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The Case For Polarized Politics

Author: Jeffrey Bell
Publisher: Encounter Books
ISBN: 1594035784
Size: 70.30 MB
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Because no movement resembling American social conservatism exists in any other affluent democracy, it is widely seen as a “retro” phenomenon soon to disappear, a sure casualty of globalization. Author and political activist Jeffrey Bell argues that social conservatism is uniquely American precisely because it’s an outgrowth of American exceptionalism. It exists here because our founding principles, centering on the belief that we receive equal rights from God rather than from government, remain popular among American voters—if not at elite institutions. Bell argues that upheavals of the 1960s set the stage for social conservatism’s rise. The left’s agenda, particularly the sexual revolution, triumphed among elite opinion in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and elsewhere. This happened after the left sidelined its century-long drive for socialism and returned to its roots in the 18th-century thought of Rousseau and the revolutionary Jacobins, radicals who sought to break free from civilizing institutions, particularly religion and the family. American social conservatism derives from a branch of the Enlightenment that Bell analyzes as the “conservative enlightenment.” The ability of this optimistic belief system, which dominated the American founding and transformed the English-speaking world, to spread its natural-law-centered vision of democracy will affect the shape of politics in the decades ahead.

Political Polarization In American Politics

Author: John Sides
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1501306278
Size: 47.93 MB
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Political Polarization in American Politics provides short, accessible chapters about the nature and extent of political polarization within the American public and in American political institutions. These chapters capture the central ideas and debates in political science research on polarization, and are written by leading scholars in this subfield. Each chapter is accompanied by discussion questions and a guide to further reading, making this a great addition to any course looking at issues of polarization.

Populism And Elitism

Author: Jeffrey Bell
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
ISBN:
Size: 44.61 MB
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Traces the development of populism and elitism in American history, examines how they have defined American democracy, and argues that the clash between the two will determine the future of American politics

Campaign Finance And Political Polarization

Author: Raymond J La Raja
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 0472052993
Size: 14.49 MB
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Efforts to reform the U.S. campaign finance system typically focus on the corrupting influence of large contributions. Yet, as Raymond J. La Raja and Brian F. Schaffner argue, reforms aimed at cutting the flow of money into politics have unintentionally favored candidates with extreme ideological agendas and, consequently, fostered political polarization. Drawing on data from 50 states and the U.S. Congress over 20 years, La Raja and Schaffner reveal that current rules allow wealthy ideological groups and donors to dominate the financing of political campaigns. In order to attract funding, candidates take uncompromising positions on key issues and, if elected, take their partisan views into the legislature. As a remedy, the authors propose that additional campaign money be channeled through party organizations—rather than directly to candidates—because these organizations tend to be less ideological than the activists who now provide the lion’s share of money to political candidates. Shifting campaign finance to parties would ease polarization by reducing the influence of “purist” donors with their rigid policy stances. La Raja and Schaffner conclude the book with policy recommendations for campaign finance in the United States. They are among the few non-libertarians who argue that less regulation, particularly for political parties, may in fact improve the democratic process.

Polarized

Author: James E. Campbell
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400889278
Size: 20.98 MB
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Many continue to believe that the United States is a nation of political moderates. In fact, it is a nation divided. It has been so for some time and has grown more so. This book provides a new and historically grounded perspective on the polarization of America, systematically documenting how and why it happened. Polarized presents commonsense benchmarks to measure polarization, draws data from a wide range of historical sources, and carefully assesses the quality of the evidence. Through an innovative and insightful use of circumstantial evidence, it provides a much-needed reality check to claims about polarization. This rigorous yet engaging and accessible book examines how polarization displaced pluralism and how this affected American democracy and civil society. Polarized challenges the widely held belief that polarization is the product of party and media elites, revealing instead how the American public in the 1960s set in motion the increase of polarization. American politics became highly polarized from the bottom up, not the top down, and this began much earlier than often thought. The Democrats and the Republicans are now ideologically distant from each other and about equally distant from the political center. Polarized also explains why the parties are polarized at all, despite their battle for the decisive median voter. No subject is more central to understanding American politics than political polarization, and no other book offers a more in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the subject than this one.

Why Washington Won T Work

Author: Marc J. Hetherington
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022629935X
Size: 41.77 MB
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Polarization is at an all-time high in the United States. But contrary to popular belief, Americans are polarized not so much in their policy preferences as in their feelings toward their political opponents: To an unprecedented degree, Republicans and Democrats simply do not like one another. No surprise that these deeply held negative feelings are central to the recent (also unprecedented) plunge in congressional productivity. The past three Congresses have gotten less done than any since scholars began measuring congressional productivity. In Why Washington Won’t Work, Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph argue that a contemporary crisis of trust—people whose party is out of power have almost no trust in a government run by the other side—has deadlocked Congress. On most issues, party leaders can convince their own party to support their positions. In order to pass legislation, however, they must also create consensus by persuading some portion of the opposing party to trust in their vision for the future. Without trust, consensus fails to develop and compromise does not occur. Up until recently, such trust could still usually be found among the opposition, but not anymore. Political trust, the authors show, is far from a stable characteristic. It’s actually highly variable and contingent on a variety of factors, including whether one’s party is in control, which part of the government one is dealing with, and which policies or events are most salient at the moment. Political trust increases, for example, when the public is concerned with foreign policy—as in times of war—and it decreases in periods of weak economic performance. Hetherington and Rudolph do offer some suggestions about steps politicians and the public might take to increase political trust. Ultimately, however, they conclude that it is unlikely levels of political trust will significantly increase unless foreign concerns come to dominate and the economy is consistently strong.

Unstable Majorities

Author: Morris Fiorina
Publisher: Hoover Press
ISBN: 0817921168
Size: 26.96 MB
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America is "currently fighting its second Civil War." Partisan politics are "ripping this country apart." The 2016 election "will go down as the most acrimonious presidential campaign of all." Such statements have become standard fare in American politics. In a time marked by gridlock and incivility, it seems the only thing Americans can agree on is this: we're more divided today than we've ever been in our history. In Unstable Majorities Morris P. Fiorina surveys American political history to reveal that, in fact, the American public is not experiencing a period of unprecedented polarization. Bypassing the alarmism that defines contemporary punditry, he cites research and historical context that illuminate the forces that shape voting patterns, political parties, and voter behavior. By placing contemporary events in their proper context, he corrects widespread misconceptions and gives reasons to be optimistic about the future of American electoral politics.

Public Policy Governance And Polarization

Author: David K. Jesuit
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317197984
Size: 50.84 MB
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Polarization is widely diagnosed as a major cause of the decline of evidence-based policy making and public engagement-based styles of policy making. It creates an environment where hardened partisan viewpoints on major policy questions are less amenable to negotiation, compromise or change. Polarization is not a temporary situation – it is the “new normal.” Public Policy, Governance and Polarization seeks to provide a theoretical foundation for scholars and policy makers who need to understand the powerful and often disruptive forces that have arisen in Europe and North America over the past decade. Academics and practitioners need to better understand this growing trend and to find ways in which it may be managed so that policy solutions to these threats may be developed and implemented. Researchers and future policymakers in fields such as public administration, public management and public policy need to recognise how institutional design, corporatist interest group systems and different pedagogical approaches may help them understand, discuss and work beyond policy polarization. Edited by two leading political science scholars, this book aims to begin that process.

Religion Politics And Polarization

Author: William V. D'Antonio
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 1442221089
Size: 78.78 MB
Format: PDF
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In Religion, Politics, and Polarization, three esteemed scholars trace the confluence of religion and party in the US Congress over time. The authors examine several issues of contemporary relevance as they trace the increasing polarization in Congress.

Partisans And Partners

Author: Josh Pacewicz
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022640272X
Size: 67.72 MB
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There’s no question that Americans are bitterly divided by politics. But in Partisans and Partners, Josh Pacewicz finds that our traditional understanding of red/blue, right/left, urban/rural division is too simplistic. Wheels-down in Iowa—that most important of primary states—Pacewicz looks to two cities, one traditionally Democratic, the other traditionally Republican, and finds that younger voters are rejecting older-timers’ strict political affiliations. A paradox is emerging—as the dividing lines between America’s political parties have sharpened, Americans are at the same time growing distrustful of traditional party politics in favor of becoming apolitical or embracing outside-the-beltway candidates. Pacewicz sees this change coming not from politicians and voters, but from the fundamental reorganization of the community institutions in which political parties have traditionally been rooted. Weaving together major themes in American political history—including globalization, the decline of organized labor, loss of locally owned industries, uneven economic development, and the emergence of grassroots populist movements—Partisans and Partners is a timely and comprehensive analysis of American politics as it happens on the ground.