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin’s Russia within the context of an emergent comparative political science literature on rising authoritarianism and democratic recession.

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pp. 1-12

Barbara Walter’s Script for Civil War in America: A Review Essay
Jack Snyder reviews Barbara Walter's How Civil Wars Start and How to Stop Them.  Walter argues that modern civil wars take the form of guerrilla warfare and organized terrorism.  They are started mainly by declining ethnic groups in polarized partial democracies. Her contention that the contemporary United States is heading in this direction has a surface plausibility, but requires strong qualifications.

pp. 1-7

Lessons from The Politics of Ballot Design: A Review Essay
MARTHA KROPF analyzes the book The Politics of Ballot Design: How States Shape American Democracy by Eric J. Engstrom and Jason M. Roberts. She argues that the scholarship might have benefitted from an examination of recent work by scholars who work in election science—a new field which examines the conduct and administration of elections—and that election scientists can also learn from scholars examining institutions such as Congress and political parties.

pp. 1-10

Volume 137 - Number 1 - Spring 2022

How Populism Dies: Political Weaknesses of Personalistic Plebiscitarian Leadership
KURT WEYLAND examines the weaknesses of populist leadership. He argues that populist leaders are prone to errors and misdeeds, have difficulty dealing with other political forces, and face institutional and external constraints. Consequently, he concludes, they damage and suffocate democracy not as easily and frequently as recent observers have feared.

pp. 9-42

China and Grand Strategy: Does the Empire Have a Plan? A Review Essay
Andrew Scobell reviews Rush Doshi’s book The Long Game. Scobell contends that while significantly advancing the study of China’s grand strategy, the volume tends to exaggerate Beijing’s capacity to plan, coordinate, and attain long term goals.

pp. 155-160

How Can Presidents and the Executive Branch Preserve and Protect American Democracy? A Review Essay
Meena Bose reviews Phantoms of a Beleaguered Republic: The  Deep State and the Unitary Executive by Stephen Skowronek, John A. Dearborn, and Desmond King. She finds that their study of the “dueling concepts,” or “phantoms,” of the “deep state” and “unitary executive” in American politics presents a trenchant assessment of the challenges of presidential governance today. She questions whether their recommendations for stronger party leadership and more collaborative decision making will address the problems that are so thoughtfully presented in this profound analysis of the American political system.

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pp. 161-167

The Autocratic Middle Class: How State Dependency Reduces the Demand for Democracy, Bryn Rosenfeld
Reviewed by Natalie Wenzell Letsa

pp. 169-170

Elections, Protest, and Authoritarian Regime Stability: Russia 2008–2020, Regina Smyth
Reviewed by Graeme Robertson

pp. 170-171

The Real Psychology of the Trump Presidency, Stanley Renshon
Reviewed by William G. Mayer

pp. 171-178

Criminalizing Atrocity: The Global Spread of Criminal Laws against International Crimes, Mark S. Berlin
Reviewed by Kyle Rapp

pp. 184-186

Opposing Lincoln: Clement L. Vallandigham, Presidential Power, and the Legal Battle over Dissent in Wartime, Thomas C. Mackey
Reviewed by Joseph R. Fornieri

pp. 186-187

The Judicial Tug of War: How Lawyers, Politicians, and Ideological Incentives Shape the American Judiciary, Adam Bonica and Maya Sen
Reviewed by Deborah Beim

pp. 208-210

Volume 136 - Number 4 - Winter 2021-22

The Geopolitical Consequences of COVID-19: Assessing Hawkish Mass Opinion in China
Joshua Byun, D.G. Kim, and Sichen Li examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Chinese public’s foreign policy attitudes. Drawing on original surveys fielded in China during the first six months of the global pandemic, they find that ordinary Chinese citizens are optimistic about China’s future global position, and that this optimism corresponds with the widespread perception that the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating China’s rise relative to the United States.

pp. 641-665

After Trump: Enemies, Partisans, and Recovery
Christopher J. Fettweis discusses what political polarization in the United States has in common with the relationship between the Cold War superpowers. He argues that in both cases the “enemy image” warps perception of the other side and prevents meaningful reconciliation. Applying insight from international relations to U.S. domestic politics, he discusses the pernicious effects of the enemy image and how to overcome it.

pp. 667-687

How to Cure the Ills of Contemporary American Democracy? A Review Essay
Morris Fiorina reviews Lee Drutman’s book, Breaking the Two Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy. While he agrees with much of Drutman’s diagnosis of what has gone wrong with American politics, Fiorina is skeptical that the reforms proposed in Drutman’s Save American Democracy Act could be adopted, and would have as positive an impact as Drutman believes in the unlikely event that they are adopted.

pp. 741-750

His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life, Jonathan Alter
Reviewed by Thomas J. Balcerski

pp. 761-762

Immigration and the American Ethos, Morris Levy
Reviewed by Viviana Rivera-Burgos

pp. 780-782

Hope and Scorn: Eggheads, Experts, and Elites in American Politics, Michael J. Brown
Reviewed by Angus Burgin

pp. 787-788

The Case for Identity Politics: Polarization, Demographic Change, and Racial Appeals, Christopher T. Stout
Reviewed by Jamil Scott

pp. 797-798

Privilege and Punishment: How Race and Class Matter in Criminal Court, Matthew Clair
Reviewed by Andrew McCall

pp. 798-800

From Empire to Nation State: Ethnic Politics in China, Yan Sun
Reviewed by Katherine Palmer Kaup

pp. 805-807

Volume 136 - Number 3 - Fall 2021

How to Stop Jihadist Foreign Fighters
Daniel Byman argues that the threat volunteers for al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other jihadist groups pose is potentially grave, but that effective policy can profoundly reduce the danger. He argues that governments can disrupt the recruitment and travel of foreign fighters, hinder their time in war zones, and improve policing and intelligence gathering when they return.
   

pp. 439-461

Secularity and Non-Religion in American Politics: A Review Essay
Mark Alan Smith reviews the recently published book Secular Surge: A New Fault Line in American Politics, by David E. Campbell, Geoffrey C. Layman, and John C. Green. Smith highlights the book’s value in distinguishing secularity from non-religion, along with the insights gained from the authors’ empirical analyses. Smith concludes that the conceptual framework in Secular Surge can usefully guide future research on religion and politics.

pp. 547-552

Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy, Suzanne Mettler
Reviewed by Nolan McCarty

pp. 553-554

A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy, Russell Muirhead
Reviewed by Brigitte L. Nacos

pp. 554-556

Cookbook Politics, Kennan Ferguson
Reviewed by John Ferejohn

pp. 556-559

Volume 136 - Number 2 - Summer 2021

How to Win a “Long Game”: The Voting Rights Act, the Republican Party, and the Politics of Counter-Enforcement
Adrienne Jones and ANDREW POLSKY examine how the Republican Party engaged in counter-enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, notably during the Reagan and Bush 43 administrations, in an effort to maximize the voting strength of pro-Republican voting constituencies. They argue that sustained counter-enforcement efforts lead to sharp policy oscillations when parties alternate in power and that if a party pursues the long game of persistent counter-enforcement, it may find itself with the opportunity to achieve lasting results.

pp. 215-248

Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party, Julian E. Zelizer
Reviewed by Emily Baer

pp. 363-364

America’s Inequality Trap, Nathan J. Kelly
Reviewed by Matthew J. Lacombe

pp. 364-366

Uncounted: The Crisis of Voter Suppression in America, Gilda R. Daniels
Reviewed by Melanie J. Springer

pp. 366-367
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