Political Theory Notes

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 53
  • Published : April 30, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
The first article, “Electoral-politics and strategic Voting in State Supreme Courts,” by Melinda Gann, has the theory that states supreme court justices vote strategically, especially in controversial issues, in order to appease their constituencies, in order to reelected. Even if the issue voted on contrasts their own personal beliefs, the justices will vote with the majority, especially closer to elections, due to electoral pressure. The data relevant to this theory draws from characteristics of justices, as well as the decisions rendered, in Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Kentucky, in the case of the death penalty. These states were chosen due to the variation in their electoral system. In order to determine a voting pattern for each justice, whether liberal or conservative, data was gathered from different criminal cases across a full term of that particular justice. This article is quantitate in nature, and gives us clear, empirical data on how the electoral process effects how justices vote. However, as pointed out in the article, the data is limited to very specific states and justices, so further research will be needed to fully flesh out the given theory, such as how elections themselves, not just topics voted upon, effect the justices. The second article, “Conceptual models and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” by Graham Allison, theorizes that analysis use a “conceptual lens” when viewing and analyzing a situation. This lens is how the analysis determines what is important, what assumptions can be made, and how government behavior can be categorized. The article uses the Cuban Missile Crisis as its data, in particular on how the crisis has been analyzed. The data in this case are the different conceptual models, such as the Rational Policy Model, the Organizational Process model, and a Bureaucratic Politics Model. The strong point for this model is that analyzing different models, and how they can be applied to future foreign policy is a valuable skill...
tracking img