John Judis

John B. Judis, is a senior editor at The New Republic and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is author most recently of The Folly of Empire.

Recent Articles

Deregulation Run Riot

After winning control of Congress in November 1994, the Republican leadership, working closely with business lobbyists and policy groups, launched an ambitious effort to roll back a century of reform legislation—from the food and drug laws of the Progressive Era to the New Deal's Social Security Act to the workplace and environmental regulation of the first Nixon administration. Congressional Democrats blocked most of these efforts in the House and Senate, and the Clinton administration vetoed others, but conservatives have continued to press their agenda—in committee hearings, in mysterious riders attached to appropriations bills, and in the courts, some of which are still dominated by Reagan and Bush administration appointees. One key battle has taken place in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia—the Court that handles most challenges to federal regulation. This May, a three-judge panel handed down a ruling that prevented the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)...

Science Fiction

G eorge W. Bush is getting lots of credit for giving the National Institutes of Health (NIH) their biggest boost ever, but his increases in spending on research in health care and defense are obscuring drastic cuts in all other kinds of scientific research. When you look closely at Bush's science budget, what you discover is wildly skewed priorities. You also discover what is becoming increasingly obvious--that Bush is not a new type of Republican but a typical country club conservative who is determined to eliminate government regulation of business and to cut spending except on programs that favor his large campaign contributors. To appreciate how conservative Bush's science budget is, you have to look first at what happened to federal spending on science over the last decade. Spending on science reached a peak in 1993. It plummeted under the Republican Congress that came to power in November 1994; but then it revived in the last two years of Bill Clinton's second term to the level...

The Pressure Elite: Inside the Narrow World of Advocacy Group Politics

Today’s advocacy groups are remotely democratic—all too remotely.

In the 1950s, in the midst of what C. Wright Mills called the "great American celebration," mainstream political scientists conceived of modern American democracy as a more or less equal contest among large-scale groups -- the most important being farmers, workers, and business. (Chapters Two through Five of V.O. Key's classic Politics, Parties and Pressure Groups were aptly entitled "Agrarianism," "Workers," "Business," and "Other Interest Groups.") Each social group had its own organizations -- from the American Farm Bureau to AFL-CIO to the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) -- and each enjoyed special power within one of the major political parties. Since almost every adult American was either a farmer, worker, or businessman, or married to one, almost everyone was represented within this pluralistic system. It was not the direct democracy of Athens, but it was as close to a representative democracy as a large modern nation could come. This...

Citizen Kawasaki: Race, Unions, and the Japanese Employer in America

Some economists have hailed the new model of management and employee relations that Japanese corporations practice at home and are allegedly bringing to America. The story of Kawasaki isn’t so encouraging.

As Japanese conglomerates swallow up Manhattan skyscrapers and Hollywood film studios, and as Japanese factories spread across the industrial landscape, from Peterborough, New Hampshire to San Diego, California, many Americans have become fearful that their economic sovereignty is at stake. Will the basic decisions about whether a midwestern town thrives or withers now be made in Osaka and Tokyo? Will decades-old patterns of work and life be disrupted to fit the needs of foreign owners? No doubt these fears are exaggerated. Foreign investment has bolstered our economy; more than a century ago, it helped lay the groundwork for America's Industrial Revolution. But some policy experts, in dismissing public fears about Japanese direct investment, go farther than merely saying that it is benign. They contend that Japanese firms set a positive example, for which we ought to feel thankful. The Japanese, these experts say, are bringing superior methods of industrial organization to the United...

The Conservative Crackup

Conservative intellectuals are now facing some of their toughest adversaries ever—each other.

As late as 1950, investigators who set out to discover an American conservative movement would have failed abysmally. They would have found a large and fractious right wing ranging from isolationist followers of Senator Robert Taft (who insisted on calling himself a "liberal") to the anti-Semites and racists who joined Gerald L.K. Smith's Christian Nationalist Party. They might also have come across a group of Ivy League intellectuals such as McGeorge Bundy and August Heckscher who called themselves the "new conservatives" but would later be described as establishment liberals. The conservative movement that began emerging in the mid-1950s, particularly with the founding of William F. Buckley's National Review, was a novel creation that bore at best a family resemblance to the older American right and to British and European conservatism. It produced a new synthesis in American politics, blending militant anticommunism and opposition to the welfare state with nostalgia about America's...