Cultural Analysis: Politics, Public Law, and Administration

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Transaction Publishers - Political Science - 414 pages
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As a result of a lifetime of incomparably wide-ranging investigations, Aaron Wildavsky concluded that politics in the United States and elsewhere was a patterned activity, exhibiting recurring regularities. Political values, beliefs, and institutions were neither endlessly varied, nor haphazardly organized. They tended to exhibit a limited range of variation, and were organized in discoverable, predictable ways. In Cultural Analysis, the fourth collection of his essays posthumously published by Transaction, Wildavsky argues that American politics, public law, and public administration are the contested terrain of rival, inescapable political cultures.

Analysts of American politics distinguish liberals from conservatives and Democrats from Republicans, but do not explain how these categories of political allegiance develop, maintain themselves, or change. Wildavsky offers a cultural-functional explanation for ideological and partisan coherence and realignment. Wildavsky also felt that these dualisms did not adequately capture the ideological and partisan variation he observed on the political landscape. Like others, he detected another recurring strain of political allegiance: that of classical liberalism or libertarianism. People of this political stripe valued freedom more than equality (the primary political value of contemporary liberals), and also more than order, the primary political value of conservatives.

The value of Wildavsky's reconceptualization of the ideological and social foundations of political conflict, compromise, and coalition is assessed here by Wildavsky's former colleagues and students at the University of California, Berkeley: Dennis Coyle, Richard Ellis, Robert Kagan, Austin Ranney, and Brendon Swedlow.

Aaron Wildavsky was Class of 1940 Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, a chair of the political science department, founding dean of the policy school, and a president of the American Political Science Association.

Brendon Swedlow is an assistant professor of political science at Northern Illinois University, a research fellow at Duke University's Center for Environmental Solutions, and a fellow of UCLA's Center for Governance.


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A World of Difference The Public Philosophies and Political Behaviors of Rival American Cultures
A Cultural Analysis of the Role of Abolitionists in the Coming of the Civil War
Are American Political Parties Pretty Much the Same as They Used to Be in the 1950s Only a Little Different or are They Radically Different?
Industrial Policies in American Political Cultures
At Once Too Strong And Too Weak President Clinton and the Dilemma of Egalitarian Leadership
The Legal Sphere Egalitarian Changes in Tort Law Civil Liberties and Nomination Criteria
Introduction to Part 2
From Individual to System Blame A Cultural Analysis of Historical Change in the Law of Torts
Introduction to Part 3
Administration without Hierarchy? Bureaucracy without Authority?
A Cultural Theory of Responsibility
A Cultural Theory of Leadership
A Cultural Theory of Information Bias in Organizations
Conclusion In the University
Introduction to Part 4
The Rise of Radical Egalitarianism and the Fall of Academic Standards

The Reverse Sequence in Civil Liberties
Exchange Versus Grants The Buck Case as a Struggle Between Equal Opportunity and Equal Results
Robert Bork and the Crime of Inequality
Change in Political Culture
Studying Organizations Bureaucracy Responsibility Leadership and Information Bias
From Political Economy to Political Culture or Why I Like Cultural Analysis
Teaching and Talking A Seminar on Cultural Theory

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Page xxxvii - Group refers to the extent to which an individual is incorporated into bounded units. The greater the incorporation, the more individual choice is subject to group determination. Grid denotes the degree to which an individual's life is circumscribed by externally imposed prescriptions.