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The political power of bad ideas : networks, institutions, and the global prohibition wave

Author: Mark Lawrence Schrad
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In The Political Power of Bad Ideas, Mark Schrad looks on an oddity of modern history-the broad diffusion of temperance legislation in the early twentieth century-to make a broad argument about how bad policy ideas achieve international success. His root question is this: how could a bad policy idea-one that was widely recognized by experts as bad before adoption, and which ultimately failed everywhere-come to be  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Fallstudiensammlung
Case studies
case studies
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Mark Lawrence Schrad
ISBN: 9780195391237 0195391233
OCLC Number: 373561599
Description: ix, 302 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: The transnational temperance network --
American prohibition reconsidered --
Avoiding the prohibition pitfall in Sweden --
The surprising rise and tenacity of Russian prohibition --
International influences on national alcohol policy making --
Transnational activism and national policy making.
Responsibility: Mark Lawrence Schrad.
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Abstract:

In The Political Power of Bad Ideas, Mark Schrad looks on an oddity of modern history-the broad diffusion of temperance legislation in the early twentieth century-to make a broad argument about how bad policy ideas achieve international success. His root question is this: how could a bad policy idea-one that was widely recognized by experts as bad before adoption, and which ultimately failed everywhere-come to be adopted throughout the world? To answer it, Schrad uses an institutionalist approach, and focuses in particular on the US, Russia/USSR (ironically, one of the only laws the Soviets kept on the books was the Tsarist temperance law), and Sweden. Conventional wisdom, based largely on the U.S. experience, blames evangelical zealots for the success of the temperance movement. Yet as Schrad shows, "prohibition was adopted in ten countries other than the United States, as well as countless colonial possessions-all with similar disastrous consequences, and in every case followed by repeal." Schrad focuses on the dynamic interaction of ideas and political institutions, tracing the process through which concepts of dubious merit gain momentum and achieve credibility as they wend their way through institutional structures. And while he focuses on one episode, his historical argument applies far more broadly, and even can tell us a great deal about how today's policy failures, such as reasons proffered for invading Iraq, became acceptable.

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Historians will be grateful for Schrad's research while political scientists will focus on his analysis...Summing Up: Recommended. * CHOICE *

 
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