Bookbeat

Book Beat: June 2000

Recent publications from CLAS faculty

Political Participation in the United States

Political Participation in the United StatesM. Margaret Conway, Department of Political Science
(CQ Press, 2000)
Available through Amazon

Who takes part in American politics, and in what types of political action do people engage? This new third edition of Political Participation in the United States examines these important questions and offers explanations for the patterns of political participation found in American public life. The book analyzes symbolic and instrumental forms of participation, from the simple act of saluting the flag to the more demanding action of running for office. In addition, it examines who the participants are, what forms of participation they choose, and what they hope to accomplish through their actions.

- Publisher

Excerpt

The news media have a direct impact on one form of political participation—voter turnout. Citizens' perceptions and attitudes, and ultimately their decisions about whether to vote and for whom, can be influenced by the campaign coverage in news broadcasts, candidate-sponsored (and-financed) advertisements, and television programs devoted to debates among candidates or public forums. The media also affect turnout by predicting election outcomes before and on election day.

Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative ApproachesH. Russell Bernard, Department of Anthropology
(Sage, 2000)
Available through Amazon

At last a social research methods text for students and future researchers who will need to use both words and numbers in their research. Using actual examples from psychology, sociology, anthropology, health, and education, the book provides readers with both a conceptual understanding of each technique as well as showing them how to use the technique.

- Publisher

Excerpt

I want you to know, right off the bat, that social science is serious business and that it has been a roaring success, contributing mightily to humanity's global effort to control nature. Fundamental breakthroughs by psychologists in understanding the stimulus-response mechanism in humans, for example, have made possible the treatment and management of phobias, bringing comfort to untold millions of people.

The same breakthroughs have brought us wildly successful attack ads in politics and millions of adolescents becoming hooked on cigarettes from clever advertising. I never said you'd like all the successes of social science.

Justice in Africa: Rwanda's Genocide, Its Courts, and the UN Criminal Tribunal

Justice in Africa: Rwanda's Genocide, Its Courts, and the UN Criminal TribunalPaul J. Magnarella, Department of Anthropology
(Ashgate, 2000)
Available through Amazon

Justice in Africa describes the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) the first international court created to try persons for genocide and violation of the humanitarian law of non-international armed conflict. The book begins with an explanation of the causes of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. It then discusses the UN Security Council's creation of the ICTR and the Tribunal's organization, functioning, accomplishments and shortcomings. The author explains how the Tribunal has gained custody over suspects who had fled to other countries in Africa, Europe and the United States. Justice in Africa analyzes the ICTR's first several cases and describes the unique contributions the Tribunal is making to the expansion of humanitarian law.

- Publisher

Excerpt

In short, the sine qua non of the Rwandan genocide was the increasing imbalance in land, food, and people that led to malnutrition, hunger, periodic famine, and fierce competition for land to farm. Rwanda's leaders chose to respond to these conditions by eliminating the Tutsi portion of the population. They employed the weapons of indoctrination to convince the Hutu masses that this strategy was right. However, they failed to employ the kinds of demographic and economic policies that would have addressed these problems in a peaceful and more effective way. These policies would have included birth control, economic diversification into non-agrarian sectors, requests for significant foreign food aid, sincere negotiation with the RPF, and attempts at a regional solution to the refugee problem.

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