Party Position Change in American Politics Coalition Management

ISBN-10: 0521738199
ISBN-13: 9780521738194
Edition: 2009
Authors: David Karol
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Description: America's two party system is highly stable, but its parties' issue positions are not. Democrats and Republicans have changed sides on many subjects, including trade, civil rights, defense spending, and fiscal policy, and polarized on newer issues  More...

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Book details

List price: $47.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/23/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 326
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

America's two party system is highly stable, but its parties' issue positions are not. Democrats and Republicans have changed sides on many subjects, including trade, civil rights, defense spending, and fiscal policy, and polarized on newer issues like abortion and gun control. Yet party position change remains poorly understood. In this book David Karol views parties as coalitions of groups with intense preferences on particular issues managed by politicians. He explains important variations in party position change: the speed of shifts, the stability of new positions, and the extent to which change occurs via adaptation by incumbents. Karol shows that the key question is whether parties are reacting to changed preferences of coalition components, incorporating new constituencies, or experimenting on "groupless" issues. He reveals that adaptation by incumbents is a far greater source of change than previously recognized. This study enhances our understanding of parties, interest groups, and representation.

List of Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Explaining Party Position Change: Theory and Method
Coalition Maintenance: The Politics of Trade Policy
Coalition Group Incorporation: The Politics of Abortion and Gun Control
The Politics of Race: Coalition Maintenance in the North, Coalition Group Incorporation in the South
Coalition Expansion: The Politics of National Defense and Fiscal Policy
Conclusions
Appendix: Data Sources and Procedures
Bibliography
Index

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