财新传媒
位置:博客 > 韦爱德 > AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONALISM: THEMES

AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONALISM: THEMES

130608

AMERICAN  CONSTITUTIONALISM:  THEMES

From law to politics.

___________________________________________________________________________

DIMENSIONS OF POLITICS                              DIMENSIONS OF POSTS

Sectors: All                                                        Importance: *****

Level: National                                                  Scope: USA only

Period: All                                                         Process: Elite politics

MAIN TOPIC:  CONSTITUTIONALISM               Treatment: Background.

____________________________________________________________________________

 

OVERVIEW

 

BASICS

Basic knowledge, basic questions, basic conclusions.

 

DUALISMS

Law/politics, Constitutionalism/constitutionalism, judicial/other.

 

PREVIEW 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

SERIES 

 

This Post is the first in a Series on AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONALISM. What is it? What is its function? How does it work? How well does it work? This Post states some general Themes, later Posts will elaborate at different analytical Scales.

_________________________________________________________________________

 

READINGS

 

This list highlights introductory works that address complexities but explain them clearly for a general audience.  

 

Overall, from political science, see Robert Dahl 2001/2003. How democratic is the American Constitution? New Haven CN: Yale University Press. 224 pages.

 

Overall, from constitutionalists, see Mark V. Tushnet 2009 The Constitution of the United States of America: A contextual analysis. Portland OR: Hart, 296 pages.

 

On the Supreme Court, see Linda Greenhouse 2012 The U.S. Supreme Court: A very short introduction. New York NY: Oxford University Press, 144 pages (now in Chinese).

 

On Law and Politics, see Stephen M. Griffin 1996 American constitutionalism: From theory to politics. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 216 pages.

 

On the informal constitution, see William N. Eskridge Jr. and John Ferejohn 2010 A republic of statutes: The new American constitutionalism. New Haven CN: Yale University Press, 582 pp.

 

On interaction between the Judiciary and Other institutions, see Mark V. Tushnet 2010 Why the Constitution matters. New Haven CN: Yale University Press, 187 pages.

 

For other works cited in this Post, please see References at its end. Later Posts will provide more Readings and References on the topics they treat. 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

                                 AMERICAN  CONSTITUTIONALISM:  THEMES

 

OVERVIEW

 

Constitutionalism is the aspect of American politics that arguably is most difficult to understand. 

This Series highlights both DIFFICULTIES of Understanding and PROBLEMS of Institutions. Few explanations of American Constitutional politics for the general public combine depth and clarity with a political and critical perspective. Serious public discussion of what is currently right and wrong with American Constitutionalism has hardly begun. Only a few academic works pull together many of the relevant topics. These topics involve a series of DUALISMS: the relationships between (1) Law and Politics, (2) the formal 1787 Constitution and a variety of informal “constitutions,” and (3) the Judiciary and Other institutions. Taken together, these Dualisms constitute a distinctively American constitutional SYSTEM. 

 

This System as a whole is the necessary unit of analysis: the concatenation and interaction of ALL these dualisms, not just the 1787 Constitution or the Supreme Court or individual cases. Certainly this System has achieved some historical triumphs. If citizens approach the Court as the highly political policy-making body that it has actually become, the Court could remain a useful venue for raising fundamental questions about American democracy. Nevertheless, despite what most Americans believe, relative to the constitutionalism of most other advanced democracies, the performance of formal American Constitutionalism has been at best mediocre and – at some times, in some policy domains – downright catastrophic. As it currently works, the System ranks rather low on such commonsense standards as transparency, accountability, and democracy.

 

A main Understanding Difficulty about American Constitutionalism is that current American judicial politics makes little sense if viewed only through the legalistic model that the judiciary claims to represent and that therefore most media reporting on judicial politics employs. Current American judicial politics make sense only if viewed as one arena among several in a current American politics that is partisan, polarized, and divided. Particular shortrun American judicial decisions make sense only if viewed as part of midrun processes of shift in overall constitutional regime, and such midrun shifts make sense only as part of longrun American constitutional and political development. Any and all of these make sense only if viewed through critical consideration of Institutional Problems in American Constitutionalism.   

 

BASICS         

 

As a further overview, we summarize some basic knowledge, basic questions, and basic conclusions.

 

Basic knowledge   1.1

 

Every June, amid solemn ceremony, the Supreme Court hands down decisions on the relatively few cases it has chosen to review. The solemnity implies that, currently, American Constitutionalism is functioning well. However, the solemnity cloaks fierce ongoing struggles, not only over particular current policy issues but also over the nature of American Constitutionalism itself. Moreover, the solemnity obscures serious longrun problems in American Constitutionalism, problems that are only beginning to be discussed in academic literatures and that remain virtually undiscussed in American public media. Further obscuring matters, the Supreme Court operates through confusing Constitutional DOCTRINES that justices express in recondite language and that offer drastically conflicting interpretations of the same Constitutional text. Often it is difficult to understand exactly what the Court has decided and even more difficult to anticipate the likely practical impact of Court decisions on specific public policies.

 

Overall, understanding American constitutionalism requires an extraordinary amount and range of KNOWLEDGE: legal and political institutions, histories of doctrines and cases, current legal details and political dynamics – even the personal foibles of current justices. One CANNOT pick up this knowledge from the American mass media, which simply cannot go into the necessary detail. Moreover, only a few expert observers have the critical frameworks necessary for understanding annual Supreme Court decisions, for following decades-long shifts in judicial doctrines, and for appraising American constitutional history as a whole. Among those few experts, even fewer write about these complex issues in a way intended to be understandable by non-experts. Moreover, media commentators not only lack the time for in-depth analysis but also probably fear appearing too critical – too partisan or unpatriotic for notionally impartial journalists. An astonishing circumstance for matters so fundamental to American democracy!   

 

Since the 1930s, many famous Supreme Court cases have addressed the RIGHTS of individuals. That has given many Americans the impression that protecting Individual Rights is the main role of the American Constitution. It does do that (particularly the supplementary Bill of Rights). Nevertheless, the main role of the original main text of the formal 1787 Constitution was to specify the POWERS of specific institutions and levels within American government. Here the Framers’ main overall objective was to design a government that was not only SELF-LIMITING in its Powers but also DELIBERATIVE in its Policymaking. Thus a fundamental question about the current American constitutional system is the extent to which it promotes the representation of diverse points of view during the making of policy. That question is exceeded in importance only by the question of how democratic the system remains: in particular how subject to current public scrutiny and to eventual democratic correction.

 

Basic questions   1.2

 

Exploring this vast topic requires asking many other questions as well, many of which do not yet have adequate answers in existing academic literatures.   

 

First, one must ask, what are the FUNCTIONS that American Constitutionalism is supposed to perform? The Framers provide some of the answers: the purposes for which they originally designed the formal 1787 Constitution. However, the 1787 Constitution includes many undemocratic or otherwise unwise provisions that ideally would now be revised. So other answers must come from current Americans’ aspirations for democratic governance. Realistically, for the foreseeable political future, the USA must continue to operate largely within the 1787 Constitution. Nevertheless, idealistically, one can still try to identify adjustments that should be feasible and significant. (Dahl 2001/2003, Sabato 2007) 

 

Second, one must ask, how does American constitutionalism actually WORK? Mostly NOT through the separation of Law and Politics that the Framers posited, or through the resulting legalistic model that the Supreme Court pretends to enact. The USA has always informally adjusted the formal Constitution through party politics: other branches have supplemented the formal Constitution with an informal constitution of legislated statutes. American publics have developed their own informal constitutional expectations. However, increasingly the Court itself has become just another arena for the partisan Politics of public Policy. The shift from Law toward Politics may seem a decline from the Court’s own legalistic ideal. Nevertheless, one can regard the Courts increasing challenges to other branches as perhaps consistent with the Framers’ intention that different branches of government should interact in deliberating policy. 

 

Third, one must ask, how well does American constitutionalism actually PERFORM? Not as well as most Americans would like to believe! Instead, historically, American constitutionalism has had serious Problems that still are not much discussed. It broke down entirely in the run-up to the Civil War in the mid-1800s. Since the mid-1900s it has again produced outright disasters in such policy domains as external warfare. American constitutionalism has NOT produced demonstrably better policies than the constitutional arrangements of other advanced democracies. It CANNOT demonstrably be credited with any particular aspects of the USA’s success as a nation. Most fundamental, it continues to be only a rather mediocre implementation of what most Americans now would consider basic democratic values.  (Dahl 2001/2003). 

 

Basic conclusions   1.3

 

First, as regards current Court decisions, usually one cannot reduce Court policy Politics to the interpretation of existing Law. However, neither can one usually reduce justices’ reasoning about Law entirely to Politics. Justices often twist Law and select Facts to produce their preferred policies. Nevertheless, usually they cannot simply declare their policy preferences without at least some legal and factual justification.

 

On the Roberts Court (since 2005), the main ideological polarity has been between five (mostly quite extreme) conservatives and four (quite moderate) liberals, with one of the conservatives (Anthony Kennedy) still a swing vote on some issues. On the preceding Rhenquist Court (1986-2005), there was more of a “middle” of moderate conservatives, who sometimes sided with extreme conservatives (mostly on economic issues) and sometimes sided with moderate liberals (mostly on social issues).  (On shortrun political struggles within those Courts, see legal journalists Greenberg 2007 and Coyle 2013. For still greater depth on those Courts, see Tushnet 2005 and 2013.)

 

Second, over the midrun, the change in ideological balance from the Rhenquist Court to the Roberts Court parallels the change in ideological balance within American politics as a whole, particularly the disappearance of moderate Republicans. Such parallelism has prevailed in the past too, albeit with occasional leads and lags of a few years (Dahl 1957). However, recent deliberate appointments of younger and more partisan justices could extend those leads and lags to a few decades! Nevertheless, on particular issues, what any particular Supreme Court can “get away with” probably still depends to some extent on the “policy mood” of American voters on that issue.

 

Overall, what a Court can do depends also on which policy preferences control which branches of government. If one ideological tendency (some variant of American liberalism or conservatism) controls all branches, the three (including the Supreme Court) can act in concert to advance an ideological agenda (including much “judicial activism”). If different branches of government are controlled by different ideological tendencies, what the Court can do is more limited, but nevertheless can have much practical impact, because other branches of government can’t do much either. If the other branches themselves are divided or polarized, they are unlikely to be able either to reaffirm old laws and policies that the Court has struck down or to pass new ones. That is the current situation in American Constitutional politics. (See the last chapter of Tushnet 2005.)        

 

Thus, third, over the longer run, American Constitutional history consists of the succession and cumulation of a series of quite different legal-political “regimes.” To some extent, these regimes represent overall philosophies, philosophies that often are drastically inconsistent with each other and largely incomprehensible to each other. Unfortunately, most current constitutional commentary consists of extreme conservatives fulminating at the old 1930s-1970s liberal regime and extreme liberals fulminating at 1980s-2010s conservative subversion of that liberal regime. Very few commentators surmount their own ideological preferences to provide relatively dispassionate accounts of these doctrinal struggles.

 

Still worse, still fewer commentators go beyond doctrinal struggles to assess the longrun historical Performance of the American constitutional system, either within particular policy domains or as a whole. To some extent, the “constitutional orders” governing particular policy domains can move independently, both of each other and of any overall constitutional regime.      

DUALISMS

 

Again, understanding American constitutionalism requires considering three “Dualisms”: (1) between Law and Politics, (2) between the formal 1787 Constitution and informal “constitutional” supplements, and (3) between the Judiciary and Other political institutions

 

Most Americans – including political commentators, legal journalists, and even most academics – still approach constitutional politics largely through battles over formal Constitutional Law, particularly within the Supreme Court. Few commentators provide analysis of a more comprehensive informal “constitutionalism,” not to speak of a still more comprehensive analysis relating American constitutional politics to American politics as a whole. Approaching constitutional issues exclusively through Supreme Court interpretations of the formal Constitution obscures the role of other institutions in interpreting and supplementing the formal Constitution. Moreover, legalistic Constitutionalism obscures the importance of the informal “constitution” and removes it from critical scrutiny, including through Constitutional procedures.

Furthermore, treating the judiciary as a largely autonomous system obscures the need for more critical scrutiny of judicial appointments, obscures the need for more robust theories of the role of judicial politics within American politics as a whole, and obscures the need to make interactions between branches of government more constructive.   

 

Law and politics   2.1

 

A basic institutional Problem, both of American Constitutionalism in general and of Supreme Court justices in particular, is that they occupy a middle ground between Law and Politics. Ostensibly the 1787 Constitution is the “supreme law of the land” with clear legal implications that rise above politics. That is a noble ideal that remains profoundly useful. Nevertheless, American Constitutionalism’s theory of the relationship between Law and Politics has been inadequate from the beginning. Moreover that theory has changed in the course of American political development.

 

Ostensibly, Supreme Court justices act as IMPARTIAL EXPERTS interpreting the legal meaning of explicit provisions in the 1787 American Constitution. Actually, to an increasing extent, justices also act as PARTISAN ADVOCATES using the Constitution’s vague language to advance particular current ideological causes. A few constitutionalists have long recognized this reality (e.g., Tushnet). A few more are currently awakening to it (e.g., Segal 2012 Supreme myths). Nevertheless, evidently some constitutionalists are still striving to rationalize a still ultimately legalist view of constitutional interpretation. (That MAY be true even of recent important work by Jack Balkin.)    

 

Political scientists long left such topics to constitutionalists, who analyzed them more as Law than as Politics. Now increasing numbers of scholars from both sides are addressing the mixed legal-political nature of “the American constitutional system.” (An early political theory critique of American legalism was Shklar 1964. A more recent political science critique of American Constitutionalism is Dahl 2001/2003. Among constitutionalists, arguably Tushnet has the most incisive grasp of American politics.)  

 

Some cases (in which the law is most clear), and some justices (those who exercise the most  “judicial self-restraint”) DO still largely fit the legalist model. On those case, the Court DOES function like a court, deliberating collectively to arrive at consensus, often producing relatively unanimous decisions. However, since judicial reforms in the 1920s, it has been the distinctive JOB of the Supreme Court to address cases in which existing law is NOT clearly settled, decreasing the relevance of legalist models.

 

The Court feels particularly obliged to intervene when any conflict emerges on constitutional issues between different lower federal courts. In addition, the Court can choose to address the constitutionality of presidential actions or congressional legislation, or the internal consistency of important bodies of law and regulation. On cases it reviews, the Court can choose to rule either narrowly or broadly. By now, the Court has awarded itself wide latitude for intervening (or not) in American politics. True, the Court cannot take the initiative, but instead must wait for a case to arise in which its intervention is plausible. However, proponents of rival policy positions are constantly working to raise such cases for the Court to consider.  

 

Constitutionalism versus constitutionalism   2.2

 

Most astute commentators now distinguish between formal capital “C” Constitutionalism and informal lower-case “c” constitutionalism. Probably most mean about the same thing by formal Constitutionalism: the text of the written 1787 Constitution, as formally amended through politics or as formally interpreted by the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court. However, evidently different authors can mean somewhat different things by informal constitutionalism. Current scholarship continues to identify and illuminate previously neglected forms of “extra-Constitutional” constitutionalism.

 

Minimally, even interpreting the 1787 text requires considering meanings that are only implicit (Tribe 2008 The invisible Constitution).  For some historically informed political scientists, a main extra-Constitutional component of the American constitutional System is certain key institutions – such as electoral rules, private property, and common law – that the Framers assumed from their British legal-political background. For historically informed constitutionalists, the “biography” of American constitutionalism includes not only the evolution of formal interpretation but also the accretion of new elite precedents and new popular ideals (Amar 2005 and 2012). 

 

Another component of American constitutionalism not specified in the 1787 Constitution – and another aspect of American federalism – is formal state Constitutions and statutory state policies. These are not formally binding on the national Constitution –  indeed a main role of the national Supreme Court is to review state Constitutions and legislation for conformity to the national Constitution. Nevertheless, from the beginning, the national judiciary has informally both assumed and consulted state arrangements and policies in deciding what should become nationally Constitutional. (See Levinson 2012 and Zalkin 2013).

 

Thus another main meaning of “informal constitution” is the cumulation of legislative statutes, particularly “super-statutes” governing particular policy domains. Americans created a novel category of “Constitutional law” that trumps ordinary law. However, during crises in America’s development – political, economic, social, and cultural – the Constitutional law of the time often prevented government from coping with those crises. Instead, ordinary law had to cope by working AROUND Constitutional law. This was particularly so in the late 1800s during the emergence of a nationally integrated economy, in the early 1900s during the emergence of a stronger national government to fight the Great Depression. (See Estridge and Ferejohn 2010, which informatively specifies the “super-statutes” governing particular policy domains.) 

 

Overall, the informal statutory version of American constitutionalism may now be doing better than the formal Constitutional version. Some tension between the formal and informal constitutions may be creative. However, such tension can distort democratic deliberation in some policy domains, such as “war powers” (see Griffin 2013).

 

Judicial and Other institutions   2.3

 

A third aspect (of both Difficulties of Understanding and Problems of Institutions) is the relationship between JUDICIAL institutions and OTHER institutions. Americans tend to “judicialize” political issues, to equate American constitutionalism with the 1787 Constitution, and to equate the 1787 Constitution with Supreme Court interpretations of it. Historically, the British developed the idea of a (largely unwritten) national political constitution, in the course of struggles among monarchs, parliaments, and people. To this the American Framers added the idea of a written Constitution, adopted by a special Constitutional convention representing Popular Sovereignty, that could both enable and constrain national politics. That general idea has proven to be profound and useful, not just in the USA but around the world. Moreover, some countries have copied specific aspects of American Constitutionalism, such as presidentialism and a Supreme Court. Nevertheless, no other countries have copied some specific features of American Constitutionalism (such as life tenure for top judges) and no other countries have copied the institutional design of the American Constitution as a whole. 

 

Consistent with the idea that it expressed national popular sovereignty, the 1787 Constitution proclaimed itself the “supreme law of the land.” However, the Supreme Court early declared ITSELF to be the Constitution’s only authoritative and final interpreter (“judicial review”). Learned jurists then developed elaborate theories of the Constitution, its doctrines, and its interpretation.  It was that sequence of moves that defined American Constitutionalism as “rule of law,” that directs so much attention to annual Supreme Court decisions, and that “frames” those decisions as the application of general law to particular cases. (Griffin 1996)

 

As noted throughout this Post, much of the best recent scholarship on American constitutionalism has struggled to get beyond that legalist framework to a more comprehensive understanding. 

 

PREVIEW

 

In conclusion, we briefly preview some of the daunting requirements for that more comprehensive understanding of American constitutionalism, at three different SCALES of analysis. Three subsequent Posts in this Series will note some of the questions involved at each of these three Scales.

 

In the short run (current year or few years), American Constitutionalism presents itself to the public as the annual round of DECISIONS by the Supreme Court. The future Post about this small Scale will certainly report some recent major Court decisions and the politics surrounding them, including the roles of particular INDIVIDUALS. However, the Post will also note other analytical issues surrounding the short run, such as alternative accounts of how justices arrive at decisions. A still more political short-run process is the politics of appointing new justices to the Court: the timing of resignations by old justices, considerations in presidential nominations of new justices, and the changing role of Senate confirmation hearings. Still more broadly, this Post will at least raise more fundamental questions. Is a robust dialogue between Law and Politics perhaps a good thing? How much damage do current Difficulties of Understanding and Problems of Institutions do to American governance? To non-Americans affected by American (mis?)governance? 

 

In the middle run (several decades), American Constitutionalism has consisted of the succession of different legal REGIMES. Accordingly, the future Post about this Scale will note writing about such regimes and about any currently ongoing shift between regimes. To what extent has there already been a conservative or other shift and how far is it likely to go? This Post will also note other “middle sized” analytical issues, particularly INSTITUTIONAL issues such as characteristics of the American Judiciary and its interactions with Other branches of government. Is the conservative shift toward more skeptical judicial assessment of the capabilities of the elected branches of government (congress and president) perhaps a good thing? Is the resulting greater interaction between institutions also perhaps a good thing? Does the conservative shift increase or decrease the likelihood of interaction over grave issues such as war and peace? Overall, one needs ways to assess the distinctive competences of different institutions, the likely upshot of interactions between institutions, and the likely impact on society.

 

For the long run, one needs to further address how American constitutional development has interacted with AMERICAN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT, as a few constitutional scholars and political scientists have begun to do. Does the USA suffer from a longterm, ongoing, unrecognized Constitutional crisis, particularly Deficits in Deliberation and Democracy? Are things getting better or worse? Are revisions to the formal Constitution needed or feasible? At this large Scale, one needs ways to include comparison and interaction between American and other constitutionalisms, including a possibly emerging global constitutionalism. What can the USA learn from other constitutionalisms? What can the world learn from the USA’s successes and failures at its own Constitutionalism? Might there be lessons, not only for other national polities, but also for still larger topics such as Global Governance? In any case, we need some general “dynamics” of American constitutional development that do not simply repeat the legalistic gobbledegook of the history of competing constitutional doctrines.

 

Daunting indeed!

_____________________________________________________________________

 

REFERENCES

 

For convenience, this list includes the Readings recommended at the outset. Again, later Posts will provide more References. There is much other good recent work!

 

Amar, Akhil Reed 2005. America’s constitution: A biography. New York NY: Random House, 655 pages.

 

Amar, Akhil Reed 2012. America’s unwritten constitution: The precedents and principles we live by. New York NY: Basic Books, 615 pages. 

 

Coyle, Marcia 2013 The Roberts Court: The struggle for the Constitution. New York NY: Simon & Schuster, 416 pages.

 

Dahl, Robert 1957 “Decision-making in a democracy: The Supreme Court as a national policy-maker.” Journal of public law 6,2 (Fall) 279-295 (and accompanying symposium).

 

Dahl, Robert Dahl 2001/2003. How democratic is the American Constitution? New Haven CN: Yale University Press. 224 pages.

 

Eskridge, William N. Jr. and John Ferejohn 2010 A republic of statutes: The new American constitutionalism. New Haven CN: Yale University Press, 582 pp.

 

Greenburg, Jan Crawford 2007. Supreme conflict : the inside story of the struggle for control of the United States Supreme Court. New York NY: Penguin Press, 340 pages.

 

Greenhouse, Linda 2012 The U.S. Supreme Court: A very short introduction. New York NY: Oxford University Press, 144 pages (now in Chinese).

 

Griffin, Stephen M. 1996 American constitutionalism: From theory to politics. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 216 pages.

 

Griffin, Stephen M. 2013 Long wars and the Constitution. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 362 pages.

 

Levinson, Sanford 2012. Framed: America’s fifty-one constitutions and the crisis of governance. New York NY: Oxford University Press, 437 pages.

 

Poole,  Keith T. 2008.  “The roots of the polarization of modern U. S. politics.” Unpublished paper available on www.voteview.com under Research: Working Papers.

 

Sabato, Larry 2007. A more perfect constitution : 23 proposals to revitalize our Constitution and make America a fairer country. New York NY: Walker, 342 pages,

 

Segal, Eric 2012. Supreme myths: Why the Supreme Court is not a court and its justices are not judges. Santa Barbara CA: Praeger, 219 pages.

 

Shklar, Judith N. 1964. Legalism. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 246 pages.

Tribe, Lawrence 2008. The invisible constitution. New York NY: Oxford University Press, 278 pages.

 

Tushnet, Mark V. 1999. The new constitutional order. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 265 pages.

 

Tushnet, Mark V. 2005. A Court divided: The Rhenqist Court and the future of constitutional law. New York NY: Norton, 384 pages.

 

Tushnet, Mark V. 2009 The Constitution of the United States of America: A contextual analysis. Portland OR: Hart, 296 pages.

 

Tushnet, Mark V. 2010 Why the Constitution matters. New Haven CN: Yale University Press, 187 pages.

 

Tushnet, Mark V. 2013 In the balance: Law and politics on the Roberts Court. New York NY: Norton, 352 pages.

 

Zalkin, Emily 2013. Looking for rights in all the wrong places: Why state constitutions contain America’s positive rights. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 234 pages.

____________________________________________________________________

 

DIMENSIONS OF POSTS

 

Importance of Post: ***** Big development. **** Small development. *** Continuing trend.

Scope of  Post:  USA only. USA-PRC. USA-other.

Type of Process:  Elite power struggle. Elite policy politics. Mass participation.

Type of Treatment:  Current commentary. Comprehensive background. Academic analysis.

 

DIMENSIONS OF POLITICS

 

Policy  Sectors:  Security. Economy. Identity

Spatial  Levels:  Supranational. National. Subnational

Temporal  Periods:  Shortrun. Midrun. Longrun

 

                                         STANDARD  TOPIC  TAGS (BIAOQIAN)

 

SECURITY

Defense

Diplomacy

Intelligence

Presidency (national security team)

Homeland security

State coercion: Police & Prisons

Citizen violence: Collective riots & Individual harm

 

ECONOMY

Climate change

Trade & Investment

Fiscal policy

Macroeconomy

Energy & Environment

Business

Employment & Income

 

IDENTITY

Propaganda

Immigration

Ideology

Race & Ethnicity

Gender & Age

Moral regulation

Alternative lifestyles

 

SUPRANATIONAL

Global

United Nations

International regimes

Subglobal regions

Major foreign powers

Neighboring countries

Cross-border regions

 

NATIONAL

Legislature & commissions

Executive & bureaucracy

Judiciary & Constitution

Parties

Interests & advocates

Media

Public opinion

 

SUBNATIONAL

Subnational regions

States

Metropolitan regions

Cities

Counties

Communities & Associations

Citizen participation (elections, activism)

SHORTRUN (Current dynamics)

This week

Past few weeks

Next few weeks

Past few months

Next few months

Past few years

Next few years

 

MIDRUN (Foreseeable future)

Variables

Cycles

Generations

Regime shift

Transformations

Regime change

Parameters

 

LONGRUN (History, evolution)

American political development

Comparative political development

Longrun economic growth

Longrun social history

Longrun cultural change

Major civilizations

Human evolution

推荐 0