David Coates

Answering Back

Answering Back: The Living Book is a resource to keep you up-to-date as you fight for a better America. The book consists of 10 chapters, each covering a major issue in today’s political debates. Additional articles on these topics are regularly added to the book’s website, so it continues to live on. Here you will find the latest story lines, data sets, and literature references necessary to keep you fully up to speed with this incredibly rapidly changing and important set of political struggles.

I encourage you to respond to any and all of the articles. – David Coates

June 20, 2015

Trade Deals and the Importance of Political Gridlock

For a political capital renowned for gridlock, there are times when Washington DC looks poised for too much action rather than for too little. This is one such time. Moves seem well underway in the Republican-controlled Senate to fast-track the vote on fast-tracking – maybe as early as this coming Tuesday – a move that […] read more »
May 17, 2015

UK Foreign Policy

Comments at a roundtable discussion on UK foreign policy, held at the University of Hull, May 13 2015. UK foreign policy always strikes me as post-imperial, and weaker/more problematic for still being more ‘imperial’ than ‘post.’ You can see the legacy of empire in the frozen international architecture in which we still operate. The settlements […] read more »
May 14, 2015

Labour’s Historic Defeat: Learning the Right Lessons

If there was any doubt on this matter before the election, there can be none now: those of us making the case for a progressive reconfiguration of advanced capitalisms now start from a position of incredible weakness. The immediate conversation in the UK will no doubt turn on the character of Ed Miliband’s leadership, and […] read more »
May 10, 2015

The U.K. Election: U.S. Lessons

Watching the UK election from Glasgow and not due back in the U.S. until next week, several thoughts seem worth sending home ahead of us. Please remember that this result was entirely unexpected by everyone – including the Conservative political leadership who ended up with a small but working majority. Every major political party here […] read more »
May 4, 2015

Different elections, similar issues: the UK and the US at the polls

As the United Kingdom comes to the end of its very short general election cycle, the United States is gearing up for the start of its next very long one. Yet, for all the differences of electoral timing and length, the main lines of the US debate on domestic policy are ones that a UK […] read more »
May 1, 2015

Judging Presidential Candidates against our criteria rather than theirs (1) Poverty

If the events in Baltimore tell us anything general this week, it is surely that policies are more important than personalities, and that the solutions to our core problems require more than sound-bites. Yet so far, the 2016 presidential campaign has been remarkably short on policies. To date, it remains a campaign full of sound-bites […] read more »
April 10, 2015

The Invisibility of Class, and the Hegemony of Conservative Ideas, in Contemporary America

The next long race to the White House is now upon us, and those who comment professionally on the comings and goings of American political life already have an emerging list of potential presidential candidates to follow around yet again. And as they do so, if the past is any guide, the important issues that […] read more »
March 9, 2015

Weighing the Arguments on U.S. Military Action against ISIS

  In an earlier posting, the case was made that what we desperately need in contemporary America is a national conversation about the appropriate direction of our foreign policy, and about the adverse impact on conditions at home of excessive military activity overseas.1 As the military campaign against ISIS builds in both Syria and Iraq, […] read more »
February 27, 2015

Hammocks and Ladders: The Poverty of Republican Thinking on the Poor

‘The American Dream has become a mirage for far too many.” (Jeb Bush)1 These are early days in the upcoming run for the White House in 2016, but already – among would-be Republican candidates at least – we see evidence of a tentative willingness to explore a set of contemporary ills that normally only figure […] read more »
February 6, 2015

The Case for Slowly Getting Out of the Empire Business

If all you witnessed late last month were the speeches of Republican presidential hopefuls at the Freedom Summit in Iowa, you could be forgiven for thinking that the main thing wrong with US foreign policy these days is that, in countries far from these shores, too few people are currently being killed by American weapons.1 […] read more »

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