Public education, from pre-K through higher education, and labor unions, particularly those representing public sector workers, are today under attack from those who question the very need to have such basic institutions. United University Professions is a history of United University Professions (UUP), which grew from humble beginnings to become the nation’s largest higher education union, representing some 35,000 academic and professional staff within the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Nuala McGann Drescher, William E. Scheuerman, and Ivan D. Steen chronicle how UUP built upon its early accomplishments at the bargaining table and in the political arena to become a national leader in the struggle to preserve academic freedom and the institution of tenure, the bedrock of academic freedom. More broadly, they argue, UUP in microcosm confirms the importance of unionization not only for the members it represents, but to core American values and American democracy itself.
“This is a major contribution to our understanding of unions.” — Stan Luger, author of Corporate Power, American Democracy, and the Automobile Industry
“This book should interest, and be required reading for, anyone concerned about public higher education in the United States.” — Brian Waddell, coauthor of What American Government Does
Nuala McGann Drescher is Distinguished Service Professor Emerita at the State University of New York College at Buffalo and a retired UUP president. She is the author of Engineer for the Public Good: A History of the Buffalo District US Army Corps of Engineers.
William E. Scheuerman is Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York at Oswego, retired President of the National Labor College, and retired UUP president. He is the author (with Sidney Plotkin) of Private Interest, Public Spending: Balanced-Budget Conservatism and the Fiscal Crisis.
Ivan D. Steen is Associate Professor of History Emeritus at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He is the author of Urbanizing America: The Development of Cities in the United States from the First European Settlements to 1920.
Far from seeing international reform as well-meaning but potentially irresponsible idealism, progressive realists like E.H. Carr, John Herz, Hans J. Morgenthau, and Reinhold Niebuhr developed forward-looking ideas which offer an indispensable corrective to many presently influential views about global politics. Progressive realism, Scheuerman argues, offers a compelling and provocative vision of radical global change which - when properly interpreted, can help buttress current efforts to address the most pressing international issues.
After recovering key subterranean strands in mid-twentieth century realism, Scheuerman underscores their relevance to contemporary international theory. Criticizing more recent realists for abandoning their tradition's best insights, he also demonstrates that reform-minded international theories - including versions of cosmopolitanism, constructivism, the English School, liberalism, and republicanism - could all benefit from taking Progressive Realism seriously.
A major contribution both to the history of international relations and contemporary debates in international theory, The Realist Case for Global Reform concludes by considering how progressive realism informs the foreign policies of US President Barack Obama.
Scheuerman shows Morgenthau to be an uneasy Realist, uncomfortable with conventional notions of Realism and sometimes unsure whether his reflections should be grouped under its rubric. He was a powerful critic of the existing state system and defended the idea of a world state. By highlighting Morgenthau’s engagement with the leading lights of European political and legal theory, Scheuerman argues that he developed a morally demanding political ethics and an astute diagnosis of the unprecedented perils posed by nuclear weaponry. Believing that the irrationalities of US foreign policy were rooted partly in domestic factors, he sympathized with demands for radical political and social change. Scheuerman illustrates that Morgenthau’s thinking has been widely misunderstood by both disciples and critics and that it offers many challenges to contemporary Realists who discount his normative aspirations. With the advent of the cosmopolitan goal of international reform, Morgenthau’s work serves up an unsettling mix of sympathy and hard-headed skepticism which remains crucially important in the development of the field.
Lucidly and persuasively written, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars seeking to understand the continued importance of Morgenthau’s thinking.