For more than three decades, Rogers M. Smith has been one of the leading scholars of the role of ideas in American politics, policies, and history. Over time, he has developed the concept of "political peoples," a category that is much broader and more fluid than legal citizenship, enabling Smith to offer rich new analyses of political communities, governing institutions, public policies, and moral debates. This book gathers Smith's most important writings on peoplehood to build a coherent theoretical and historical account of what peoplehood has meant in American political life, informed by frequent comparisons to other political societies. From the revolutionary-era adoption of individual rights rhetoric to today's battles over the place of immigrants in a rapidly diversifying American society, Smith shows how modern America's growing embrace of overlapping identities is in tension with the providentialism and exceptionalism that continue to make up so much of what many believe it means to be an American.
A major work that brings a lifetime of thought to bear on questions that are as urgent now as they have ever been, Political Peoplehood will be essential reading for social scientists, political philosophers, policy analysts, and historians alike.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 155 x 11 mm
"By broadening the location of 'political peoplehood' to include sub- and transnational identities and by linking political demands for inclusion and equality to concrete groups shaped by historically contingent values, Smith seeks to narrow the gap between truth and power. . . . Recommended."
--Patrick Weil, University of Paris 1, Pantheon-Sorbonne and Yale University "Choice" (4/25/2016 12:00:00 AM)
"For more than three decades, Smith has been one of the leading scholars of the role of ideas in American politics. In Political Peoplehood, he extends and deepens his concept of 'peoplehood, ' laying out in the process an agenda for research that is sure to influence future scholarship on political development in the United States and in many other societies as well."--Joseph H. Carens, University of Toronto