Race and Representation

1st Edition

Georgia A. Persons

Routledge
Published January 30, 1997
Reference - 343 Pages
ISBN 9781560009597 - CAT# Y353187
Series: National Political Science Review Series

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Summary

The National Political Science Review is the official publication of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. This series, now entering its sixth volume, includes significant scholarly research reflecting the diverse interests of scholars from various backgrounds who use different models, approaches, and methodologies. The central focus is on politics and policies that advantage or disadvantage groups because of race, ethnicity, gender, and other major variables.Race and Representation is anchored by a symposium that focuses on efforts to enhance representation of African Americans in legislative bodies under the authority of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965, and on recent court challenges to the constitutionality of redistricting plans drawn under that act. The chapters constitute an extension of an ongoing and protracted, highly charged, public debate. In her introduction, Georgia A. Persons discusses how recent Supreme Court rulings, such as in Shaw v. Reno, Miller v. Johnson, and Bush v. Vera, have significantly redefined the meaning and permissible parameters of the Voting Rights Act. She affirms that they have also strongly posited, albeit somewhat indirectly, a legal meaning of representation that is at variance with the more broadly philosophical meaning of representation grounded in the ideal of enhancing equality among different groups in a society.The articles in Race and Representation are refreshingly informative. They include case studies written by political scientists who became involved directly with events surrounding the theme of this volume. A new section, 'Reflections,' is introduced; it will be reserved for commentary and analysis of an issue that captures the political spirit of the times. In the inaugural contribution, J. Owens Smith reflects on the assault on liberal philosophy as a foundation for civil rights claims and offers an alternative philosophical prism for viewing and justifying such claims. This volume is essential for political scientists, African American studies specialists, and scholars interested in law and government.

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