U.S. Politics

The Future of Merit: Twenty Years after the Civil Service Reform Act

The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 was the most far reaching reform of the federal government personnel system since the merit system was created in 1883. The Future of Merit reviews the aims and rates the accomplishments of the 1978 law and assesses the status of the civil service. How has it held up in the light of the National Performance Review? What will become of it in a globalizing international system or in a government that regards people as customers rather than citizens?

Reading Mixed Signals: Ambivalence in American Public Opinion about Government

What should the place of government be in the life of the nation? If you turn to the public for an answer to this question, you confront a paradox. What people say about government as a general matter is often at odds with what they actually want it to do. This is seen most often when people say government is doing too many things and at the same time want its activities in a host of areas continued, if not expanded.

Taking Stock: American Government in the Twentieth Century

What is American government like today? How has it changed—and how has it remaind the same—over the course of the century now coming to a close.

Dilemmas of Scale in America's Federal Democracy

In the classical political thought of the West, it was supposed that democracies must be small and direct. Democracy was a form in which all citizens must participate, thus it could exist only on a very circumscribed scale—that of the Greek city-state, in which, ideally, an assembly was limited to the range of the human voice. As modern nations arose, there arose as well the alternative conception that democracy could be representative. The people were assured of opportunities to render judgment on the officeholders’ conduct of office.

At the End of the American Century: America's Role in the Post-Cold War World

“It was one thing,” writes editor Robert L. Hutchings in the introduction to the present volume, “to lead an alliance of Western democracies in a grand struggle against Soviet communism; quite another for the accumulated obligations of the forty years of Cold War confrontation to ensnare us in a continued international role against no certain foe toward no certain ends.” In At the End of the American Century, Hutchings brings together a distinguished group of authorities to review essential questions of morality, interest, politics, and economics in U.S.

Funding the Modern American State, 1941-1995: The Rise and Fall of the Era of Easy Finance

The current fiscal crisis faced by the American federal government represents the end of a fiscal regime that began with the financing of World War II. In this volume, an interdisciplinary group of scholars explores the history of American taxation and public finance since 1941 in an attempt to understand the political, social and economic forces that have shaped the current regime.

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