The Politics Of Resentment

Author: Katherine J. Cramer
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022634925X
Size: 45.73 MB
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Since the election of Scott Walker, Wisconsin has been seen as ground zero for debates about the appropriate role of government in the wake of the Great Recession. In a time of rising inequality, Walker not only survived a bitterly contested recall that brought thousands of protesters to Capitol Square, he was subsequently reelected. How could this happen? How is it that the very people who stand to benefit from strong government services not only vote against the candidates who support those services but are vehemently against the very idea of big government? With The Politics of Resentment, Katherine J. Cramer uncovers an oft-overlooked piece of the puzzle: rural political consciousness and the resentment of the “liberal elite.” Rural voters are distrustful that politicians will respect the distinct values of their communities and allocate a fair share of resources. What can look like disagreements about basic political principles are therefore actually rooted in something even more fundamental: who we are as people and how closely a candidate’s social identity matches our own. Using Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s prominent and protracted debate about the appropriate role of government, Cramer illuminates the contours of rural consciousness, showing how place-based identities profoundly influence how people understand politics, regardless of whether urban politicians and their supporters really do shortchange or look down on those living in the country. The Politics of Resentment shows that rural resentment—no less than partisanship, race, or class—plays a major role in dividing America against itself.

Evaluation In Rural Communities

Author: Allyson Kelley
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 042985708X
Size: 26.65 MB
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Does a program work? What is the value? How do we know? These are questions that keep evaluators up at night. Continued rural community funding, employment, health, and justice depend on our answers to these questions. For evaluators working in rural communities, the task is great, but the return is even greater. Now more than ever before, evaluators have an opportunity to impact social change in rural America. Beginning with an introduction of rural community evaluation, Evaluation in Rural Communities highlights the differences in approaches to evaluation in rural areas, supported by case studies that illustrate key themes and objectives. It explores a number of issues, including • sustainability • policy • cost–benefit analysis • rural community evaluation as a platform to support social change. In particular, readers will also learn how to overcome rural community challenges, such as limited resources, the digital divide, limited funding, lower employment and educational attainment, limited opportunities for social interactions, and the distrust of outsiders. Blending aspects of community-based participatory research, empowerment evaluation, and program evaluation methods, this book is an accessible yet nuanced guide that integrates critical thinking, problem solving, social and political contexts, and outcomes related to evidence-based evaluation.

Legacies Of Losing In American Politics

Author: Jeffrey K. Tulis
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022651546X
Size: 45.62 MB
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American politics is typically a story about winners. The fading away of defeated politicians and political movements is a feature of American politics that ensures political stability and a peaceful transition of power. But American history has also been built on defeated candidates, failed presidents, and social movements that at pivotal moments did not dissipate as expected but instead persisted and eventually achieved success for the loser’s ideas and preferred policies. With Legacies of Losing in American Politics, Jeffrey K. Tulis and Nicole Mellow rethink three pivotal moments in American political history: the founding, when anti-Federalists failed to stop the ratification of the Constitution; the aftermath of the Civil War, when President Andrew Johnson’s plan for restoring the South to the Union was defeated; and the 1964 presidential campaign, when Barry Goldwater’s challenge to the New Deal order was soundly defeated by Lyndon B. Johnson. In each of these cases, the very mechanisms that caused the initial failures facilitated their eventual success. After the dust of the immediate political defeat settled, these seemingly discredited ideas and programs disrupted political convention by prevailing, often subverting, and occasionally enhancing constitutional fidelity. Tulis and Mellow present a nuanced story of winning and losing and offer a new understanding of American political development as the interweaving of opposing ideas.

America S Inequality Trap

Author: Nathan J. Kelly
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022666564X
Size: 23.72 MB
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The gap between the rich and the poor has grown dramatically in the United States and is now at its widest since at least the early 1900s. While by most measures the economy has been improving, soaring cost of living and stagnant wages have done little to assuage economic anxieties. Conditions like these seem designed to produce a generation-defining intervention to balance the economic scales and enhance opportunities for those at the middle and bottom of the country’s economic ladder—but we have seen nothing of the sort. Nathan J. Kelly argues that a key reason for this is that rising concentrations of wealth create a politics that makes reducing economic inequality more difficult. Kelly convincingly shows that, when a small fraction of the people control most of the economic resources, they also hold a disproportionate amount of political power, hurtling us toward a self-perpetuating plutocracy, or an “inequality trap.” Among other things, the rich support a broad political campaign that convinces voters that policies to reduce inequality are unwise and not in the average voter’s interest, regardless of the real economic impact. They also take advantage of interest groups they generously support to influence Congress and the president, as well as state governments, in ways that stop or slow down reform. One of the key implications of this book is that social policies designed to combat inequality should work hand-in-hand with political reforms that enhance democratic governance and efforts to fight racism, and a coordinated effort on all of these fronts will be needed to reverse the decades-long trend.