Conference Review: APG/BAAS 2022 Annual Colloquium

American Politics Group 2022 Annual Colloquium, Eccles Centre at the British Library, 11 November 2022 The APG Colloquium was held in person for the first time since 2019, and what a wonder it was to see everyone in the room again at the British Library. The Colloquium was based around… Continue reading

Book Review: Phantoms of a Beleaguered Republic: The Deep State and the Unitary Executive by Stephen Skowronek, John A. Dearborn, and Desmond King

The Trump presidency was a period of unrelenting drama. Trump was often joined at centre stage by members of his own administration, cast as his adversaries. He described these previously anonymous bureaucrats as members of a hidden ‘Deep State’ within the government scheming to undermine his control over the executive branch.[1] Trump viewed the Article II vesting clause, which states that ‘[t]he executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States’ as having lodged all executive power in the presidency and, under that unitary executive theory, considered any resistance to his will to be a constitutional offence. He moved to stamp out all opposition within the government; frequently, as if to confirm Trump’s allegations of a rogue bureaucracy, the bureaucracy fought back. Continue reading

Book Review: American Democratic Socialism: History, Politics, Religion, and Theory by Gary Dorrien

Over recent years, American democratic socialism has experienced a remarkable revival. This includes Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s electoral success, but also the transformation of institutions like the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) from a 6,000-member organisation with an average age of 68 in the mid-2010s to a 94,915-strong group with an average age of 33 by 2021. But as Gary Dorrien uncovers in American Democratic Socialism: History, Politics, Religion and Theory, this politics has a history that stretches back long before today.   Continue reading

Old Dog, Old Tricks: America’s Exhaustion with Donald Trump’s Divisive Rhetoric

  In an interview with the journalist Bob Woodward during his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump admitted that he inspired rage in the American people. “I don’t know if that’s an asset or a liability,” he claimed, “but whatever it is, I do.”[i] Trump possessed—and continues to possess—a power unlike… Continue reading

“I’d Rather Vote for a Tuna Fish Sandwich”: Never Trumpers and the 2020 Presidential Election

“The man is categorically unfit to be president,” declares Bardon from Kentucky. Todd from Oregon agrees, arguing that “Trump’s daily tweet storms and fragile ego show he is dangerously incompetent.” Meanwhile, Dianne in Utah is concerned that “Trump cares about his image more than he cares about saving lives.” You… Continue reading

MAGA, White Evangelicals, and the Objection to Kamala Harris

Trump established his political career with the Obama birther conspiracy, which alleged that President Obama was not a natural-born citizen of the US and was, therefore, an illegitimate president. Since then, discrediting Black and Brown people’s full human standing, particularly women’s, has been a central feature of his presidency, as… Continue reading

“Born in the USA”: Birtherism and the US Presidency

Following the Democratic Party’s nomination of Senator Kamala Harris as their Vice-Presidential candidate in the 2020 election, President Donald Trump claimed in a White House briefing, “I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements.” His comments hinged on a racist birther claim that Harris is not a natural-born… Continue reading

Book Review: “America in Afghanistan: Foreign Policy and Decision Making from Bush to Obama to Trump” by Sharifullah Dorani

Sharifullah Dorani. America in Afghanistan: Foreign Policy and Decision Making from Bush to Obama to Trump (I.B. Tauris, 2019) The new book by Dr. Sharifullah Dorani, “America in Afghanistan: Foreign Policy and Decision Making from Bush to Obama to Trump” is not just another story of Afghanistan’s troubled past, but… Continue reading

University of Glasgow: Conference Review: ‘Did Liberalism Fail in the United States after 1945?’

The overarching question the conference sought to address, ‘Did liberalism fail in the United States after 1945?’ was well chosen, and of particular relevance to our present historical moment. As attention on both sides of the Atlantic turns towards the upcoming American midterm elections, it is clear that research on contemporary American political history continues to be in high demand among scholars and the public alike. Continue reading