INTRODUCTION | Jeffrey Friedman (.pdf of article)
FACULTY PARTISAN AFFILIATIONS IN ALL DISCIPLINES: A VOTER-REGISTRATION STUDY | Christopher F. Cardiff and Daniel B. Klein (.pdf of article)
ABSTRACT: The party registration of tenure-track faculty at 11 California universities, ranging from small, private, religiously affiliated institutions to large, public, elite schools, shows that the "one-party campus" conjecture does not extend to all institutions or all departments. At one end of the scale, U.C. Berkeley has an adjusted Democrat:Republican ratio of almost 9:1, while Pepperdine University has a ratio of nearly 1:1. Academic field also makes a tremendous difference, with the humanities averaging a 10:1 D:R ratio and business schools averaging 1.3:1, and with departments ranging from sociology (44:1) to management (1.5:1). Across all departments and institutions, the D:R ratio is 5:1, while in the "soft" liberal-arts fields, the ratio is higher than 8:1. These findings are generally in line with comparable previous studies.
PROFESSORS AND THEIR POLITICS: THE POLICY VIEWS OF SOCIAL SCIENTISTS | Daniel B. Klein and Charlotta Stern (.pdf of article)
ABSTRACT: Academic social scientists overwhelmingly vote Democratic, and the Democratic hegemony has increased significantly since 1970. Moreover, the policy preferences of a large sample of the members of the scholarly associations in anthropology, economics, history, legal and political philosophy, political science, and sociology generally bear out conjectures about the correspondence of partisan identification with left/right ideal types; although across the board, both Democratic and Republican academics favor government action more than the ideal types might suggest. Variations in policy views among Democrats is smaller than among Republicans. Ideological diversity (as judged not only by voting behavior, but by policy views) is by far the greatest within economics. Social scientists who deviate from left-wing views are as likely to be libertarian as conservative.
A SOCIAL-SCIENCE PERSPECTIVE ON MEDIA BIAS | Tim Groseclose and Jeffrey Milyo
ABSTRACT: The questions of whether the news media are biased, and if so, in what direction, typically generate more heat than light. Here, we review some of the most recent and meritorious empirical studies on media bias. This evidence suggests that several prominent national news outlets have a distinct slant to the left or right, and that exposure to these sources influences both public opinion and voting behavior.
WHAT CONSERVATIVE MEDIA? THE UNPROVEN CASE FOR CONSERVATIVE MEDIA BIAS | William G. Mayer
ABSTRACT: A great deal of recent academic writing claimsbut, more often, assumesthat the American news media have a predominantly conservative bias, slanting and shaping their coverage in ways that favor right-wing foreign, economic, cultural, and social policies. Two major books pioneered this position and have gone largely uncriticized, despite their immense influence. A detailed examination of Herbert Gans's Deciding What's News and Ben Bagdikian's The Media Monopoly shows, however, that they fall far short of proving their claims about media bias. The logic of many of their arguments is highly problematic, but especially glaring is the almost complete lack of solid evidence in either book as to the purportedly conservative nature of media content.
MURRAY EDELMAN ON SYMBOLS AND IDEOLOGY IN DEMOCRATIC POLITICS | Samuel DeCanio
ABSTRACT: For Murray Edelman, political realities are largely inaccessible to the public, save by the mediation of symbols generated by elites. Such symbols often create the illusion of political solutions to complex problemssolutions devised by experts, implemented by effective leaders, and undemonstrably successful in their results.
POPULISM, ELITISM, AND THE POPULIST IDEOLOGY OF ELITES: THE RECEPTION OF THE WORK OF MURRAY EDELMAN | Stephen Earl Bennett
ABSTRACT: Over the course of his career, Murray Edelman made one of the few sustained attempts by a theoretically inclined political scientist to explore the effects of the public's overwhelming ignorance of politics. In his early work, he focused on political elites' manipulation of an ignorant public through the deployment of symbolism. In his later work, however, he suggested that even elites are the puppets of their ideologies. His early work has been well received; his later work has gone largely unremarked. The reason may have to do with the very thing that Edelman was, in his later work, addressing: the (populist) ideological biases of his politically elite (academic) audience.
MURRAY EDELMAN, POLEMICIST OF PUBLIC IGNORANCE | Mark Fenster
ABSTRACT: Murray Edelman's work raised significant theoretical and methodological questions regarding the symbolic nature of politics, and specifically the role played by non-rational beliefs (those that lack real-world grounding) in the shaping of political preferences. According to Edelman, beneath an apparently functional and accountable democratic state lies a symbolic system that renders an ignorant public quiescent. The state, the media, civil society, interpersonal relations, even popular art are part of a mass spectacle kept afloat by empty symbolic beliefs. However suggestive it is, the weaknesses of Edelman's theoretical and methodological approach, and the relative strengths of more recent research on the politics of cultural symbols, render Edelman's work unable to serve as either model or springboard for the contemporary study of political symbols.
RESIDENTIAL POLITICS: HOW DEMOCRACY ERODES COMMUNITY | Spencer H. MacCallum
ABSTRACT: Residential subdivisions governed democratically by homeowners' associations often fall short of their residents' expectations. The fault may lie in the developers' practice of subdividing rather than leasing residential land. Given the widespread success of land leasing in commercial real estate, subdividing residential land seems anomalous, and may be explained by a variety of public policies enacted since World War II that have constrained developers to subdivide rather than lease land for residential purposes. By promoting subdivision, these policies have subjected homeowners to the obsessive rule making, conflict, and counterproductive decision making that characterize democratic institutions. Entrepreneurial management, on the other hand, as practiced in multi-tenant commercial properties, has the potential of promoting true residential "community."
SUPPLY-SIDE VS. DEMAND-SIDE TAX CUTS AND U.S. ECONOMIC GROWTH, 1951-2004 | Norton Garfinkle
ABSTRACT: Supply-side economists claim that a low top marginal income-tax rate accelerates investment, employment, and economic growth. But the economic literature cited to support the supply-side hypothesis provides little to no empirical support for it. And a more comprehensive empirical examination of key parameters of U.S. economic performance in the postwar period, undertaken here, shows no association between low top marginal income-tax rates and high real growth in investment, employment, or GDP. By contrast, the analysis yields strong evidence for the economic-growth benefits of a "demand-side" approach to taxation policy.