American political development



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AMERICAN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT

SPRING 2014


POS 6933
Professor Beth Rosenson

Email: rosenson@ufl.edu

Anderson Hall 202



Office hours: Tuesday 9:30-10:30, Thursday 1-2, Friday 10:30-11:30
The subfield of American political development (APD) is a relatively new sub-field in American politics, dating back roughly to the early 1980s. It has several distinguishing features. First, political scientists working within this tradition often use a methodological approach that is historical and comparative to assess both continuity and change in American politics. Some use conventional quantitative methods such as multivariate regression to explain phenomena of interest, but many--arguably, most--do not. Works in APD tend to provide detailed historical accounts, through the use of primary and secondary source material, in order to explain policy outcomes and political puzzles. APD scholars also tend to emphasize the role of political institutions as an explanatory variable. Compared to behavioral political scientists, they devote substantial attention to the state, as both an independent and dependent variable. Many works in APD focus on questions of state development, especially the development of bureaucratic and regulatory capacity. Another important question that links the different research efforts within the APD tradition is the question of American “exceptionalism.” Many of the important works in the APD literature seek to explain why and how the American state and American policies differ from the states and policies of other advanced industrialized democracies.
We will proceed both chronologically and thematically. We start by devoting two weeks to the theoretical frameworks that animate the study of American political development, considering the role of institutions, culture, and economics, and addressing the question of patterns and periodicity in American politics. Then we turn to the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian eras, and move through the Civil War, Reconstruction, Populism, Progressivism, the New Deal, and the Great Society. We will also consider the rise of conservatism starting in the Cold War era, and modern political reform in Congress and the states.
Since much of the literature in APD focuses on social policy, this course will devote substantial attention to social policy before and after the New Deal, including a section on national health insurance and welfare reform as they played out in the 1990s (with attention to the historical roots of the debates and resolution of the conflicts). However, the main focus of the course will be on American political history prior to 1950. We will consider both the origins and the legacies of various transforming changes in American politics. Throughout the semester as we examine both critical turning points and periods of continuity, we will assess the contribution that political culture, political institutions, political leaders, economic factors, and demographic changes, have made to American political development.
The goals of the course are several. First, the course aims to provide students with a basic historical knowledge of the main periods or eras in American politics. In doing so, we will aim to identify the features or characteristics that separate one “era” from another. Second, the course provides an overview of the main debates in the APD literature. We will look at the big questions and different answers that have been offered on topics including the meaning and impact of the Jacksonian era, of Populism and Progressivism, of the New Deal and the Great Society. We will also address the role that is played by labor, race, and gender in American politics. Third, over the course of the semester, we will evaluate the thesis of American “exceptionalism,” by assessing just how exceptional American politics really is, and what the causes of this exceptionalism might be. We will do this most directly with regard to social policy, again because this has been a central focus of APD scholars (as opposed to, for example, environmental or tax policy).
There are three main course requirements. First, you must come to class having done the readings for that week and be prepared to discuss them. The class will be a mixture of lecture and discussion. In order for discussion to be productive, students need to come prepared to talk about what they have read.
Second, you must complete 5 short papers on the weekly course readings (7-9 pps. each) on topics to be handed out. You can pick the weeks for which you write the papers. You do not need to do additional readings beyond the assigned readings for that week. The papers are due by 9 a.m. via email (rosenson@ufl.edu) on the day of the week that you write them (i.e. you must email me your paper by 9 a.m. on the day that class meets). Topics are at the end of the syllabus.
Finally, you will be expected to do three brief presentations (each one will be on one reading during the semester). You should come prepared to talk for 10 minutes, first briefly summarizing the reading and then presenting a critical analysis of the work, highlighting the interesting aspects or problems that you saw and laying the groundwork for class discussion.
Grades will be based on your papers and participation:
PAPERS (5) = worth 10 points each = 50%

PARTICIPATION in class = 20%

PRESENTATIONS (4, worth 7.5 points each) = 30%


Books Required for Purchase.

There is also a coursepack required for purchase, which will be able at Orange and Blue Textbooks, at 309 NW 13th Street. Some readings will also be marked as available through the library website.
1) Stephen Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make (Belknap/Harvard: 1997)

2) Stephen Skowronek, Building a New American State (Cambridge University Press: 1982)

3) Rogers Smith, Civic Ideals (Yale, 1997)

4) Richard Hofstadter, The Age of Reform (Vintage/Knopf/Random House: 1955)

5) Doug McAdam, Political Process and Black Insurgency (University of Chicago: 1985)

6) James Morone, Hellfire Nation (Yale, 2002)

7) Jonathan Schoenwald, A time for choosing: the rise of modern American conservatism (Oxford, 2002)

8) Karen Orren and Stephen Skowronek, The Search for American Political Development (Cambridge, 2004)

9) Jane Mansbridge, Why We Lost the ERA (University of Chicago, 1986)

10) Theda Skocpol, Protecting Soldiers and Mothers (Belknap/Harvard, 1992)

11) Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson, The Tea Party and The Remaking of American Conservatism (Oxford: 2013)


SESSION 1: INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW (January 7)
SESSION 2: Perspectives on American Political Development: Cultural, Institutional and Economic (January 14)
Note: The Huntington and Steinmo readings will be a review for those of you who took my American Field Seminar (as will one of the readings for the following week). Sorry, but some overlap is unavoidable to get us oriented in the first two weeks. Or maybe this is a good thing – less work for you.
The Cultural Perspective

1. Samuel Huntington, American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981), pp. 31–60 (coursepack)

2. Rogers Smith, Civic Ideals (required text), pp. 1-39

3. James Morone, Hellfire Nation (required text), pp. 1-33 TO NEXT PAGE


The Institutional Perspective

4. Paul Pierson and Theda Skocpol, “Historical Institutionalism in Contemporary Political Science,” In Ira Katznelson and Helen Milner, eds., Political Science: The State of the Discipline (New York: Norton, 2002), pp. 693-721 (coursepack)

5. Sven Steinmo, “American Exceptionalism Reconsidered,” in L. Dodd and C. Jillson, eds., The Dynamics of American Politics (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994), Ch. 5, pp. 106-131 (coursepack)
The Economic Perspective

6. Richard Bensel, Sectionalism(University of Wisconsin, 1984), pp. 3-25 (coursepack)

7. Thomas Ferguson, Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition (University of Chicago: 1995), Introduction (pp. 17-38) (coursepack)

SESSION 3: Patterns and Temporality in American Political Development: Looking for Regularities, Dividing History into Periods, and Considering Time (January 21)

Questions to think about while reading: What patterns, cycles, or era characterize American political development? Does Skowronek’s categorization of presidents in political and secular time provide a useful framework for thinking about patterns in American political development? What are the criticisms of approaches that assume ordered regularity in American politics? What does the concept of path dependence suggest about change in American politics?
1. Walter Dean Burnham, Critical Elections (Norton: 1970), ch. 1, pp. 1-10

(coursepack)

2. Stephen Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, chs. 2 and 3 (required text)

3. Calvin Jillson, “Patterns and Periodicity in American Politics,” in Larry

Dodd and Calvin Jillson, eds., Dynamics of American Politics (Boulder: Westview, 1994), pp. 24-58 (coursepack)

4. Paul Pierson, “Increasing Returns, Path Dependence, and the Study of Politics,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 94, No.2 (June 2002), pp. 251-167 (on J-STOR through the UF Library Webpage)

5. Orren and Skowronek, The Search for American Political Development, chapters 1, 3, and 5 (required text)

6. Andrew J. Polsky, “No tool is perfect,” and Bryon Shafer, “Orders and eras in American politics,” both in Polity, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Oct 2005), part of a roundtable on periodization and American politics (On Infotrac through the UF Library Webpage):

TO NEXT PAGE


SESSION 4: The Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Periods (January 28)
Questions to think about while reading: How did the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian eras represent a break in time or departure from previous periods in American politics? What features characterize each of these periods?


Jefferson and the origins of the party system

1. Martin Shefter, “Party, Bureaucracy and Political Change,” in Louis Maisel and Joseph Cooper, eds., Political Parties: Development and Decay (Sage, 1978), pp. 214-218 (coursepack)

2. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make chapter on Jefferson, pp. 61-85 (required text)

3. Rogers Smith, Civic Ideals, Chapter 7 (required text)
Jackson and Jacksonian democracy

4. James Morone, The Democratic Wish, pp. 74-96 (coursepack)

5. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, chapter on Jackson, pp. 129-154 (required text)

6. Thomas Ferguson, Golden Rule, pp. 50-61 (coursepack)

7. Rogers Smith, Civic Ideals, Chapter 8 (required text)

Recommended: John Gerring, Party Ideologies in America, Chapter 7


SESSION 5: The Civil War and Reconstruction (February 4)


Questions to think about while reading: What were the causes of the Civil War? How do we explain Lincoln’s actions? How do we explain the policies that were enacted during Reconstruction? What was the relative role of moral factors, economic factors, and political factors in explaining the outbreak of war and the Reconstruction period which followed?
1. Barrington Moore, Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (Beacon: 1967), pp. 115-149 (coursepack)

2. Kenneth Stampp, ed., The Causes of the Civil War (Prentice Hall: 1974), pp. 45-51, 70-74, 85-91, 104-105 (coursepack)

3. Eric Foner, Free Soil: Free Labor (New York: Oxford Press, 1970), pp. 1-10 (coursepack)

4. James Morone, Hellfire Nation, pp. 123-221 (required text)

5. Rogers Smith, Civic Ideals, Chapter 9 (required text)

6. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, chapter on Lincoln (required text)

7. Seth Steiner, ed., Reconstruction: A Tragic Era? (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968), pp. 1-8, 13-17, 29-36 (coursepack)

8. Smith, Civic Ideals, Chapter 10 (required text) TO NEXT PAGE



Recommended readings on Reconstruction (we are taking a cursory look in this class, but there are a lot of great books by a range of historians out there)

John Hope Franklin, Reconstruction after the Civil War (University of Chicago Press: 1994), Kenneth Stampp, The Era of Reconstruction, 1865-1877 (Vintage: 1965) or Eric Foner, Reconstruction (New York: Harper and Row, 1988). The first is the shortest and most readable; the second is relatively short and readable, and the third is quite long.

SESSION 6: Populism and Agrarian Interests in American Politics (February 11)


Questions to think about while reading: What was the vision and what were the goals of the Populists? Why did Populism not succeed in the electoral arena?

How have farmers achieved representation of their interests since the Populist movement?


1. Richard Hofstadter, Age of Reform, ch. 2 (required text)

2. Lawrence Goodwyn, The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America (New York: Oxford Press, 1978), Intro and Chapter 8 (outside my door to copy)

3. Elizabeth Sanders, Roots of Reform (Univ. of Chicago: 1999), Ch. 4 (coursepack)

4. Richard Hoftstadter, Age of Reform, chapter 3 (required text)

5. Elizabeth Clemens, The People’s Lobby (University of Chicago: 1997), p. 145-183 (coursepack)

6. John Mark Hansen, Gaining Access, Introduction and Chs. 1, 2, 6 (outside my door to copy)


SESSION 7: The Progressive Era (February 18)
Questions to think about while reading: What was the vision and what were the goals of the Progressives? How were they different from the Populists? How were they similar? Why were they more successful? What were the Progressives’ main accomplishments in terms of social reform, electoral reform and institutional change?
1. Stephen Skowronek, Building A New American State, chs. 1, 3, 6, 5, 8 (READ IN THIS ORDER)

2. Hofstadter, Age of Reform, pp. 131-148, 215-271 (required text)

3. Arthur S. Link and Richard L. McCormack, Progressivism (Illinois: Harlan Davidson, Inc.), pp. 26-66 (coursepack)

4. Rogers Smith, Civic Ideals, chapter 12 (required text)

5. Eileen McDonagh, “Race, Class and Gender in the Progressive Era,’ in Sidney Milkis, ed., Progressivism and the New Democracy (University of Massachusetts: 1999), p. 145-191 (coursepack)

6. James Morone, The Democratic Wish, chapter outside my door


SESSION 8: Social Policy I: Theories and Policy History Prior to the New Deal (February 25)


What explains the emergence of new social policies in the United States? Are we exceptional, and if so, why? What were the main features of social policy prior to the New Deal?
Theoretical Perspectives/Scholarly Approaches to Social Policy Making

1. Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, Poor People’s Movements (New York: Pantheon Books, 1977), pp. xiii-xvii (coursepack)

2. Theda Skocpol, Margaret Weir and Ann Orloff, Politics of Social Policy (Princeton: 1988), pp. 3-27 (coursepack)

3. Peter Baldwin, “Beyond Weak and Strong: Rethinking the State in Comparative Policy History,” Journal of Policy History, Vol 17, No. 1, 2005 (On J-STOR through the UF Library Webpage), pp. 12-33


Social Policy Initiatives Before The New Deal

4. Theda Skocpol, Protecting Soldiers and Mothers, chapters 2, 5 (required text)

5. Ellis Hawley, “Hoover, the Commerce Secretariat and the Vision of an Associative State, 1921-1928” Journal of American History 61 (June 1974), pp. 131-148 (on J-STOR)

6. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, chapter on Hoover (required text)

7. James Morone, Hellfire Nation, pp. 222-324 (required text)

Recommended: Edward Berkowitz and Kim McQuaid, Creating the Welfare State


***NO CLASS MARCH 4 (SPRING BREAK)***


SESSION 9: Social Policy II: The New Deal and the Great Society (March 11)
Questions to think about while reading: What explains the emergence of the New Deal? Was Roosevelt an ideologue, a pragmatist or something else? How do we explain the particular mix of policies that constitute the New Deal? What/who were the key forces or actors behind the New Deal? How did the New Deal build upon, and depart from, the Progressive era? What is the connection between the New Deal and the Great Society? Did the Great Society succeed, or fail, and in what ways?
New Deal

1. Ann Orloff in Politics of Social Policy, pp. 65-79 (coursepack)

2. Jill Quadagno in Politics of Social Policy, pp. 237-247 (coursepack)

3. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, chapter on Roosevelt (required text)

4. Thomas Ferguson, Golden Dome, chapter 2, pp. 113-172 (coursepack)

5. Russell Hanson, “Liberalism and the Course of American Social Welfare Policy,” in Larry Dodd, ed., Dynamics of American Politics (Boulder: Westview, 1994), pp. 132-159 (coursepack) TO NEXT PAGE


Great Society

6. Brendon O’Connor, A Political History of the American Welfare System: When Ideas Have Consequences (Rowman and Littlefield: 2003), Chapter 2, pp. 49-69 (coursepack)

7. Ira Katznelson, “Was The Great Society a Lost Opportunity?” in Steve Fraser and Gary Gerstle, eds., Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order (Princeton University Press: 1989), pp. 185-211 (coursepack)

8. Theodore Lowi, The End of Liberalism (W. W. Norton: 1979), pp. 210-226 (coursepack)

Recommended: Richard Goodwin, Remembering America, chapter 15 (an autobiographical account by one of Johnson’s speechwriters of the Great Society and other Johnson initiatives).


SESSION 10: Social Policy III: The 1990s – National Health Insurance and Welfare Reform (March 18)
Questions to think about while reading: What are the continuities between social policy in the 1990s and prior American history? Why did national health insurance fail? Why did welfare reform succeed?
1. Theda Skocpol, Boomerang: Clinton’s Health Security Effort and the Turn

Against Government in U.S. Politics (W.W. Norton: 1996), chapters 3 and 5, pps. 74-10, 133-172 (coursepack)

2. Jacob Hacker, The Divided Welfare State (Cambridge, 2002), pp. 191-269

(coursepack)

3. Marie Gottschalk, The Private Welfare State (Cornell, 2002), chapter 3, pp.39-64

(coursepack)

4. Brendon O’Connor, A Political History of the American Welfare System:



When Ideas Have Consequences (Rowman and Littlefield: 2003), chapters 8-10

(outside my door to copy)

5. Kent Weaver and Bert Rockman, Ending Welfare As We Know It (Library

Reserve), chapters 5, 10-12 (outside my door to copy)


***NO CLASS MARCH 25***

SESSION 11: Conservatism in American Politics: Old Style and New Style (April 1)
What are the roots of modern conservatism? What factors facilitated the growth of the conservative movement? How important have ideas been, and how important have particular individuals been? What linkages exist between Cold War conservatism and more recent conservatism? What challenges do conservative presidents such as Ronald Reagan face?
1. Jonathan Schoenwald, A Time for Choosing, pp. 35-77, 84-99, 124-161, 190-250 (required text) TO NEXT PAGE

2. Skowronek, Politics Presidents Make, chapter on Reagan (required text)

3. Strahan, Randall and Daniel J. Palazzolo. 2004. “The Gingrich Effect.” Political Science Quarterly 119, Vol. 1, pp. 89-114 (J-STOR)

4. Skocpol and Williamson, The Tea Party and the Making of Modern Conservatism (required text), Introduction, pp. 19-32 pp. 40-44, Chapter 3 all, pp. 127-134, pp. 197-205.


Recommended on Reagan: Paul Pierson, Dismantling the Welfare State (Cambridge University Press: 1994) and our own Prof. Richard Conley’s edited volume Reassessing the Reagan Presidency (Rowman and Littlefield: 2003)


SESSION 12: Labor in American Political Development (April 8)
Questions to think about while reading: Is American labor exceptional? What accounts for the relative weakness of American labor and the difficulties it has encountered?
1. Eric Foner, “Why Is There No Socialism in the United States?” History

Workshop 17, Spring 1984, pp. 57-80 (coursepack)

2. Victoria Hattam, “Institutions and Political change: Working-class formation in

England and the United States, 1820-1896,” in Sven Steinmo, Kathleen Thelen, and Frank Longstreth, eds., Structuring Politics: Historical Institutionalism in Comparative Analysis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) (outside my door to copy)

3. Elizabeth Clemens, The People’s Lobby (University of Chicago: 1997), p. 100-144 (coursepack)

4. Michael Goldfield , The Decline of Organized Labor in the United States

(University of Chicago: 1987), Chs. 10, 11, pp. 221-245 (coursepack)

5. Additional readings to be announced


SESSION 13: Race and American Political Development (April 15)
Questions to think about: What explains the emergence and successes of the civil rights movement? What explains the difficulties that civil rights activists ran into after 1965? What explains the failure to ratify the ERA? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the “political process model” used by McAdam? What is gained in terms of our understanding of American politics by considering race as a dimension of politics and policy making?
1. Doug McAdam, Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency,

chs. 5-8 (required text)

2. Robert Lieberman, “Weak State, Strong Policy: Paradoxes of Race Policy in

the United States, Great Britain and France,” Studies in American Political Development Vol. 16, No. 2 (2002), pp. 138-161 (available at http://politics.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/4754/lieberman.pdf).

3. Rogers Smith and Desmond King, "Racial Orders in American Political Development" (with Desmond S. King), American Political Science Review 99, pp. 75-92 (February 2005). (Available at http://www8.georgetown.edu/centers/cdacs/RacialOrders.pdf).

4. Julie Novkov, “Rethinking Race in American Politics,” Political Research Quarterly December 2008, Vol. 61, pp. 649-659 (available through UF library website)

5. Vesla Weaver, “Frontlash: Race and the Development of Punitive Crime Policy,” Studies in American Political Development, Vol. 22, Issue 2, pp. 230-265 (Available at www.ebonterr.com/site_editor/assets/EBONTERR_41.pdf).


SESSION 14: Gender and American Political Development (April 15)
What role has gender played in the development of social policy? How does using gender as a category enrich our understanding of American political development compared to a non-gendered approach? What explains the success of the women’s movement in achieving some favorable legislation since the 1950’s? What explains the failure to ratify the ERA?
1. Theda Skocpol, Protecting Women and Mothers (required text), chs. 6-9

2. Anne Costain, Inviting Women’s Rebellion (Johns Hokpins: 1992), chs. 1-2, pp. 1-43,

(coursepack)

3. Jane Mansbridge, Why We Lost the ERA (required text), ch. 1-11

Paper topics to choose from

SESSION 2. January 14: Perspectives on American Political Development

Which of the three perspectives – cultural, institutional or economic – do you find most compelling as a way to account for outcomes in American politics? If you find a combination of the three to be convincing and useful, you can discuss more than one perspective in your answer. Make sure to be explicit about why you prefer one perspective over another, or why you are not convinced by a certain perspective.
SESSION 3. January 21: Patterns and Temporality

What patterns, cycles, or era characterize American political development? Does Skowronek’s categorization of presidents in political and secular time provide a useful framework for thinking about patterns in American political development?


SESSION 4. January 21: Jefferson and Jackson

How did the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian eras represent a break in time or departure from previous periods in American politics?


SESSION 5. Civil War and Reconstruction

What was the role of moral factors, economic factors, and political factors in explaining both the outbreak of the Civil War and the Reconstruction period which followed? Which explanations of Civil War and Reconstruction are most convincing to you?


SESSION 6. Populism

Why did Populism not succeed in the electoral arena? How have farmers achieved representation of their interests since the Populist movement?

 

SESSION 7. Progressivism



What were the Progressives’ main accomplishments in terms of social reform, electoral reform and institutional change? What are the most compelling critiques of the Progressives?
SESSION 8. Social Policy I

What explains the emergence of new social policies in the United States? Are we exceptional, and if so, why?


SESSION 9. New Deal:

What explains the emergence of the New Deal and how do we explain the particular mix of policies that are associated with the New Deal?


SESSION 10. Social Policy III

Why did national health insurance fail in the 1990s while welfare reform succeeded?


SESSION 11. Rise of Conservatism

Choose one of the two following questions:



  1. What have been the driving factors that facilitated and moved forward the

growth of the conservative movement in the 20th and 21st centuries? Which individuals and groups have been particularly important in the conservative movement in both the 1900s and the current era?

2. How does modern conservatism in the form of the Tea Party as analyzed by Skocpol and Willamson differ from the “earlier” conservatism discussed by Schoenwald? What are the similarities and what are the differences? To what extent is the Tea Party a top-down phenomenon (run and dominated by local, “ordinary” citizens) and to what extent is it bottom up (run and dominated by national elite actors)?


SESSION 12. Labor in APD.

What accounts for the relative weakness of American labor and the difficulties it has encountered?


SESSION 13. Race in APD

Choose one of the following two questions:




  1. What factors explain the successes and failures of the civil rights movement

(discussed by McAdam) and anti-discrimination policy in three countries (Lieberman)?

  1. How is it useful and informative to “bring race in” to the study of American

political development? Are you convinced by Smith and King, Novkov, and Weaver that various aspects and outcomes of American politics can be explained by incorporating a racial dimension (for example, Smith and King’s application of “racial orders” to the bureaucracy or immigration policy, or Weaver’s discussion of crime policy)?
SESSION 14. Gender in APD.

What explains the successes of the women's movement since the 1950s and what explains the failure to ratify the ERA?









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