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The relationship between politics and storytelling is one with a well-established lineage, but public policy analysis has only recently begun to develop its own appreciation of the power of narrative to explain everything from political traditions to cyberspace. This unique collection of original essays helps further that project by surveying stories of and about all kinds of American politics—from welfare, race, and immigration; to workfare, jobs, and education; to gay rights, national security, and the American Dream in an age of economic globalization.
Political actors use stories as scripts for engaging in political performances, from lobbying to policy formulation, from mass mobilization to posturing by political leadership. And since it is almost always the case that more than one story can be told to make sense of any particular areas of concern or issue, stories are necessarily not innocuous and disinterested but instead are potentially dangerous and interested. They, are critically constitutive elements in shaping political practice and public policy" p. 6.
Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part I. Origin Stories Chapter 3 Winning the West, Unwelcoming the Immigrant: Alternative Stories of "America", Chapter 4 Constitutional Tales: Capitalist Origin Stories and U.S. Democracy Chapter 5 Pluralizing the American Dream Part 6 Part II. Institutions, Actors, and Narratives Chapter 7 The Storyteller-in-Chief: Why Presidents Like to Tell Tales Chapter 8 Self-Legitimating Narratives: The House Republicans and the Contract with America Chapter 9 Native Son: Stories of Self-Creation in the Judicial Politics of Clarence Thomas Part 10 Part III. Identity Stories in Public Policy Chapter 11 Talking Straight: Disidentification and Gay Rights Chapter 12 "It's Not Just Naked Women": Regulating Transgressive Identities in Cyberspace Chapter 13 Welfare Queens: Policing by the Numbers Chapter 14 Tales of Black Criminality: Racial Determinism and Fatal Narratives Part 15 Part IV. Tales of Domestic Policy Chapter 16 Welfare Migration as a Policy Rumor: A Statistical Accounting Chapter 17 Tales of the City: The Secret Life of Devolution Chapter 18 The Entrepreneurial Gloss: The Myth of Small Business Job Growth Chapter 19 The Vanishing White Man: Workforce 2000 and Tales of Demographic Transformation Chapter 20 Schooling Stories: Three Paths, Two Tragedies, and a Vision Part 21 Part V. Tales of Global Policy Chapter 22 Rumors of Apartheid: Myth and Stereotype in U.S. Foreign Policy Toward South Africa Chapter 23 National Security Tales and the End of the Cold War Chapter 24 NAFTA Discourse: Tales of Sovereignty, Science, and Adjustment, Chapter 25 Is It Global Economics or Neo-Laissez Faire?