|Workshop for the Study of Conservative Movements and Conservatism|
The Workshop for the Study of Conservative Movements and Conservatism is an interdisciplinary group for discussion of topics related to all aspects of conservative movements. Topics include libertarianism, tax revolts, religious conservatism and politics, think tanks, conservative women's movements, conservatism and science, and political formation over the life course. This workshop is currently in hiatus. Please email Amy Binder with any questions.
The UCSD Department of Sociology is hosting two talks this Winter related to Conservative Movements. On January 23rd, Chris Parker (University of Washington, Department of Political Science) will speak about his recent book on the Tea Party, Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America (Princeton University Press, 2013). On March 4th, Neil Gross (University of British Columbia), will speak about his recent book on political orientations in Universities, Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care? (Harvard University Press, 2013). These talks are open to the public. See the meeting schedule for more information.
Ever since the Sixteenth Amendment introduced a Federal income tax in 1913, rich Americans have protested new public policies that they thought would threaten their wealth. But while historians have taught us much about the conservative social movements that reshaped the Republican Party in the late 20th century, the story of protest movements explicitly designed to benefit the wealthy is still little known. Rich People's Movements (Oxford University Press) is the first book to tell that story, tracking a series of protest movements that arose to challenge an expanding welfare state and progressive taxation. Drawing from a mix of anti-progressive ideas, the leaders of these movements organized scattered local constituencies into effective campaigns in the 1920s, 1950s, 1980s, and our own era. Martin shows how protesters on behalf of the rich appropriated the tactics used by the Left-from the Populists and Progressives of the early twentieth century to the feminists and anti-war activists of the 1950s and 1960s. He explores why the wealthy sometimes cut secret back-room deals and at other times protest in the public square. He also explains why people who are not rich have so often rallied to their cause.
Robert Horwitz has a new book examining the rise of anti-establishment conservatism in the United States. The book is titled America's Right: Anti-Establishment Conservatism from Goldwater to the Tea Party (Polity Press, 2013) and it is available now.
Michael Evans (PhD, Sociology, UCSD, 2012) has accepted a three-year postdoc position at Dartmouth College starting in the Fall. He is joining an exciting new interdisciplinary institute directed at exploring the possibilities of computational modeling. He will begin a new project that uses computational and qualitative methods to examine the role of media and public claims-makers in generating contentious debates, focusing on the rise of "anti-science" accusations.
Reece Peck (PhD, Communication, UCSD, 2012) has accepted an Assistant Professorship in the Department of Media Culture at the City College of New York, Staten Island starting in the Fall.
Amy Binder and Kate Wood's new book Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives (Princeton University Press, 2013) has been released and is making the rounds through the media. Reviewers are talking about Becoming Right in Publishers Weekly, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New Republic, Inside Higher Ed, Times Higher Education, and orgtheory.net, to name a few. You can also catch interviews with Amy on MSNBC's The Cycle and Joy Cardin's show on Wisconsin Public Radio. For a complete list of reviews and media appearances, visit the Becoming Right facebook page.
Over the past half-century, think tanks have become fixtures of American politics, supplying advice to presidents and policymakers, expert testimony on Capitol Hill, and convenient facts and figures to journalists and media specialists. But what are think tanks? Who funds them? And just how influential have they become?
In Think Tanks in America (University of Chicago Press), Thomas Medvetz argues that the unsettling ambiguity of the think tank is less an accidental feature of its existence than the very key to its impact. By combining elements of more established sources of public knowledge (universities, government agencies, businesses, and the media) think tanks exert a tremendous amount of influence on the way citizens and lawmakers perceive the world, unbound by the more clearly defined roles of those other institutions. In the process, they transform the government of this country, the press, and the political role of intellectuals. Timely, succinct, and instructive, this provocative book will force us to rethink our understanding of the drivers of political debate in the United States.
John Evans has a new book published by Oxford University Press entitled, The History and Future of Bioethics. It is a history of professional bioethics, an evaluation of the profession’s current crisis, and a proposal for its resolution, all told from the vantage point of a social scientist.
Sociology graduate students Kate Wood and Ian Mullins, along with Communication Department graduate student Muni Citrin and History Department graduate student Ryan Reft, have been awarded generous funding through the UCSD Chancellor's Interdisciplinary Collaboratories Initiative. The students are working with professors Amy Binder, Isaac Martin, Robert Horwitz, and Nayan Shah, representing the social sciences and the humanities. The funded research has two aims: First, to describe the plurality and diversity of conservative movements in the twentieth and twenty-first century U.S. and, second, to develop a shared intellectual framework that can make sense of this diversity without reducing American conservatism to a single tradition or essential trait. This shared framework will contribute to how scholars in the humanities and social sciences understand the rise of the American right as a defining event of the late twentieth century.