The Logic of American Politics
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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.
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.
Now featuring the logic of policymaking! Praised for its engaging narrative, The Logic of American Politics hooks students with great storytelling while giving them a taste of real political science. Students come to understand why institutional design concepts like voting rules and delegation help explain why the American political system works the way it does. The authors build students' critical thinking skills through a simple yet powerful idea: politics is about solving collective action problems. The Seventh Edition continues to delve into partisan differences among voters and in government, 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 President Obama’s executive action on immigration. A new concluding chapter on policymaking examines the noticeable logic that guides American policy, as shown through policies like health care reform, global climate change, and the federal budget.
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.
"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.
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.
"What kind of nuclear strategy and posture does the United States need to defend itself and its allies? Contrary to conventional wisdom, this book explains why a robust nuclear posture, above and beyond a mere second-strike capability, contributes to a state's national security goals" (ed.).
Widely recognized both in America and Japan for his insider knowledge and penetrating analyses of Japanese politics, Gerald Curtis is the political analyst best positioned to explore the complexities of the Japanese political scene today. Curtis has personally known most of the key players in Japanese politics for more than thirty years, and he draws on their candid comments to provide invaluable and graphic insights into the world of Japanese politics. By relating the behavior of Japanese political leaders to the institutions within which they must operate, Curtis makes sense out of what others have regarded as enigmatic or illogical. He utilizes his skills as a scholar and his knowledge of the inner workings of the Japanese political system to highlight the commonalities of Japanese and Western political practices while at the same time explaining what sets Japan apart. Curtis rejects the notion that cultural distinctiveness and consensus are the defining elements of Japan's political decision making, emphasizing instead the competition among and the profound influence of individuals operating within particular institutional contexts on the development of Japan's politics. The discussions featured here -- as they survey both the detailed events and the broad structures shaping the mercurial Japanese political scene of the 1990s -- draw on extensive conversations with virtually all of the decade's political leaders and focus on the interactions among specific politicians as they struggle for political power. The Logic of Japanese Politics covers such important political developments as • the Liberal Democratic Party's egress from power in 1993, after reigning for nearly four decades, and their crushing defeat in the "voters' revolt" of the 1998 upper-house election; • the formation of the 1993 seven party coalition government led by prime minister Morihiro Hosokawa and its collapse eight months later; • the historic electoral reform of 1994 which replaced the electoral system operative since the adoption of universal manhood suffrage in 1925; and • the decline of machine politics and the rise of the mutohaso -- the floating, nonparty voter. Scrutinizing and interpreting a complex and changing political system, this multi-layered chronicle reveals the dynamics of democracy at work -- Japanese-style. In the process, The Logic of Japanese Politics not only offers a fascinating picture of Japanese politics and politicians but also provides a framework for understanding Japan's attempts to surmount its present problems, and helps readers gain insight into Japan's future.
This engaging new book introduces American Foreign Policy through the presentation of the most important logics used in contemporary debates, emphasizes the six most important foreign policy logics competing to define U.S. foreign policy, and identifies the five traditions of American political culture. Callahan first develops the concept of foreign policy logic, then places foreign policy arguments in a context of broader issues of U.S. purpose and of the historical development of foreign policy thinking. An objective presentation of ideals and theory allows a deeper understanding of debates, permitting the student to form an independent judgment of U.S. foreign policy.
Through the use of logic, simulation, and empirical data, Benjamin A. Most and Harvey Starr develop and demonstrate a nuanced and more appropriate conceptualization of explanation in international relations and foreign policy in Inquiry, Logic, and International Politics. They demonstrate that a concern with the logical underpinnings of research raises a series of theoretical, conceptual, and epistemological issues that must be addressed if theory and research design are to meet the challenges of cumulation in the study of international relations (or any area of social science). The authors argue for understanding the critical, yet subtle, interplay of the elements with a research triad composed of theory, logic, and method.
Why do majority congressional parties seem unable to act as an effective policy-making force? They routinely delegate their power to others—internally to standing committees and subcommittees within each chamber, externally to the president and to the bureaucracy. Conventional wisdom in political science insists that such delegation leads inevitably to abdication—usually by degrees, sometimes precipitously, but always completely. In The Logic of Delegation, however, D. Roderick Kiewiet and Mathew D. McCubbins persuasively argue that political scientists have paid far too much attention to what congressional parties can't do. The authors draw on economic and management theory to demonstrate that the effectiveness of delegation is determined not by how much authority is delegated but rather by how well it is delegated. In the context of the appropriations process, the authors show how congressional parties employ committees, subcommittees, and executive agencies to accomplish policy goals. This innovative study will force a complete rethinking of classic issues in American politics: the "autonomy" of congressional committees; the reality of runaway federal bureaucracy; and the supposed dominance of the presidency in legislative-executive relations.
Europe and China have a long intermingled history reaching back to the earliest phases of the shift to the modern world. In the twenty-first century Europe and China are rediscovering their interlinked histories and reestablishing relationships. One aspect of this process involves cutting through received images of China and this book presents a clear, concise, scholarly review of the logic of Chinese politics.
This 1999 book examines regional integration in Europe and other regions, providing a framework for the study of international cooperation.
The New York Times Bestseller The Wall Street Journal Bestseller “Few books are as well-matched to the moment of their publication as Ezra Klein’s Why We’re Polarized.” —Dan Hopkins, The Washington Post “It is likely to become the political book of the year....Powerful [and] intelligent.” —Fareed Zakaria, CNN “Superbly researched and written..." —Francis Fukuyama, The Washington Post America’s political system isn’t broken. The truth is scarier: it’s working exactly as designed. In this book, journalist Ezra Klein reveals how that system is polarizing us—and how we are polarizing it—with disastrous results. “The American political system—which includes everyone from voters to journalists to the president—is full of rational actors making rational decisions given the incentives they face,” writes political analyst Ezra Klein. “We are a collection of functional parts whose efforts combine into a dysfunctional whole.” In Why We’re Polarized, Klein reveals the structural and psychological forces behind America’s descent into division and dysfunction. Neither a polemic nor a lament, this book offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump’s rise to the Democratic Party’s leftward shift to the politicization of everyday culture. America is polarized, first and foremost, by identity. Everyone engaged in American politics is engaged, at some level, in identity politics. Over the past fifty years in America, our partisan identities have merged with our racial, religious, geographic, ideological, and cultural identities. These merged identities have attained a weight that is breaking much in our politics and tearing at the bonds that hold this country together. Klein shows how and why American politics polarized around identity in the twentieth century, and what that polarization did to the way we see the world and one another. And he traces the feedback loops between polarized political identities and polarized political institutions that are driving our system toward crisis. This is a revelatory book that will change how you look at politics, and perhaps at yourself.
This study examines the disparities between the two dominant American political-military approaches to the use of force as an instrument of foreign policy. The first approach argues that if force is employed, it should be used at whatever level necessary to achieve decisive military objectives. The second approach argues that certain limits to the use of force may be necessary and acceptable. Case studies illustrate how the basic disagreements between the two approaches influence policy-making and military decisions. Included in the text is discussion of Vietnam, Panama, the Gulf War, Somalia and the former Yugoslavia.
By analytically decoupling war and violence, this book explores the causes and dynamics of violence in civil war. Against the prevailing view that such violence is an instance of impenetrable madness, the book demonstrates that there is logic to it and that it has much less to do with collective emotions, ideologies, and cultures than currently believed. Kalyvas specifies a novel theory of selective violence: it is jointly produced by political actors seeking information and individual civilians trying to avoid the worst but also grabbing what opportunities their predicament affords them. Violence, he finds, is never a simple reflection of the optimal strategy of its users; its profoundly interactive character defeats simple maximization logics while producing surprising outcomes, such as relative nonviolence in the 'frontlines' of civil war.
James Mill’s (1773–1836) role in the development of utilitarian thought in the nineteenth century has been overshadowed both by John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) and by Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832). Of the three, the elder Mill is considered to be the least original and with the least important, if any, contributions to utilitarian theory. True as this statement may be, even those who have tried to challenge some of its aspects take the common portrayal of Mill – "the rationalist, the maker of syllogisms, the geometrician" – as given. This book does not. Studying James Mill’s background has surprising results with reference to influences outside the Benthamite tradition as well as unexpected implications for his contributions to debates of his time. The book focuses on his political ideas, the ways in which he communicated them and the ways in which he formed them in an attempt to reveal a portrait of Mill unencumbered from the legacy of Thomas Babington Macaulay’s (1800–1859) brilliant essay "Utilitarian Logic and Politics".
Deep historical trends suggest the United States could be moving toward a distinctly novel form of fascism, embracing elements of the historical phenomenon as it appeared in such countries as Italy, Germany, Japan, and Spain while departing in significant ways. A twenty-first century fascism would hardly be revolutionary or totalitarian, as it would involve no dramatic break with the past, following a logic of continuity and building on firmaments of entrenched power going back to World War II. This new type of fascist regime would be driven by a tightening confluence of sectoral interests in American society: corporate, state, military, and cultural – interests favoring oligarchy, authoritarianism, the warfare system, and surveillance order within an expanding globalized matrix of power. The dominant historical forces emphasized by such theorists as C. Wright Mills (The Power Elite) and Sheldon Wolin (Democracy, Inc.), an important foundation of this book, have grown stronger and more pervasive across the decades. An integrated power structure has been fueled by new advances in technology, a money-saturated political system, and neoliberal globalism bolstered by the spread of right wing populism that, among other things, has catapulted Donald Trump into the U.S. presidency. In this book, Carl Boggs explores new political and ideological terrain in systematically considering the prospects for a gradual development of fascism in contemporary American society and, by extension, elsewhere across the advanced industrial world. He persuasively argues that modern fascistic trends, arguably most visible in the U.S., demonstrate a closer affinity with Mussolini’s Italy (corporate state) than with the more extreme Nazi German model of tyranny and genocide. A very timely scholarly enterprise, this book will be of interest to students of contemporary radical politics, fascism more broadly, US political history, ideologies and party politics.