Ideas and Institutions in Race Politics

Robert C. Lieberman

in Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199736430
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866106 | DOI:
Ideas and Institutions in Race Politics

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This chapter explores the politics of race in the United States. It shows that neither ideas nor institutions form a sufficient basis for explaining the trajectory of American race policy and develops a more general critique of the common limitations of these two analytical modes. It offers an alternative framework for both ideas and institutions as necessary elements of the formation of political coalitions. It then deploys this framework to highlight both the powering and the puzzling at work in one of the most perplexing developments in American race politics in the late 20th century: the rise of affirmative action in employment.

Keywords: American politics; race politics; race relations; affirmative action; institutions; ideas

Chapter.  8191 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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