Archive for the ‘political process’ Category

Mexico: Political parties

July 13, 2015 Comments off

Mexico: Political parties
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

After 71 years of uninterrupted Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) rule, a shift in power was finally achieved in the 2000 presidential elections, won by the National Action Party, which also won the 2006 elections. In 2012, the PRI returned to power under Enrique Peña Nieto, who has forged an alliance with the main opposition parties to introduce much-needed structural reforms in the country.

The Rise of Partisanship and Super-Cooperators in the U.S. House of Representatives

July 9, 2015 Comments off

The Rise of Partisanship and Super-Cooperators in the U.S. House of Representatives
Source: PLoS ONE

It is widely reported that partisanship in the United States Congress is at an historic high. Given that individuals are persuaded to follow party lines while having the opportunity and incentives to collaborate with members of the opposite party, our goal is to measure the extent to which legislators tend to form ideological relationships with members of the opposite party. We quantify the level of cooperation, or lack thereof, between Democrat and Republican Party members in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949–2012. We define a network of over 5 million pairs of representatives, and compare the mutual agreement rates on legislative decisions between two distinct types of pairs: those from the same party and those formed of members from different parties. We find that despite short-term fluctuations, partisanship or non-cooperation in the U.S. Congress has been increasing exponentially for over 60 years with no sign of abating or reversing. Yet, a group of representatives continue to cooperate across party lines despite growing partisanship.

How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics

July 8, 2015 Comments off

How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics
Source: Social Science Research Network

The creation of Fox News in 1996 was an event of deep, yet unappreciated, political and historical importance. For the first time, there was a news source available virtually everywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a conservative tilt. Finally, conservatives did not have to seek out bits of news favorable to their point of view in liberal publications or in small magazines and newsletters. Like someone dying of thirst in the desert, conservatives drank heavily from the Fox waters. Soon, it became the dominant – and in many cases, virtually the only – major news source for millions of Americans. This has had profound political implications that are only starting to be appreciated. Indeed, it can almost be called self-brainwashing – many conservatives now refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth.

Political Realism: How Hacks, Machines, Big Money, and Back-Room Deals Can Strengthen American Democracy

July 7, 2015 Comments off

Political Realism: How Hacks, Machines, Big Money, and Back-Room Deals Can Strengthen American Democracy
Source: Brookings Institution

“Political Realism: How Hacks, Machines, Big Money, and Back-Room Deals Can Strengthen American Democracy” builds on political realism, an emerging school of thought that is characterized by respect for transactional politics and by skepticism toward idealistic political reforms. In our era of intense polarization and gridlock, Jonathan Rauch asks: How can political home truths – truths our grandparents took for granted – help modern politicians negotiate, compromise, and govern?

Then and Now: Right-Wing Extremism in 1995 and 2015

July 6, 2015 Comments off

Then and Now: Right-Wing Extremism in 1995 and 2015 (PDF)
Source: Anti-Defamation League

In April 1995, the Oklahoma City bombing delivered unprecedented death and destruction to America’s heartland – and focused the country’s attention on the problem of right‐wing extremism. Just six years later, however, the 9/11 terror attacks understandably diverted America’s consciousness away from the extreme right. In the intervening years, extreme right‐wing movements have managed to fly largely under the radar of public awareness.

The 20th anniversary of the bombing is an opportunity for Americans to take stock: How has the extreme right changed in the past two decades? Is it more dangerous? Less dangerous? Could something like the Oklahoma City bombing happen today?

Extreme political or social movements, when based on fundamental rather than passing concerns, often tend to be cyclical. They wax and wane depending on the viability of the political and social environment, the occurrence of spurring or triggering events, and the presence of energetic leadership. Extreme right‐ wing movements in the United States have largely followed such cycles, with surges occurring during the Great Depression, during the era of desegregation and the early Cold War, and in the early 1980s.

When extremist movements surge, their adherents become agitated and angry, and are more likely to take action, including violent action. Often, though not always, their membership will see a marked increase. In some cases, extremist movements can even temporarily penetrate into the mainstream and get some degree of support or sympathy there.

Collusion to Crackdown: Islamist-Military Relations in Egypt

June 27, 2015 Comments off

Collusion to Crackdown: Islamist-Military Relations in Egypt
Source: Brookings Institution

Nearly two years after ousting President Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s military continues to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood. Much like during Egypt’s 1952-54 political transition, the recent interactions between the powerful armed state bureaucracy and the influential religious organization have had a major impact on the country’s political trajectory. In both instances, the military and Muslim Brotherhood initially cooperated before ultimately clashing violently. How has each entity determined what approach to take toward the other? What does a continued imbalance in civil-military relations mean for Egypt’s future?

In a new Brookings Doha Center Analysis Paper, Omar Ashour examines the legacies and patterns of cooperation and conflict between the leaderships of Egypt’s military and the Muslim Brotherhood. Relying on extensive field research, he analyzes how each entity has made its critical decisions regarding the other by applying various decision-making models. Ashour considers the impact of cost-benefit analysis, organizational dynamics, factional disputes, and psychological factors to gain a deep understanding of the leaders’ motives.

A Tax Reform Primer for the 2016 Presidential Candidates

June 25, 2015 Comments off

A Tax Reform Primer for the 2016 Presidential Candidates
Source: Heritage Foundation

America needs tax reform. As the 2016 presidential campaign progresses, candidates seeking the presidency will increasingly face questions about how they would address federal tax policy—foremost among them, if they support tax reform and how they would implement it should they become President. There is clear public support for major tax reform: 71 percent of the American public believes that the U.S. tax system needs major changes and reform. Only 5 percent think the tax system is working just fine. Tax reform is a complicated issue that encompasses a wide variety of sub-issues with which candidates will need to grapple if they are to answer those questions effectively. This Heritage Foundation tax primer will help them prepare.


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