Why does the American political system work the way it does? Find the answers in The Logic of American Politics. This best-selling text arms you with a toolkit of institutional design concepts—command, veto, agenda control, voting rules, and delegation—that help you recognize how the American political system was designed and why it works the way it does. The authors build your critical thinking through a simple yet powerful idea: politics is about solving collective action problems. Thoroughly updated to account for the most recent events and data, the Ninth Edition explores the increase in political polarization, the growing emotional involvement people have to politics, Americans’ reactions to changing demographics, the partisan politics of judicial selection, and the changing nature of presidential leadership. Revised to include the 2018 election results and analysis, this edition provides you with the tools you need to make sense of today’s government.
Suitable for an introductory undergraduate course in American government, this textbook examines political institutions and practices as solutions to the need for collective action. The authors discuss the historical background of the Constitution and ideas of civil rights and liberties; the forms and functions of Congress, the executive branch, the judiciary, and the bureaucracy; and the impact of public opinion, political campaigns, political parties, interest groups, and the media on American politics. There is no chapter on interactions between the federal and the state governments, which could, perhaps, be considered an omission. c. Book News Inc.
This new edition of the bestselling The Logic of American Politics is thoroughly updated and covers the dramatic 2016 election results with a thorough analysis of those results. It arms students with a revised introduction to institutional design that makes concepts such as command, veto, agenda control, voting rules, and delegation easier for students to master and apply, so they clearly see how the American political system was devised and why it works the way it does. Authors Samuel Kernell, Gary C. Jacobson, Thad Kousser, and Lynn Vavreck build students' critical thinking through a simple yet powerful idea: politics is about solving collective action problems. This new edition continues to delve into partisan differences among voters and in government and highlight the increasingly partisan nature of campaigns. By exploring issues such as the Affordable Care Act’s troubled implementation, the increasing legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage in the states, and the debate over immigration, the book illustrates how the institutional structures of government, federalism, and even campaigns can help voters make sense of their choices. The concluding chapter on policymaking examines the noticeable logic that guides American policy, as shown through issues like health care reform, global climate change, and the federal budget. Students glean insights into the sources of policy problems, identify possible solutions, and realize why agreement on those solutions is often so hard to achieve.
Combining timeless readings with cutting-edge, current selections, Kernell and Smith bring judicious editing and important context for students learning the ropes of American government. This collection effectively examines the strategic behavior of key players in American politics, showing that political actors, though motivated by their own interests, are governed by the Constitution, the law, and institutional rules, as well as influenced by the strategies of others. The 5th edition features 17 new readings, including 5 pieces written specifically for this volume. True to form, each and every selection is artfully framed by Kernell and SmithÆs headnotes, providing an invaluable grounding for todayÆs students.
Combining timeless readings with cutting-edge articles and essays, Principles and Practice of American Politics, Seventh Edition, enriches your understanding of the American political system by examining the strategic behavior of key players in U.S. politics. This collection of classic and contemporary readings brings concepts to life by providing you with real examples of how political actors are influenced by the strategies of others and are governed by the Constitution, the law, and institutional rules. Carefully edited by award-winning authors Samuel Kernell and Steven S. Smith, each reading is put into context to help you understand how political actions fall within a major national political forum. New to the Seventh Edition Nine new and updated essays encourage you to reflect on the continuing debates over the polarization of the American electorate and Congress, the role of social media and “fake news” in influencing public views of politicians and issues, the fragile Trump coalition, the efficacy of polling in tracking public opinion, and other issues more relevant than ever in the wake of the 2016 elections. Additional essays challenge you to think more carefully about alternative institutions and political arrangements. The new essays present institutions of majority rule, the nature of racial discrimination, and the proper role of the court as less settled issues that provide students an opportunity to think through (and discuss) their views on the future direction of American civic life. Each selection is artfully framed by Kernell and Smith’s contextual headnotes to make them appropriate for classroom use. Original readings written specifically for the volume give the book a coherent treatment of the performance of U.S. political institutions.
"To discover who rules, follow the gold." This is the argument of Golden Rule, a provocative, pungent history of modern American politics. Although the role big money plays in defining political outcomes has long been obvious to ordinary Americans, most pundits and scholars have virtually dismissed this assumption. Even in light of skyrocketing campaign costs, the belief that major financial interests primarily determine who parties nominate and where they stand on the issues—that, in effect, Democrats and Republicans are merely the left and right wings of the "Property Party"—has been ignored by most political scientists. Offering evidence ranging from the nineteenth century to the 1994 mid-term elections, Golden Rule shows that voters are "right on the money." Thomas Ferguson breaks completely with traditional voter centered accounts of party politics. In its place he outlines an "investment approach," in which powerful investors, not unorganized voters, dominate campaigns and elections. Because businesses "invest" in political parties and their candidates, changes in industrial structures—between large firms and sectors—can alter the agenda of party politics and the shape of public policy. Golden Rule presents revised versions of widely read essays in which Ferguson advanced and tested his theory, including his seminal study of the role played by capital intensive multinationals and international financiers in the New Deal. The chapter "Studies in Money Driven Politics" brings this aspect of American politics into better focus, along with other studies of Federal Reserve policy making and campaign finance in the 1936 election. Ferguson analyzes how a changing world economy and other social developments broke up the New Deal system in our own time, through careful studies of the 1988 and 1992 elections. The essay on 1992 contains an extended analysis of the emergence of the Clinton coalition and Ross Perot's dramatic independent insurgency. A postscript on the 1994 elections demonstrates the controlling impact of money on several key campaigns. This controversial work by a theorist of money and politics in the U.S. relates to issues in campaign finance reform, PACs, policymaking, public financing, and how today's elections work.