The PoliSci Newsletter
Assistant Professor Justin Vaughn was recently published on the Academic website The Conversation. His article, titled “Is George W Bush a burden or blessing for Jeb Bush’s 2016 campaign?”, examines whether the legacy of former president George W. Bush will help or hinder Jeb Bush’s bid for the Republican nomination.
Political science professor Brian Wampler’s latest book took him and his family more than 6,000 miles to witness participatory democracy in action.
A Fulbright Scholar in 2009 and 2010, Wampler spent time in Belo Horizonte, the sixth largest city in Brazil. For the next year he studied how Brazil’s new constitution in 1988 changed life in the country. For the last two and a half decades Brazil has included citizen councils in nearly all of the country’s public policy decisions. But a major change in government policy doesn’t happen overnight and some municipalities have been more apt to change than others.
Justin S. Vaughn authored an op-ed on the nation’s best and worst ex-presidents for The New York Times. “The Making of a Great Ex-President” was published in the Sunday edition of the Times.
Brian Wampler helped organize an international conference on participation and public policy in Brazil. In addition to organizing the conference, he presented at the conference’s opening roundtable and gave the closing remarks.
Brian Wampler, professor of political science at Boise State University, has published a new book titled ACTIVATING DEMOCRACY IN BRAZIL: Popular Participation, Social Justice, and Interlocking Institutions.
In 1988, Brazil’s Constitution marked the formal establishment of a new democratic regime. In the ensuing two and a half decades, Brazilian citizens, civil society organizations, and public officials have undertaken the slow, arduous task of building new institutions to ensure that Brazilian citizens have access to rights that improve their quality of life, expand their voice and vote, change the distribution of public goods, and deepen the quality of democracy. According to Wampler, the 1988 Constitution marks the formal start of the participatory citizenship regime, but there has been tremendous variation in how citizens and public officials have carried it out. This book demonstrates that the variation results from the interplay of five factors: state formation, the development of civil society, government support for citizens’ use of their voice and vote, the degree of public resources available for spending on services and public goods, and the rules that regulate forms of participation, representation, and deliberation within participatory venues. By focusing on multiple democratic institutions over a twenty-year period, this book illustrates how the participatory citizenship regime generates political and social change.
“Brian Wampler has written the best book so far on the ‘real working’ of participatory government in Brazil. Wampler provides the reader with a multidimensional analysis of government in Belo Horizonte that goes from the grassroots level to several different government policies. In the end, he manages to provide an excellent view of how participatory policies weave together government and civil society actors. Everyone interested in participatory government should read this book.” —Leonardo Avritzer, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
ACTIVATING DEMOCRACY IN BRAZIL is available from the University of Notre Dame Press in paperback and as an e-book.
ACTIVATING DEMOCRACY IN BRAZIL is part of the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies series.
Justin Vaughn was quoted in an Associated Press article that ran in several media outlets, including the Detroit News. It was titled “Obama’s presidential legacy begins to take shape.” As Obama begins to talk about post-administration goals, Vaughn notes that the issues president’s choose to embrace out of office tend to stem from personal values or events that occurred during their administration. Read “Obama’s presidential legacy begins to take shape” here.
Original Source: Detroit News – 5/6/15
In the article titled “In Defense of Planet Fitness”, Scott Yenor argues that a fitness centers’ policy to allow members to use the respective facilities of their self-declared gender identity is just “fine”. In response to a member of Planet Fitness who revoked her membership due to the nature of this policy, Yenor states “If you do not like Planet Fitness’s policy on showers, then go to a health club that has sex-segregated policies”. This leads to a more broad discussion on non-discriminatory laws. Read more of “In Defense of Planet Fitness” here.
Original Sources: The Update – 4/23/15, The Federalist – 3/26/15
The Vice President, Laura Simic, comments on the changes that will be occurring as the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs dissolves into the new School of Public Service and College of Arts and Science. The new School of Public Service, with Corey Cook serving as its inaugural dean, “is made up of rich and diverse academic programs that will prepare students, public servants, and leaders to think both regionally and globally in an interdependent world”. Read more about SPS here.
Original Source: Read more about the New School of Public Service from the Vice President – 4/21/15
“In anticipation of his Saturday, April 25 public presentation on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Boise Weekly sat down with Dr. Michael Allen to talk about the terrorist regime known as ISIS” (Boise Weekly). In the interview, Dr. Allen responds to questions regarding ISIS’s objectives and how to measure their success as a terrorist group. Read more of the interview with Dr. Allen here.
Original Source: Boise Weekly – 4/22/15
Justin Vaughn, an assistant professor for the Department of Political Science, conducted a survey with the help of Brandon Rottinghaus of University of Houston that was quoted in an article by the New York Times about the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Read the full article, “Abraham Lincoln, the One President All of Them Want to Be More Like” at the New York Times.
Original Source: The Update – 4/15/2015; New York Times – 4/14/2015