Discussion questions for Monday, August 30, 2010
August 30 (Monday): The Stakes
1. What is the field of American political development? Why is federalism important to path dependence? How does federalism affect change? Give examples from contemporary American politics (Robertson)
2. What is Nathan's argument, and what are its implications for public policy today? Does he think that federalism is healthy, and why? Does he emphasize advantages of federalism discussed by Tabarrok and Ford (August 25)?
3. Explain the meaning of the title of Wildavsky's 1984 argument. Why does Wildavsky emphasize the decline of parties and rise of sectarian political culture? Is Wildavsky's analysis outdated, given the more recent (2008) analysis of Nathan?