The 2008 Presidential Elections: A Story in Four Acts

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Palgrave Macmillan, Oct 15, 2009 - Political Science - 259 pages
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The election of Barack Obama as 44th President of the United States fundamentally changed America’s relationship with the outside world, and Europe in particular.  This collection of essays explains not only how Obama’s improbable victory came about, but also what are its implications both at home and abroad.  Written by a mix of scholars and practitioners, the chapters cover the entire electoral process from the start of the primaries to the new administration.  They also analyze what Obama’s victory suggests about the development of America, socially, economically, and in its foreign relations.

The purpose of this volume is two fold. First, and most important, we explain the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections to a European audience from the selection of the candidates to the shaping of the national campaign, and from choices made at the ballot box to the constitution and platform of the incoming administration. In this way, we shed light on why things happened as they did and how our allies in Europe should expect U.S. policy and politics to progress once the dust has settled from the electoral contest.

A second purpose is to give an American audience some sense of why these elections are so closely followed outside the United States – and why so many Europeans complain that they should have a vote. Part of this has to do with how the elections are framed. The prologue, ‘aftermath’ and epilogue to the volume cast the issues from a European perspective and show what implications are drawn from them by the outside world.

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About the author (2009)

ERIK JONES is Professor of European Studies at the SAIS Bologna Centre of the Johns Hopkins University, USA and contributing editor of Survival. 
SALVATORE VASSALLO is Member of Italian Parliament for the Partito Democratico and Professor of Political Science at the University of Bologna, Italy.