As an ethnically heterogeneous but stable democracy, the United States is a puzzle for students of politics. Typically, the literature of democratic theory regards ethnic diversity as disruptive of a democratic polity. Politics in the Lifeboat argues that the secret to America’s success lies in the immigrant origins of its population. The author contends that, far from being disruptive, immigrants have been an essential part of the relatively stable American democratic order.
Preface -- Introduction -- Ethnic Heterogeneity and Stable Democracy -- Immigrants, Consensus, and America -- The Counterthesis: Immigrants Enhance the Political Stability of the United States -- The Politics of Laotian Immigrants -- Conclusion -- Biographical Schedule -- Construction of the Research Project