Transforming Politics, Transforming America: The Political and Civic Incorporation of Immigrants in the United States

University of Virginia Press
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Over the past four decades, the foreign-born population in the United States has nearly tripled, from about 10 million in 1965 to more than 30 million today. This wave of new Americans comes in disproportionately large numbers from Latin America and Asia, a pattern that is likely to continue in this century. In Transforming Politics, Transforming America, editors Taeku Lee, S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, and Ricardo Ramírez bring together the newest work of prominent scholars in the field of immigrant political incorporation to provide the first comprehensive look at the political behavior of immigrants.Focusing on the period from 1965 to the year 2020, this volume tackles the fundamental yet relatively neglected questions, What is the meaning of citizenship, and what is its political relevance? How are immigrants changing our notions of racial and ethnic categorization? How is immigration transforming our understanding of mobilization, participation, and political assimilation? With an emphasis on research that brings innovative theory, quantitative methods, and systematic data to bear on such questions, this volume presents a provocative evidence-based examination of the consequences that these demographic changes might have for the contemporary politics of the United States as well as for the concerns, categories, and conceptual frameworks we use to study race relations and ethnic politics.

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)

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About the author

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.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Virginia Press
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Published on
Oct 5, 2012
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780813934204
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / History & Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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What should we do about foreigners? Should we try to make them more like us or keep them at bay to protect our democracy, our culture, our well-being? This dilemma underlies age-old debates about immigration, citizenship, and national identity that are strikingly relevant today. In Democracy and the Foreigner, Bonnie Honig reverses the question: What problems might foreigners solve for us? Hers is not a conventional approach. Instead of lauding the achievements of individual foreigners, she probes a much larger issue--the symbolic politics of foreignness. In doing so she shows not only how our debates over foreignness help shore up our national or democratic identities, but how anxieties endemic to liberal democracy themselves animate ambivalence toward foreignness.

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.

Asian Americans are a small percentage of the U.S. population, but their numbers are steadily rising—from less than a million in 1960 to more than 15 million today. They are also a remarkably diverse population—representing several ethnicities, religions, and languages—and they enjoy higher levels of education and income than any other U.S. racial group. Historically, socioeconomic status has been a reliable predictor of political behavior. So why has this fast-growing American population, which is doing so well economically, been so little engaged in the U.S. political system? Asian American Political Participation is the most comprehensive study to date of Asian American political behavior, including such key measures as voting, political donations, community organizing, and political protests. The book examines why some groups participate while others do not, why certain civic activities are deemed preferable to others, and why Asian socioeconomic advantage has so far not led to increased political clout. Asian American Political Participation is based on data from the authors’ groundbreaking 2008 National Asian American Survey of more than 5,000 Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Filipino, and Japanese Americans. The book shows that the motivations for and impediments to political participation are as diverse as the Asian American population. For example, native-born Asians have higher rates of political participation than their immigrant counterparts, particularly recent adult arrivals who were socialized outside of the United States. Protest activity is the exception, which tends to be higher among immigrants who maintain connections abroad and who engaged in such activity in their country of origin. Surprisingly, factors such as living in a new immigrant destination or in a city with an Asian American elected official do not seem to motivate political behavior—neither does ethnic group solidarity. Instead, hate crimes and racial victimization are the factors that most motivate Asian Americans to participate politically. Involvement in non-political activities such as civic and religious groups also bolsters political participation. Even among Asian groups, socioeconomic advantage does not necessarily translate into high levels of political participation. Chinese Americans, for example, have significantly higher levels of educational attainment than Japanese Americans, but Japanese Americans are far more likely to vote and make political contributions. And Vietnamese Americans, with the lowest levels of education and income, vote and engage in protest politics more than any other group. Lawmakers tend to favor the interests of groups who actively engage the political system, and groups who do not participate at high levels are likely to suffer political consequences in the future. Asian American Political Participation demonstrates that understanding Asian political behavior today can have significant repercussions for Asian American political influence tomorrow.
Universal basic income. A 15-hour workweek. Open borders. Does it sound too good to be true? One of Europe's leading young thinkers shows how we can build an ideal world today.
"A more politically radical Malcolm Gladwell." --New York Times
After working all day at jobs we often dislike, we buy things we don't need. Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, reminds us it needn't be this way-and in some places it isn't.

Rutger Bregman's TED Talk about universal basic income seemed impossibly radical when he delivered it in 2014. A quarter of a million views later, the subject of that video is being seriously considered by leading economists and government leaders the world over. It's just one of the many utopian ideas that Bregman proves is possible today.

Utopia for Realists is one of those rare books that takes you by surprise and challenges what you think can happen. From a Canadian city that once completely eradicated poverty, to Richard Nixon's near implementation of a basic income for millions of Americans, Bregman takes us on a journey through history, and beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he champions ideas whose time have come.

Every progressive milestone of civilization-from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy-was once considered a utopian fantasy. Bregman's book, both challenging and bracing, demonstrates that new utopian ideas, like the elimination of poverty and the creation of the fifteen-hour workweek, can become a reality in our lifetime. Being unrealistic and unreasonable can in fact make the impossible inevitable, and it is the only way to build the ideal world.

Two trends are dramatically altering the American political landscape: growing immigration and the rising prominence of independent and nonpartisan voters. Examining partisan attachments across the four primary racial groups in the United States, this book offers the first sustained and systematic account of how race and immigration today influence the relationship that Americans have--or fail to have--with the Democratic and Republican parties. Zoltan Hajnal and Taeku Lee contend that partisanship is shaped by three factors--identity, ideology, and information--and they show that African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and whites respond to these factors in distinct ways.

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.

Accountability has become a buzzword in international development. Development actors appear to delight in announcing their intention to promote accountability but it is often unclear what accountability is and how it can be promoted. This book addresses some questions that are crucial to understanding accountability and for understanding why accountability is important to improve the effectiveness of development aid. We ask: What does it mean to make governments accountable to their citizens? How do you do that? How do you create genuine demand for accountability among citizens, how do you move citizens from inertia to public action? The main argument of this book is that accountability is a matter of public opinion. Governments will only be accountable if there are incentives for them to do so and only an active and critical public will change the incentives of government officials to make them responsive to citizens demands. Accountability without public opinion is a technocratic, but not an effective solution. In this book, more than 30 accountability practitioners and thinkers discuss the concept and its structural conditions; the relationship between accountability, information, and the media; the role of deliberation to promote accountability; and mechanisms and tools to mobilize public opinion. A number of case studies from around the world illustrate the main argument of the book: Public opinion matters and an active and critical public is the surest means to achieve accountability that will benefit the citizens in developing countries. This book is designed for policy-makers and governance specialists working within the international development community, national governments, grassroots organizations, activists, and scholars engaged in understanding the interaction between accountability and public opinion and their role for increasing the impact of international development interventions.
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