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STATE POWER AND DEMOCRACY: BEFORE AND DURING THE PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE W. BUSH

A new book by Andrew Kolin

Palgrave Macmillan

January 4th 2011

$85 Hardcover

ISBN 978-0-230-10935-3

Contact: Alaina Kunin, Publicist: T 646-307-5659, E alaina.kunin@palgrave-usa.com

Torture. Secret Prisons, Wiretaps on Americans. Even with a new president in the White House, daily headlines contain disturbing revelations about how theUnited Statesconducts itself in the “war on terror”. While other books have analyzed specific, shocking issues about the war on terror, there is a surprising disconnect in them: they don’t connect the actions with the George W. Bush administration to those of previous administrations. This book is the first to do that. It shows that the bush police state didn’t commence when Bush was inaugurated. It proves, instead, that the seeds of an American police state can be traced all the way back to the founding of the republic.

Praise for State Power and Democracy:

“Since the tragic events of 9/11, the United Sates has gutted its democratic ideals in the name of security while increasing its authoritarian tendencies as part of the war on terror. This book not only rigorously takes note of how the Bush administration (and increasingly the Obama government) undermined any promise of a democracy in the United Statesbut also vividly illustrates the long trajectory of authoritarian practices and punishing policies that have been deeply ingrained in American history. Andrew Kolin provides both a powerful warning and a wake-up call about the death of democratic ideals in the United States.” — Henry Giroux, Chair, English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University and author of Hearts of Darkness: Torturing Children in the War on Terror

“Andrew Kolin exposes the persistent efforts of autocrats to suppress popular democracy. His treatment is wide-ranging, historically informed, and most relevant to the police-state transgressions occurring in today’s America.” — Michael Parenti, author of God and his Demons and Contrary Notions

“This compelling book traces the assault on democracy and the rise of a police state that reached its zenith in the George W. Bush administration. From the war on communism to the war on terror, our government has used surveillance, preventive detention, torture, and a climate of fear to consolidate its power and neutralize dissent. Under the guise of nurturing democracy at home and abroad, the U.S.government has actually undermined it. Required reading for all who seek to recapture our democracy.” — Marjorie Cohn, Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Defied the Law

Growth of State Power and the Assault on Democracy * Eroding Democracy in a Time of Crisis * Accelerating the Assault on Democracy * Absolute Power at the Expense of Democracy * A Police State * Actions Taken Against Enemies of the State * Exporting An American Police State * The Future?

Andrew Kolin is a Professor of Political Science at Hilbert College. He is author of The Ethical Foundations of Hume’s Theory of Politics (1990); One Family: Before and During the Holocaust (2000); and State Structure and Genocide (2008).

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Rethinking Democracy Promotion in the Post-Bush Era

 

Symposium

‘Rethinking Democracy Promotion in the Post-Bush Era: Lessons from Political Theory’

International Politics Department, Aberystwyth University

21st May, 2009

9am-4pm

 

An event organised by ‘Political Economies of Democratisation’ – a project funded by the European Research Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme, 2007-2013

 

By framing and justifying many contentious policies during ‘the War on Terror’ in reference to the defence and extension of democracy, the actions of the Bush administration had negative consequences for the larger democracy promotion agenda. The concerted effort by President Obama to break with the policies of his predecessor now opens up space for a rethinking of democracy promotion practices. In considering and responding to recent problems, it is necessary to go beyond policy calibration, however, and address more fundamental issues. Specifically, there is a pressing need to reconsider the concept of ‘democracy’ in democracy promotion. Yet, it is curious that while debate continues to rage in political theory over what democracy does, can and should mean, such questions are largely ignored when it comes to democracy promotion.

 

This symposium will bring together a number of leading thinkers in international relations and political science to discuss how political theory and thought on radically different models or visions of democracy can be integrated into the consideration and practice of democracy promotion. The symposium seeks to reconsider the role of the currently dominant liberal-democratic tradition of thought in democracy promotion, as well as explore other possible democratic models and alternatives in relation to the idea of democracy promotion. The distinguished speakers at the event include: Prof. John Keane, Prof. Magnus Ryner, Dr. Beate Jahn, Prof. Heikki Patomaki, Prof. Robin Hahnel (in absentia), Prof. Michael Foley and Prof. Howard Williams.

 

Attendance is free but attendees are asked to email Milja Kurki (mlk@aber.ac.uk) to inform the organisers of intent to attend. Please note that all views expressed by the contributors and participants at the event are those of the individuals who express them and may not correspond to the views of the European Community.

 

Preliminary programme:

 

9.00-9.15 Introductory comments – Milja Kurki

 

9.15-10.45 Session 1. Liberal democracy and liberal democracy promotion (re)considered – Dr. Beate Jahn, Prof. Howard Williams, Christopher Hobson

 

11.00-12.30 Session 2. Lessons from alternative traditions of democratic thought – Prof. Magnus Ryner, Prof. Heikki Patomaki, Prof. Robin Hahnel

 

13.30-15.00 Session 3. Transformations of democracy since 1945 and the future of democracy – Prof. John Keane, Prof. Michael Foley

 

15.10-4.00pm Concluding session. Democratic theory and democracy promotion today – reflections on future directions

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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