Early View articles are fully edited articles published online
before inclusion in an issue of the
Political Science Quarterly.
Review Essay: Making America Great Again? Individualism, Community, and Enlightened Self-Interest in the United States
Michael X. Delli Carpini reviews Robert Putnam’s The Upswing. He finds Putnam’s argument – that American democracy requires a balance between individualism and communitarianism – and his evidence that this balance produced positive effects through the first 60 years of the twentieth century, insightful and convincing, but raises concerns that this “data driven narrative” silos issues of race and gender, overstates the negative consequences of the political and cultural movements of the 1960s, and downplays the importance of political struggle and power in both the “upswings” and the “downswings” that Putnam documents.
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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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.
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.
Judging Inequality: State Supreme Courts and the Inequality Crisis
James L. Gibson and MICHAEL J. NELSON examine the role of state of state high courts in producing, maintaining, or ameliorating political, legal, economic, and social inequality over the period from 1990 to 2015. The article is adapted from their new book Judging Inequality: State Supreme Courts and the Inequality Crisis (published by the Russell Sage Foundation).
Legal Claims and Compensation in Climate-Related Disasters
Susan M. Sterett and Laura K. Mateczun argue that courts are significant in governance in climate-related disasters. Complaints about the immediate harm from fires and floods expand the range of climate-related litigation beyond landmark environmental pursuits concerning greenhouse gas emissions. They do not argue that these cases solve the problems, but that the broadened scope of cases expands the actors, timeline, and institutions identified as contributing to naming the problems of climate-related disasters.
The President and the Supreme Court: The Effect of the Prospect of Non-Implementation on Government Success in the Court
GORDON D. BALLINGRUD examines judicial decision-making under conditions of political pressure given through ideological hostility from other federal institutions. He finds that in case outcomes and majority opinion-writing, the Court's behavior changes when other institutions are ideologically distant from the Court's center. While this may be welcome news to advocates of political accountability in the judiciary, the effectiveness of such pressure is also a threat to the integrity of the law and the courts.