U.S. Politics | Wilson Center

U.S. Politics

Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America

Despite talk of a “naked public square,&rdquot; religion has never really lost its place in American public life. As the twenty-first century opened, it was re-emerging in unexpected and paradoxical ways. Religious institutions were considered for expanded roles in welfare and education, at the same time that the limits of religious pluralism—as, for example, in the relation of Islam to American values—became a question of urgent public concern.

A Creative Tension: The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and the Congress

A Creative Tension is a unique look at the foreign policy roles of Congress and the president by one of the most astute congressional practitioners of foreign policy of recent decades, former U.S. representative and chairman of the House International Relations Committee Lee H. Hamilton. With an insider’s perspective based on thirty-four years in Congress, Hamilton elucidates current domestic and international pressures influencing U.S. foreign policy, strengths and weaknesses in the foreign policy process, and ways to improve the performance of the president and Congress.

Congress and the People: Deliberative Democracy on Trial

Will some form of direct democracy supplant representative, deliberative government in the twenty-first century United States? That question is at the heart of Donald R. Wolfensberger’s history of Congress and congressional reform, which runs back to the Constitution’s creation of a popularly elected House of Representatives and forward to the surreal ending of the 105th Congress, featuring barrels of pork, resignation of the speaker, and impeachment of the president.

Asian Americans and Politics: Perspectives, Experiences, Prospects

Asian Americans have quite recently emerged as an increasingly important force in American politics. In 1996, more than 300 Asian and Pacific Americans were elected to federal, state, and local offices; today, more than 2,000 hold appointive positions in government. Asian American voices have been prominent in policy debates over such matters as education, race relations, and immigration reform.

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.

Pages