Fall 2004
Fully Enrolled

The Conservative Revolution in American Politics and Policy

Eisner,Marc A.

09/13/2004 - 12/18/2004
Monday 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Public Affairs Center 422

The past decades have witnessed a conservative revolution in American politics. Republicans have gained control of the presidency for most of this period and, in the past decade, have controlled the Congress and most of the statehouses. Moreover, a number of conservative policy think tanks have been highly influential in shaping the debates over social and economic policy. This sea change in American politics has had profound implications for a host of public policies (including economic policy, education reform, welfare reform, and foreign policy). Has the conservative movement run its course? Can it accommodate broader changes in American society, culture, and public opinion? It is the core assumption of this course that one cannot understand contemporary politics and the prospects for a resurgent liberalism without understanding the rise of conservatism and the principles underlying the arguments and reforms promoted by its key figures.

We will read books and essays by several influential conservative and neoconservative commentators (e.g., William Bennett, William Kristol, Charles Murray, Paul Wolfowitz) and their critics. We will also engage analyses of the triumphs and failures of conservative policy reforms.

Students will be required to write several short

analytical essays.

Marc Eisner (B.A. University of Wisconsin; M.A. Marquette University; M.B.A. University of Connecticut; Ph.D. University of Wisconsin) is professor of government and Henry Merritt Wriston chair in public policy. He is author of six books, including Governing the Environment: The Transformation of Environmental Governance (Lynne Rienner, 2007), and is past president of the New England Political Science Association. Click here for more information about Marc Eisner.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
James Bovard, THE BUSH BETRAYAL (Palgrave MacMillan), Paperback

Dinesh D'Souza, RONALD REAGAN (Free Press), Paperback

John Micklethwait & Adrian Wooldridge, THE RIGHT NATION (Penguin), Paperback


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