GT33M - Contemporary Issues in the Politics of Industrial Societies.

Lecturer: Robert Buddan.

Contact:  Room 22

                Tel: 977-5935; Fax: 977-1809


Web Site:


Course Description.

The main issues that are debated in contemporary politics give us insights into the ideological perspectives and advocacy movements, and the competing value systems and their traditions in society. The groups and their successes in mobilizing politics around these issues also tell us about the institutional structures of comparative political systems and the biases and opportunities they present to some groups over others. We identify some of the major contemporary issues in the politics of industrial societies in order to gain the above insights. Many issues represent unresolved dilemmas of industrial politics.

Grading Scheme.

Mid-term test        - 20%.

Essay                     - 20%.

GT33M Essays due March 9, 2001

Final examination - 60%.

Issues and Reading List.

1. American Elections.

- free and fair elections.

- the Electoral College.

Edward Greenberg: The American Political System: A Radical Approach. Chap. 9 & 10.

------------------------: : "The Inside Story of America's Closest, Craziest Election." Newsweek,                                            November 20, 2000.

Eric Wikman: "The Electoral College: Then, Now and Tomorrow."

National Archives and Records Administration: "Frequently Asked Questions on the Electoral College".


2.Voting rights

- Voter bill of Rights.

- Minority' voting.

Richard Engstrom:   "The Voting Rights Act: Disenfranchisement, Dilution, and Alternative                                           Electoral Systems." Political Science and Politics, xxvii, 4, 1994.

------------------------: "The Inside Story of America's Closest, Craziest Election." Newsweek,                                           November 20, 2000

Edward Greenberg:   The American Political System: A Radical Approach. Chap. 9&10.

Shamit Saggar:         "A Late, Though not Lost, Opportunity: Ethnic Minority Electors..." Political                      Quarterly, 69,2, 1998.

M. J. Lohe:               "Ethnic Minority Candidates in General Elections." Political Quarterly, 64, 1,                                  1993.

Wilma Rule:            "Women's Underrepresentation and Electoral Systems," Political Science                                       and Politics, xxvii, 4, 1994. 

Tom Affigne:           "Latino Politics in the United States: An Introduction," Political Science and                                    Politics, xxxiii,3, 2000.

Rodney Hero, et al:  "Latino Participation, Partisanship, and Office Holding," Political Science                                      and Politics," xxxxiii,3, 2000.

Frank Parker:            "Shaw v Reno: A Constitutional Setback for Minority Representation,"                                           Political Science and Politics, xxviii, 1, 1995.


3. Constitutional rights:

- constitutional fundamentalism.

- right to life issues.

Jeremy Putley:         "The Moral Vacuum and the American Constitution." Political Quarterly,                                         68,1, 1997.

Robert Singh:           "Gun Control in America." Political Quarterly, 69,3, 1998.

Robert Singh: A        "Capital Punishment in the United States: A New Abolitionism?" Political                                       Quarterly, 71,3, 2000.

-----                            "Gun Control vs Gun Rights."


Mark Schreiber:          "Nation Without Guns" (Japan).





4. Campaign finance:

- money in politics.

- public vs private financing.


Edward Greenberg:         The American Political System: A Radical Approach. Chap. 7&8.

T. Dye, L. Zeigler:           The Irony of Democracy. Chap.9.

Verena Blechinger:          "Shadow Politics: Political Corruption In Japan."


Peter Preston:                   "The Socio-economic Problems of Contemporary Japan and the Limits of Political Reform." Political Quarterly, 66,3, 1995.

Pippa Norris:                    "The Nolan Committee: Financial Interests and Constituency Service."                                           Government and Opposition, 31.4, 1996.


5. Corruption

- integrity in political life.

- corruption and scandals.

Hugh Barrington:             "Political Ethics: The Nolan Report." Government and Opposition,                                                   30,4, 1995.

Susan Rose-Ackerman:     Corruption and Government. Chaps. 6,7,8.

Verena Blechinger:           "Shadow Politics: Politcal Corruption in Japan."



6. Poverty and Quality of Life.

- social profiles of poverty.

- poverty issues.

UNDP:                              Human Development Report, 1997, Chap. 2.

Edward Greenberg:          The American Political System: A Radical Approach. Chap.6.

T. Dye, L. Zeigler:            The Irony of Democracy. Chap. 15. Culture/Issues_and_Causes/Poverty/UNDP


7. Race and Citizenship.

- ideas of citizenship.

- minority rights.

Edward Ashbee:                  "Remoralization: American Society and Politics in the 1990's."                                                         Political Quarterly, 71, 2, 2000.

Roger Eatwell:                      "Why are Fascism and Racism Reviving in Western Europe."                                                          Political Quarterly, 65,3, 1994.

Tariq Modood:                     "Establishment, Multiculturalism and British Citizenship," Political                                                Quarterly, 65,1, 1994.

Duncan Kelly:                      "Multicultural Citizenship: The Limits of Liberal Democracy,"                                                         Political Quarterly, 71,1, 2000.

Michael Mickenberg:            "The Renewal of the Radical Right," Government and Opposition,                                                  35,2, 2000.

R. Bellamy, J. Greenaway   "The New Right Conception of Citizenship and the Citizen's                                                           Charter," Government and Opposition, 30,4, 1995.


8. Justice.

- morality and justice.

- social justice.

Timothy Byrnes:                  "The Politics of the American Catholic Heirarchy," Political                                                              Science Quarterly, 1993 (Fall).

Jeremy Putley:                     "The Moral Vacuum and the American Constitution," Political                                                          Quarterly, 68,1, 1997.

Francesca Klug:                   "Can Human Rights Fill Britain's Morality Gap?" Political                                                                Quarterly, 68,2, 1997.

Susan Mendus:                     "Teaching Morality in a Plural Society," Government and                                                                  Opposition, 33,3, 1998.

Michael Saward:                   "Democracy and Competing Values," Government and Opposition,                                                  31,4, 1996.


Robert Buddan

January, 2001.