Contributors Bruce Cain (University of California, Berkeley) * Grace Cho (University of Michigan) * Jack Citrin (University of California, Berkeley) * Louis DeSipio (University of California, Irvine) * Brendan Doherty (University of California, Berkeley) * Lisa García Bedolla (University of California, Irvine) * Zoltan Hajnal (University of California, San Diego) * Jennifer Holdaway (Social Science Research Council) * Jane Junn (Rutgers University) * Philip Kasinitz (City University of New York) * Taeku Lee (University of California, Berkeley) * John Mollenkopf (City University of New York) * Tatishe Mavovosi Nteta (University of California, Berkeley) * Kathryn Pearson (University of Minnesota) * Kenneth Prewitt (Columbia University) * S. Karthick Ramakrishnan (University of California, Riverside) * Ricardo Ramírez (University of Southern California) * Mary Waters (Harvard University) * Cara Wong (University of Michigan) * Janelle Wong (University of Southern California)
Taeku Lee is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of Mobilizing Public Opinion: Black Insurgency and Racial Attitudes in the Civil Rights Era.
S. Karthick Ramakrishnan is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of Democracy in Immigrant America: Changing Demographics and Political Participation.
Ricardo Ramírez is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California.
Crucial to Gonzalez O’Brien’s account thus is the concept of the critical policy failure—a piece of legislation that attempts a radically different approach to a major issue but has shortcomings that ultimately further entrench the approach it was designed to supplant. The IRCA was just such a piece of legislation. It highlighted the contributions of the undocumented and offered amnesty to some while attempting to stem the flow of extralegal immigration by holding employers accountable for hiring the undocumented. The failure of this effort at decriminalization prompted a return to criminalization with a vengeance, leading to the stalemate on immigration policy that persists to this day.
Central to Honig's arguments are stories featuring ''foreign-founders,'' in which the origins or revitalization of a people depend upon a foreigner's energy, virtue, insight, or law. From such popular movies as The Wizard of Oz, Shane, and Strictly Ballroom to the biblical stories of Moses and Ruth to the myth of an immigrant America, from Rousseau to Freud, foreignness is represented not just as a threat but as a supplement for communities periodically requiring renewal. Why? Why do people tell stories in which their societies are dependent on strangers?
One of Honig's most surprising conclusions is that an appreciation of the role of foreigners in (re)founding peoples works neither solely as a cosmopolitan nor a nationalist resource. For example, in America, nationalists see one archetypal foreign-founder--the naturalized immigrant--as reconfirming the allure of deeply held American values, whereas to cosmopolitans this immigrant represents the deeply transnational character of American democracy. Scholars and students of political theory, and all those concerned with the dilemmas democracy faces in accommodating difference, will find this book rich with valuable and stimulating insights.
The book explores why so many Americans--in particular, Latinos and Asians--fail to develop ties to either major party, why African Americans feel locked into a particular party, and why some white Americans are shut out by ideologically polarized party competition. Through extensive analysis, the authors demonstrate that when the Democratic and Republican parties fail to raise political awareness, to engage deeply held political convictions, or to affirm primary group attachments, nonpartisanship becomes a rationally adaptive response. By developing a model of partisanship that explicitly considers America's new racial diversity and evolving nonpartisanship, this book provides the Democratic and Republican parties and other political stakeholders with the means and motivation to more fully engage the diverse range of Americans who remain outside the partisan fray.