general background

Challenges to democracy – more recent here

discussion of Role of funding in presidential campaign (May 2015) and On dysfunctional nature of US election finance regulation

Clinton announces presidential bid (Apr 2015) – aims to increase party grassroots – expert reaction

review of 2016 presidential prospects

on prospects for another government shutdown (Nov 2014)

move to restrictive voter ID laws as an attempt to shore up Republican votes

US moves from democracy to oligarchy

discussion of massive role of outside spending on party contest (Iowa) (Oct 2014) and more here on flood of murky last-minute spending

Mid-Term Senate election victory for Republicans (overview, discussion, on voter negativity and also here, ); earlier stories:  VIDEO on Senate mid-term elections (Oct 2014) and speculation here (2 weeks ahead of election) and discussion on slow growth in wages as key negative factor for Democrats; FT predicts Republicans to “lock up the House” and more on implications for party system and fortunes of both main parties here; here a discussion of why the voters are disengaged with the (boring, and inconsequential) elections; Republicans benefited from increase in support from white voters; discussion of post-election dynamics in Congress

NYT piece on how billionaire oligarchs are taking over US party politics – in Florida election (Oct 2014)

How the rich rule US democracy (Dani Rodrik) (Sep 2014)

on increasingly non-partisan nature of American young voters (Sep 2014)

NYT on social-liberal turn for US electorate (and Democratic Party) (August 2014)

on attempts to fine Obama over Obamacare (July 2014) – article and video

on polarisation in US Congress 

on regulating donations – and recent delays to data release (July 2014)

US Supreme Court ruling makes donations by wealthy political patrons more likely (3.4.14) and on importance of donations for Democrats in Senate race (April 2014)

academic article on ‘Four threats to American democracy’ (Jared Diamond, 2014, Governance 27(2)

on divisions within the Republican Party (Feb 2014)

Obama vows to act without Congress on economy (Jan 2014)

on impact of resolution of shutdown upon Republican party and more here

and more on polarisation and the shutdown (9.10.12)

on party polarisation

US Government shutdown (1.10.13)

and more here on shutdown as result of ideological polarisation

relevant academic articles:

Achen, C.H. and Bartels, L.M., 2016, Democracy for Realists: Why elections do not produce responsive government (Princeton University Press).

Lelkes, Y. and Sniderman, P.M. (Early online), ‘The Ideological Asymmetry of the American Party System’, British Journal of Political Science.// //

Centre-left parties

updates here


Occupy Democrats – VIDEO highlighting Bernie Sanders’ position – and website here

Clinton’s vision of a ‘fairness economy’ (July 2015)

discussion of how Democrats have moved since 1980s to pro-deregulation position, contributing to inequality

Discussion of whether Democrats have moved too far leftwards – May 2015

Obama takes on left-leaning Democrats over their opposition to TPP (May 2015)

good discussion of Clinton’s attempt to position herself politically (May 2015)

on Obama’s immigration reforms (Nov 2014) – and more here, and critique here on why it doesn’t go far enough; and discussion of how Obama pushed his powers to limit and some discussion on Republican opposition – and more

on why the Democrats are losing white working class votes 

Yes, everything sucks for Democrats right now. Because the Democrats suck at everything. Get used to it!!  – Jeb Lund – and Obama on defeat (Nov 2014), and immigration reform as a response 

Obama left fighting for own relevance after Nov 2014 mid-term elections

on poor electoral prospects of Democrats (Oct 2014)

On Obama’s poor relations with Democrats in Congress and Senate (August 2014)

Discussion of Democratic Party ideological positioning (Sep 2013)

right wing populism – updates here

on growing opposition to Tea Party radical tax cut proposals (oct 2014); and discussion of mid-term elections in terms of Tea Party declining influence (Nov 2014)

influence of Tea Party on GOP (August 2014) and influence of Tea Party candidates on election results for Republicans

defeat for Tea Party in Mississippi (June  2014)

academic articles

Singh, R., 2017, “I, the people’: a deflationary interpretation of populism, Trump and the United States constitution’, Economy and Society doi: 10.1080/03085147.2017.1302060

welfare state – updates here

Ruling in favour of Obamacare (June 2015)but still unclear future due to political controversy

further legal challenges to Obamacare (June 2015)

On continued health care inequality despite Obamacare (May 2015) and Discussion of expansion of Medicaid

good discussion of ongoing clashes in Washington over budget and Obamacare (March 2015)

on political motives underpinnning states’ decision not to extend Medicaid

Obama budget plans (Feb 2015)

Obamacare stories to watch for 2015 – and some detail on tax problems and potential solutions here

Dec 2014 agreement on budget – and here

discussion of proportions of spending in US budget

discussion of birth control as factor in adoption of Obamacare (July 2014) and Obamacare ends coverage for immigrants (Sep 2014)

book review on impact of Obamacare and article here with similar themes: Health Reform and the Future of American Politics (Sep 2014) and, after one year, NYT does a thorough review; and here Obamacare website opens for second year of signing-up (Nov 2014); cut in payments for doctors threatens provision (Dec 2014)

legal challenges to Obamacare (June 2014) – Hobby Lobby ruling – and others and more on hobby lobby ruling – and further legal complications following contradictory legal rulings (July 2014)

education reforms – Vergara ruling (June 2014)

crackdown on homeless in Honolulu (June 2014)

Starbucks to fund college education (June 2014)

on health care reforms: Affordable Care Act (1.10.2013) and on the introduction of Obamacare (30 Dec 2013) and a review of Obamacare implementation here (March 2014) and impact of failure to implement in certain states (July 2014)

academic articles

Mayer, M., Kenter, R.C., Morris, J.C. and Lucero, L., 2018, ‘State Implementation of the Affordable Care Act: Four Case Studies’, Politics and Policy doi: 10.1111/polp.12245

Varieties of capitalism – updates here

US economic recovery comes with inequality

discussion of how Democrats have moved since 1980s to pro-deregulation position, contributing to inequality

as employment grows (Jul 2015) FT gives overview of longer term view of US labour market – also note no corresponding rise in wages

Discussion of TPP on US workers, and who’s speaking up for them

finanicalisation has reduced growth and living standards

drop in US productivity (May 2015)

Obama backs crackdown on payday lenders (March 2015)

Illinois pension cuts exempt police and firefighters (March 2015)

wage growth slumps to 0.1% (March 2015)

Wisconsin adopts ‘right to work’ law (March 2015)

unionisation of Silicon Valley bus drivers (March 2015)

increase in Walmart pay (Feb 2015)

speculators put pressure on google research (Feb 2015)

Illinois governor moves to curb trade union powers (Feb 2015)

Obama on inequality (Jan 2015)

on auto-loans to poor (Jan 2015)

business lobbying leads to weakening of Dodd-Frank (Jan 2015) – and more detail here – and more general discussion of the impact of lobbying

on how US growth is leaving middle class and poor behind (low labour force participation rate & weak wage growth) (Jan 2015); both unemployment and wage growth are edging downwards (Jan 2015)

overview of Yellen’s first year as chairwoman of Fed Reserve (Dec 2014)

pro-labour ruling on academic staff unionising (Dec 2014)

discussion of decline of male worker (Dec 2014)

on levels of inequality in the US – returning to 1917 levels (full article here): – and more here on declining wages in US manufacturing and here on small increase in minimum wage (Jan 2015)


corporate America starts to spend again (oct 2014)

incomes stagnate despite recovery (Sep 2014)

tackling inequality in US (June 2014) and on food insecurity and Yellen makes a statement on rising inequality (Oct 2014); and pressure on Walmart to push up wages (Nov 2014)

on inequality in US (and role of defeated unions in creating it) 

Political Participation – updates here

research showing moves to undermine collective bargaining also has impact on political participation (Feb 2015)

Ferguson (August 2014) – indicative of new forms of political participation? reports/comments: here

on #boycottBlackFriday

study of link between union membership and Latino political participation

on shifting patterns of participation (June 2014)

online participation and inequality (19.9.13)

on 2006 immigration protests


academic articles

good summary of anti-Trump protests: Boone, G.M., Secci, J. and Gallant, L.M. (2017) ‘Resistance: Active and Creative Political Protest Strategies’, American Behavioral Scientist doi: 10.1177/0002764217735623

Global economic crisis


as employment grows (Jul 2015) FT gives overview of longer term view of US labour market – also note no corresponding rise in wages

good overview of Obama’s governing of US economy during crisis period

court ruling that AIG bailout was illegal (probably precluding future bailouts it/when they beceom necessary) (June 2015)

Jobs and wages up (June 2015) and some charts

Contraction of US economy in 2015 Q1 – but Yellen says this shouldn’t lead to delay in normalising monetary policy (May 2015)

Senate republicans support Obama (May 2015) on trade negotiations, overturning earlier decision – with the details discussed further here – and 6 week extension for Obama (June 2015)

on potential closing-down of Exim

strong dollar hitting exports (Apr 2015)

IMF warns of ‘super taper tantrum’ (Apr 2015)

growth up but profits down, spells trouble ahead ? (MArch 2015)

US remains reluctant to increase interest rates (March 2015) and more here and here and repeated again here

on party politics of nascent economic recovery (Feb 2015)

growth up to 2.6% (Feb 2015) and more on increase in jobs

business lobbying leads to weakening of Dodd-Frank (Jan 2015)

bailouts declared over and profitable (Dec 2014)

how states recovered lost revenue

Fed promises to raise IR next year, but patiently (Dec 2014)

3.5% growth in 2014 Q3

US Fed ends asset purchases (Oct 2014)

corporate America starts to spend again (oct 2014)

US deficit falls to under 3% (oct 2014)

discussion of how and why QE worked in US (Oct 2014)

incomes stagnate despite recovery (Sep 2014)

comparison between US and Europe on impact of austerity on mental health

taper continues – stimulus to stop by October 2014 (July 2014) – US jobs growth continues steady

book review: Political Bubbles: Financial Crises and the Failure of American Democracy. Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal. Princeton University Press. May 2013.

how the recession reshaped the US economy (255 charts)

US economy shrinks in Q1 2014

Yellen signals easy monetary policy for longer term (April 2014) – and adds comment here on uncertainty regarding monetary policy (July 2014)

Banks fined for role in Global Financial Crisis (March 2014)

Fed signals move to adopt ‘forward guidance’ (March 2014)

Obama vows to act without Congress on economy (Jan 2014)

on resolution of shutdown (Oct 17 2013) and more here and more here, specifically related to the fallout from the global economic crisis

further update on shutdown (14.10.13) and here

and more on polarisation and the shutdown (9.10.12)


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