1944 Slices
Medium 9781609941178


Juana Bordas Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9780815724179

Part II: The Federalism Crisis Worldwide

Paul E Peterson Brookings Institution Press ePub

In the European Union (EU) today, what are the prospects for the type of decentralized federalism described by Peterson and Nadler in the introduction to this volume? Can a robust multi-tiered political system be created and sustained in which the center and lower-tiered units have constitutionally protected separate spheres of influence and taxing and spending autonomy—and in which subunits have representation in a second chamber, as is standard in federal political systems?1 In short, can a new supranational federalism save Europe in this age of financial crisis?

In the current context of economic turmoil, proposals for such reforms—previously only wished for by utopian Euro-enthusiasts or decried by conspiracy-theorist Euro-skeptics—have now suddenly entered the world of high politics and serious political discussion. When the European Monetary Union (EMU), which was launched in 1999, collided with the economic crisis of 2008–09, the EU's curiously split personality was exposed. On one hand, the EU is a highly successful, massive free trade zone that has an impressive regulatory reach, an emerging common foreign policy, and a common monetary policy. On the other hand, the European project has left fiscal power in the hands of national governments, and the European Union is, fiscally speaking, a political pygmy; its actual budget is minuscule, and it is arguably the largest political unit in history without the power to raise debt for itself. Indeed, it is above all the EU's peculiarly asymmetric sovereignty—marked by the absence of a common fiscal policy to match its remarkable common monetary power—that has, by all accounts, proved devastating to the union's ability to cushion itself against, or even to contain, the financial crisis.2

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4. Upholding Community Values

James Lardner Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


BETWEEN Barry Goldwater’s defeat and Ronald Reagan’s election to the presidency, American conservatives forged a cogent and effective political narrative. The signature policies of the conservative movement—tax cuts, privatization, deregulation—were grounded in a simple set of guiding principles: freedom is the highest public value; competition is the engine of progress; markets are intrinsically fair and rational; big government constrains liberty and fosters dependency. These principles, in turn, rested on a starkly individualistic worldview that emphasized the autonomy of the self and the voluntary character of society. While conservatives did not win every battle, they succeeded in establishing their ideology as the norm; it became the default position in American politics, giving the Right a structural advantage that proved decisive over time.

After more than a quarter century, the conservative chokehold has begun to loosen. The obvious part of the story involves a disastrous war, a deteriorating economy, and an unpopular president. Conventional political analysis (unable to see beyond the obvious) would have the next administration use its mandate to advance policies with broad, poll-tested support—“low-hanging fruit” left over from the Bush years—instead of questioning the foundational principles that have defined our public discourse for the past generation.

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1. Latino Political Agency in Los Angeles Past and Present: Diverse Conflicts, Diverse Coalitions, and Fates that Intertwine, Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval

Edited by Sharon A. Navarro and Rodolfo Rosales University of North Texas Press PDF


Latino Political Agency in Los Angeles Past & Present:

Diverse Conflicts, Diverse Coalitions, and Fates that Intertwine

Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval



The Time of

california sTaTehood


1850, The


los angeles

City Council included eight members: seven were of Mexican origin and only one was Anglo American. In the decades that followed, however, the political power and influence of the old Mexican Californio elite—who became downwardly mobile Mexican Americans after 1848—began to wane.1 So dramatic was the ensuing loss of political representation that followed, that after 1881 no Latino sat on the Los Angeles City Council for sixty-nine years, until 1949 when Edward R. Roybal won the Ninth District

Council seat by a two-thirds margin. Roybal’s victory came after two years of organizing in the Mexican American community by the Community

Service Organization (CSO), a civil rights organization that Roybal founded in 1947 with the support of Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation. The aim of CSO was to address the many problems suffered by Latinos in Los

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8 Lipchitz

Jane Blaffer Owen Indiana University Press ePub

Here, then, “in the heart of the United States,” Owen proclaimed, “the Power which governs and directs the Universe and every action of man . . . permits me to announce a new empire of peace and goodwill to men.”

—From Robert Owen’s 1825 address to the U.S. Congress, in Frank Podemore’s Robert Owen: A Biography


When I at last knocked on his studio door at Twenty-third Street in September 1950, Lipchitz opened it himself, a courtly gentleman despite his working clothes. I felt like a small child in The Nutcracker ballet entering the magical world of the Snow Queen, for he was leading me into the wonderland of an artist’s powerful creation, filmy from the fairy dust of white plaster and dried clay; I have never shaken off that which fell on me.

I proceeded straight to my reason for coming, and we soon reached an agreement about Our Lady, Notre Dame de Liesse.1 He asked me to approve the casting of three identical figures: one for New Harmony and one for himself in addition to the commission for Église Notre-Dame de Toute Grâce du Plateau d’Assy, a Catholic church in the small town of Haute-Savoie, France, known at that time principally for its tuberculosis sanatoriums. Former patients who had been cured wished to help build a church where they could bring their gratitude and prayers that others might be healed, and current patients wanted a place for worship. I mention this because the subsequent and justly deserved fame of the church has sometimes obscured the reason for its existence. We also tend to forget that the star-studded cast of artists—Matisse, Léger, Lurçat, Richier, Vuillard, Rouault, Chagall, and Lipchitz—had not yet been represented in a church. When two remarkably enlightened Dominicans Marie-Alain Couturier and Jean Devémy asked Lipchitz through an emissary in 1946 (during Lipchitz’s return to France) if he would create a Virgin for their baptismal font, he reminded them he was a practicing Jew. According to Lipchitz’s account, they replied with a tolerance not always exhibited by church fathers: “You are the best sculptor for this. If it doesn’t disturb you, it doesn’t bother us.” I had heard of Père Couturier’s ecumenical zeal that included those of the Jewish faith through our mutual friends Jean “John” and Dominique de Menil.

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