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Why Parties

Author: John H. Aldrich
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226012751
Size: 18.31 MB
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Since its first appearance fifteen years ago, Why Parties? has become essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the nature of American political parties. In the interim, the party system has undergone some radical changes. In this landmark book, now rewritten for the new millennium, John H. Aldrich goes beyond the clamor of arguments over whether American political parties are in resurgence or decline and undertakes a wholesale reexamination of the foundations of the American party system. Surveying critical episodes in the development of American political parties—from their formation in the 1790s to the Civil War—Aldrich shows how they serve to combat three fundamental problems of democracy: how to regulate the number of people seeking public office, how to mobilize voters, and how to achieve and maintain the majorities needed to accomplish goals once in office. Aldrich brings this innovative account up to the present by looking at the profound changes in the character of political parties since World War II, especially in light of ongoing contemporary transformations, including the rise of the Republican Party in the South, and what those changes accomplish, such as the Obama Health Care plan. Finally, Why Parties? A Second Look offers a fuller consideration of party systems in general, especially the two-party system in the United States, and explains why this system is necessary for effective democracy.

Pivotal Politics

Author: Keith Krehbiel
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226452739
Size: 51.23 MB
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Politicians and pundits alike have complained that the divided governments of the last decades have led to legislative gridlock. Not so, argues Keith Krehbiel, who advances the provocative theory that divided government actually has little effect on legislative productivity. Gridlock is in fact the order of the day, occurring even when the same party controls the legislative and executive branches. Meticulously researched and anchored to real politics, Krehbiel argues that the pivotal vote on a piece of legislation is not the one that gives a bill a simple majority, but the vote that allows its supporters to override a possible presidential veto or to put a halt to a filibuster. This theory of pivots also explains why, when bills are passed, winning coalitions usually are bipartisan and supermajority sized. Offering an incisive account of when gridlock is overcome and showing that political parties are less important in legislative-executive politics than previously thought, Pivotal Politics remakes our understanding of American lawmaking.

Dynamics Of American Political Parties

Author: Mark D. Brewer
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521882303
Size: 32.36 MB
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In Dynamics of American Political Parties, Mark D. Brewer and Jeffrey M. Stonecash examine the process of gradual change that inexorably shapes and reshapes American politics. Parties and the politicians that comprise them seek control of government in order to implement their visions of proper public policy. To gain control parties need to win elections, and winning elections requires assembling an electoral coalition that is larger than that crafted by the opposition. Parties are always looking for opportunities to build such winning coalitions, and opportunities are always there, but they are rarely, if ever, without risk. Uncertainty rules and intra-party conflict rages as different factions and groups within the parties debate the proper course(s) of action and battle it out for control of the party. Parties can never be sure how their strategic maneuvers will play out, and, even when it appears that a certain strategy has been successful, party leaders are unclear about how long apparent success will last. Change unfolds slowly, in fits and starts.

Party Government

Author: E. Schattschneider
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351500732
Size: 80.86 MB
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What do we need to know about political parties in order to understand them? In his classic study E. E. Schattschneider delineates six crucial points: A political party is an organized attempt to get control of the government. Parties live in a highly competitive world. The major parties manage to maintain their supremacy over the minor parties. The internal processes of the parties have not generally received the attention they deserve in treatises on American politics. The party is a process that has grown up about elections. And perhaps most important of all is the distribution of power within the party organization. But Party Government is not just about political parties. At its heart is the theory and practice of modern democracy, and it is the most cited, controversial, and probably single most influential study of political parties ever written, Schattschneider questions the purpose of government, who rules, and how government should be organized consistent with its fundamental purpose, which are the enduring fault lines of American democracy. He takes the reader through a thorough and penetrating examination of political parties and the American government. Starting with a historical overview and defense of parties, Schattschneider offers a searing analysis of politics itself, with special focus on the number of interest groups both affecting and affected by government. He describes the various types of political organizations--major parties, pressure groups, and minor parties--and offers a study of the two-party character of the American system. Sidney A. Pearson, Jr. offers a strikingly original new introduction about E. E. Schattschneider and his contribution to political science. Gracefully and wittily written, Party Government is mandatory reading for students and scholars of political science, government, and American political theory.

Partisan Balance

Author: David R. Mayhew
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400838417
Size: 30.60 MB
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With three independent branches, a legislature divided into two houses, and many diverse constituencies, it is remarkable that the federal government does not collapse in permanent deadlock. Yet, this system of government has functioned for well over two centuries, even through such heated partisan conflicts as the national health-care showdown and Supreme Court nominations. In Partisan Balance, noted political scholar David Mayhew examines the unique electoral foundations of the presidency, Senate, and House of Representatives in order to provide a fresh understanding for the government's success and longstanding vitality. Focusing on the period after World War II, and the fate of legislative proposals offered by presidents from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, Mayhew reveals that the presidency, Senate, and House rest on surprisingly similar electoral bases, with little difference in their partisan textures as indexed by the presidential popular vote cast in the various constituencies. Both congressional chambers have tilted a bit Republican, and while White House legislative initiatives have fared accordingly, Mayhew shows that presidents have done relatively well in getting their major proposals enacted. Over the long haul, the Senate has not proven much more of a stumbling block than the House. Arguing that the system has developed a self-correcting impulse that leads each branch to pull back when it deviates too much from other branches, Mayhew contends that majoritarianism largely characterizes the American system. The wishes of the majority tend to nudge institutions back toward the median voter, as in the instances of legislative districting, House procedural reforms, and term limits for presidents and legislators.

The Party Decides

Author: Marty Cohen
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226112381
Size: 43.49 MB
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Throughout the contest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, politicians and voters alike worried that the outcome might depend on the preferences of unelected superdelegates. This concern threw into relief the prevailing notion that—such unusually competitive cases notwithstanding—people, rather than parties, should and do control presidential nominations. But for the past several decades, The Party Decides shows, unelected insiders in both major parties have effectively selected candidates long before citizens reached the ballot box. Tracing the evolution of presidential nominations since the 1790s, this volume demonstrates how party insiders have sought since America’s founding to control nominations as a means of getting what they want from government. Contrary to the common view that the party reforms of the 1970s gave voters more power, the authors contend that the most consequential contests remain the candidates’ fights for prominent endorsements and the support of various interest groups and state party leaders. These invisible primaries produce frontrunners long before most voters start paying attention, profoundly influencing final election outcomes and investing parties with far more nominating power than is generally recognized.

Party Politics In America

Author: Marjorie Randon Hershey
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 113483666X
Size: 16.50 MB
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The seventeenth edition of Party Politics in America continues the comprehensive and authoritative coverage of political parties for which it is known while expanding and updating the treatment of key related topics including interest groups and elections. Marjorie Hershey builds on the book’s three-pronged coverage of party organization, party in the electorate, and party in government and integrates contemporary examples—such as campaign finance reform, party polarization, and social media—to bring to life the fascinating story of how parties shape our political system. New to the 17th Edition Fully updated through the 2016 election, including changes in virtually all of the boxed materials, the chapter openings, and the data presented. Explores increasing partisan hostility, the status of voter ID laws and other efforts to affect voter turnout, young voters' attitudes and participation, and the role of big givers such as the energy billionaire Koch brothers in the 2016 campaigns. Critically examines the idea that Super PACs are replacing, or can replace, the party organizations in running campaigns. New and expanded online Instructor's Resources, including author-written test banks, essay questions, relevant websites with correlated sample assignments, the book’s appendix, and links to a collection of course syllabi.

White Collar Government

Author: Nicholas Carnes
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022608728X
Size: 21.66 MB
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Eight of the last twelve presidents were millionaires when they took office. Millionaires have a majority on the Supreme Court, and they also make up majorities in Congress, where a background in business or law is the norm and the average member has spent less than two percent of his or her adult life in a working-class job. Why is it that most politicians in America are so much better off than the people who elect them— and does the social class divide between citizens and their representatives matter? With White-Collar Government, Nicholas Carnes answers this question with a resounding—and disturbing—yes. Legislators’ socioeconomic backgrounds, he shows, have a profound impact on both how they view the issues and the choices they make in office. Scant representation from among the working class almost guarantees that the policymaking process will be skewed toward outcomes that favor the upper class. It matters that the wealthiest Americans set the tax rates for the wealthy, that white-collar professionals choose the minimum wage for blue-collar workers, and that people who have always had health insurance decide whether or not to help those without. And while there is no one cause for this crisis of representation, Carnes shows that the problem does not stem from a lack of qualified candidates from among the working class. The solution, he argues, must involve a variety of changes, from the equalization of campaign funding to a shift in the types of candidates the parties support. If we want a government for the people, we have to start working toward a government that is truly by the people. White-Collar Government challenges long-held notions about the causes of political inequality in the United States and speaks to enduring questions about representation and political accountability.

Why Not Parties In Russia

Author: Henry E. Hale
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139447874
Size: 44.16 MB
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Russia poses a major puzzle for theorists of party development. Whereas virtually every classic work takes political parties to be inevitable and essential to democracy, Russia has been dominated by non-partisan politicians ever since communism collapsed. This book mobilizes public opinion surveys, interviews with leading Russian politicians, careful tracking of multiple campaigns, and analysis of national and regional voting patterns to show why Russia stands out. Russia's historically influenced combination of federalism and super-presidentialism, coupled with a post-communist redistribution of resources to regional political machines and oligarchic financial-industrial groups, produced and sustained powerful party-substitutes that have largely squeezed Russia's real parties out, damaging Russia's democratic development.

Issue Evolution

Author: Edward G. Carmines
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780691023311
Size: 33.45 MB
Format: PDF
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The description for this book, Issue Evolution: Race and the Transformation of American Politics, will be forthcoming.