Handbook of Biology and Politics


Handbook of Biology and Politics

9781783476268 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Steven A. Peterson, Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Penn State Harrisburg and the late Albert Somit, formerly Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, US
Publication Date: 2017 ISBN: 978 1 78347 626 8 Extent: 560 pp
The study of biology and politics (or biopolitics) has gained considerable currency in recent years, as articles on the subject have appeared in mainstream journals and books on the subject have been well received. The literature has increased greatly since the 1960s and 1970s, when this specialization first made an appearance. This volume assesses the contributions of biology to political science. Chapters focus on general biological approaches to politics, biopolitical contributions to mainstream areas within political science, and linkages between biology and public policy. The volume provides readers with a comprehensive introduction to the subject.

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Moving away from the long-established paradigm which holds that all political behavior is learned via socialization, this Handbook assesses the contributions of biology to political science, illustrating that behavior is in actual fact shaped by the interplay between learning and biological influences.

Describing how a more biologically-oriented approach expands and enriches political science, both conceptually and in terms of its research capabilities, key chapters focus on general biological approaches to politics, biopolitical contributions to mainstream areas within political science, and linkages between biology and public policy. Providing specific examples of how Neo-Darwinism can contribute to more successful public policies, the Handbook further emphasizes the close ties between a realistic understanding of human political behavior and the likelihood that our species successfully resolves the problems that now threaten its welfare.

Original and thought-provoking, this Handbook will prove an enriching read for political scientists starting to consider the value of biological factors in influencing political behavior, as well as for behavioural scientists in other areas experiencing the same paradigm shifts. Biologists will also find further grounding for their research into biological and behavioral science.
Critical Acclaim
‘Stalwart biopolitics scholars Steven A. Peterson and Albert Somit continue their long-running contributions to the cause, this time by assembling, in a single jam-packed volume, dozens of timely, insightful, thought-provoking contributions from an A-list of researchers in this exciting, inter-disciplinary subfield.’
– John Hibbing, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, US

‘Slowly but surely the social sciences are starting to realize that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection comes as a friend and supporter rather than as a foe and conqueror. This splendid collection, Handbook of Biology and Politics, edited by Steven A. Peterson and Albert Somit, shows that work in this field is rapidly moving towards maturity. At a time when, with reason, politics and its practitioners are judged and found sadly wanting, such a volume as this, looking at human nature in its fullest dimension and applying it to an understanding of the problems of society – reinvigorating the original project of Aristotle – is as provocatively stimulating as it is badly needed.’
– Michael Ruse, Florida State University, US
Contributors: K.Blanchard, Jr., R.H. Blank, D. Boisvert, E. Bucy, K. Butts, P.A. Corning, D. Couvet, A. Fletcher, B.J. Foster, J.M. Friend, A. Friesen, O. Funke, A. Ksiazkiewicz, M. Latner, V. Lemm, L. Liesen, J. Losco, R.D. Masters, A. Mazur, G.R. Murray, W.J. Patzelt, M.B. Petersen, S.A. Peterson, A. Somit, R.H. Sprinkle, P.A. Stewart, B.A. Thayer, J. Vaske, M. Vatter, R.F. White, T.E. Wohlers

Part I: Introduction
1. What Is Biopolitics?
Steven A. Peterson and Albert Somit

2. The Organizational Structure of Biology in Politics
Robert Hunt Sprinkle

3. Believers and Disbelievers in Evolution and Climate Change
Allan Mazur

4. Michel Foucault’s Perspective on Biopolitics
Vanessa Lemm and Miguel Vatter

Part II: Biological Approaches to Politics
5. The Evolution of Politics: A Biological Approach
Peter A. Corning

6. Genes and Politics
Aleksander Ksiazkiewicz and Amanda Friesen

7. The Brain and Politics
Robert H. Blank

8. Evolutionary Psychology and Political Psychology: How to use Evolutionary Psychology to Theorize about Political Psychology
Michael Bang Petersen

Part III: Biology and the Fields of Political Science
9. Political Philosophy: An Evolutionary Perspective
Albert Somit

10. Biology and International Relations
John M. Friend and Bradley A. Thayer

11. Comparative Politics and Biology
Werner J. Patzelt

12. Research Methodology in Biopolitics
Albert Somit and Steven A. Peterson

13. Political Ethics and Biology
Kenneth C. Blanchard Jr

14. Political Behavior and Biology: Evolutionary Leadership and Followership
Ronald F. White

15. Mass Political Behavior and Biology
Gregg R. Murray

16. Public Administration and the Life Sciences: Pathways Forward
Joseph Losco

17. Media Biopolitics: The Emergence of a Subfield
Erik P. Bucy

18. Biopolicy and Policymaking
Odelia Funke

19. Observational Research Methods and Politics
Bobbie J. Foster and Patrick A. Stewart

Part IV: Biopolicy
20. Policy Implications of Biosocial Research
Danielle Boisvert and Jamie C. Vaske

21. Genetic Modification of Food: A Comparative Examination of Policy Environments
Tony E. Wohlers

22. Toxins, Health, and Behavior: Implications of Toxicology for Public Policy
Roger D. Masters

23. The Science of Human Nature and the Social Contract: A Biological Frame for Public Policy
Peter A. Corning

24. Climate Change and Environmental Security: Implications for National and Homeland Security
Kent Hughes Butts

25. The Ties That Bind: Policy Implications of Evolutionary and Developmental Perspectives on Women and Their Children’s Reproductive Strategies
Laurette T. Liesen

26. Darwinian Democracy? How Evolutionary Theory Informs Constitutional Design
Michael Latner

27. Engineering the Future: New Frontiers for Biopolitics
Amy L. Fletcher

28. From Biodiversity to Policies to Politics
Denis Couvet

Part V: Reflections on Biology and Politics
29. Controversies in Biology: Implications for the Study of Biology and Politics
Steven A. Peterson and Albert Somit

30. The Crystal Ball: Biology, Political Science, and Biopolitics
Albert Somit and Steven A. Peterson


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