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Statecraft (political science)

Statecraft is an approach to the study of political science and public administration, first developed by Jim Bulpitt. It understands politics and policy making in a polity by focusing on governing challenges and strategic choices by the leadership at the top of government. Toby James used Bulpitt's original work to develop a neo-statecraft approach which could be used to understand politics and policy making across many political systems; the origins of statecraft theory is in the work of British academic Jim Bulpitt. He argued the Conservative government of the early 1980s, under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, were not motivated by ideological position. Instead, he controversially argued. What motivates politicians, he argued, was their objective of statecraft; this was defined as the ‘art of winning elections and art of winning elections and achieving some necessary degree of governing competence in office’.. In response to criticisms of the approach scholars sought to reflect on the philosophical underpinnings, provided more information about how it could be applied using empirical research and introduced new concepts.

The term neo-statecraft was coined to capture the revised approach. The more recent neo-statecraft variant has a number of core assumptions; the primary focus is on the political leader of their closest advisers. The group is referred to as the leadership'Court'; the Court is a unitary and self-interested actor with the primary governing objective of winning and maintaining power. Rather than seeking to achieve any ideological goals, the Court seeks to achieve statecraft. In order to achieve statecraft, they have to undertake five key tasks:Governing competence – governments and leaders need to be seen as competent at managing the country’s affairs the economy. Party management – managing parliamentary backbenchers, constituency associations and pressure groups carefully. Developing a winning electoral strategy – creating a set of policies and image that creates momentum in the polls. Political argument hegemony – winning the battle of ideas in elite debates Bending the rules of the game – they will seek to tilt the political game by introducing constitutional reforms that makes statecraft easier.

The Court will find itself in a strategically selective context, which might make statecraft easier or more difficult to achieve. It has been argued, for example, that Gordon Brown faced a difficult context to govern in because of the financial crisis; the approach is premised in critical realism and compatible with work historical institutionalism, rather than positivist and behaviouralist approaches to political science. The approach has been used in a variety of settings, such as a method for assessing political leaders. Using the approach, assessments have been made of Nicolas Sarkozy, it has been applied to understand how and why elites change electoral laws and the British policy towards the European Union

Museum District, Richmond, Virginia

The Museum District, alternately known as West of the Boulevard, or the Upper Fan, is a neighborhood in the city of Richmond, Virginia. It is anchored by the contiguous six-block tract of museums along the west side of Boulevard, including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, hence the name, it is bounded by the Boulevard on the east, I-195 on the west, Monument Avenue and Broad Street on the north, Carytown on the south. Much of, listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. Parts of the area had been in active use as farmland into the late 19th century, though part was notably used as a Civil War veteran's home at that time, it was developed between 1895 and 1940, it is populated with townhouses in styles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Though much of the district is residential, there are several schools, religious facilities, other institutional uses throughout. Museum District Civic Association Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Virginia Museum of History & Culture