Principles and Practice of American Politics Classic and Contemporary Readings

ISBN-10: 1452226288

ISBN-13: 9781452226286

Edition: 5th 2013 (Revised)

Authors: Samuel Kernell, Steven S. Smith

List price: $46.00 Buy it from $5.38
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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 Smith’s headnotes, providing an invaluable grounding for today’s students.
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Book details

List price: $46.00
Edition: 5th
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: CQ Press
Publication date: 7/17/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 752
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 2.222
Language: English

About the Editors
Designing Institutions
from The Logic of Collective Action
In an excerpt from his classic work of 1965, Mancur Olson Jr. explains why groups often have difficulty achieving their collective goals, even when agreement among their members is widespread.
The Tragedy of the Commons
In another classic work, Garrett Hardin uses the idea of the tragedy of the commons to explain why public goods are so often misused.
The Citizenship Agenda
The author criticizes the Constitution as overly attentive to fashioning republican institutions at the expense of democracy. He proposes several fundamental reforms to correct imbalance.
The Constitutional Framework
The Founding Fathers: A Reform Caucus in Action
John P. Roche Jr. argues that the Framers were ultimately pragmatists who sought to satisfy constituents with often-conflicting goals.
Anti-Federalist No. 3
In this essay, published early in the ratification debates, Brutus unveils the principal arguments against the Constitution.
Federalist No. 10
James Madison argues that a large, diverse republic is not only capable of controlling the tyranny of faction but, when properly designed, the best means of doing so.
Federalist NO. 51
James Madison explains how the Constitution will employ checks and balances to prevent the people's representatives from exploiting their political power.
Federalist No. 39
James Madison continues his exploration of the Constitution's salutary effects in this essay concentrating on federalism and republicanism.
Federalism: Sorting Out Who Does What
Donald F. Kettl explores the lessons of Hurricane Katrina for understanding the ever-evolving division of power and responsibility between the state and federal governments.
A Separate Peace
Jonathan Rauch states that federalism provides a "safety valve" to American democracy by allowing the various states to adopt different policies on issues on which differences of opinion run deep.
An American History Lesson for Europe
The author explores the lessons of American federalism for resolution of Europe's current debt crisis.
Civil Rights
from The Race Card
This essay argues that charges of racism are frequently made to gain political advantage. As a result, justifiable claims of racism tend to be discounted.
Immigrants and the Changing Categories of Race
This essay enlists census classifications of race and ethnicity to explore the evolution of racial identity.
Civil Liberties
from Republic.com2.0
The author applies established freedom of speech doctrines to novel forms of expression in the electronic age.
A Liberal Vision of U.S. Family Law in 2020
After exploring how gay marriage will introduce new varieties of families, the author urges that revision of family law not be left exclusively to the courts.
Supreme Court of the United States
In this controversial decision, the Supreme Court considers whether the Constitution protects a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy against the objections of the State.
The Real World of Constitutional Rights: The Supreme Court and the Implementation of the Abortion Decisions
Gerald N. Rosenberg examines the political and legal environment surrounding abortion policy, which is still a source of conflict thirty years after Roe v. Wade.
Congress, the Troubled Institution
Steven S. Smith describes Congress's struggles with partisanship, filibusters, and scandals as it tackles momentous issues.
The Politics of Legislative Stalemate
Sarah A. Binder outlines the effects of divided party control of the institutions of government and partisan polarization on the policy-making process.
Congressional Committees in a Continuing Partisan Era
John H. Aldrich and David W. Rohde state that in an era of polarized parties, party leaders dominate standing committees in the policy-making process of the House of Representatives.
The Presidency
from Presidential Power
Richard E. Neustadt shows that successful presidential leadership depends on the ability to persuade.
The Institutional Presidency
This essay examines the institutional ramifications of Congress's delegation of broad administrative authority.
from Going Public
Samuel Kernell observes that modem presidents, in their efforts to persuade other politicians to adopt their policy preferences, often "go public": a set of activities borrowed from presidential election campaigns.
The Bureaucracy
The Politics of Bureaucratic Structure
Terry M. Moe argues that the federal bureaucracy is not structured on the basis of a theory of public administration but instead is the product of politics.
Bush and the Bureaucracy: A Crusade for Control
Paul Singer argues that presidents pursue a variety of personnel, budget, and legal strategies to assert influence over policy decisions made in the federal bureaucracy.
from The Politics of Presidential Appointments
This essay states that presidents' strategies for controlling federal departments and agencies have evolved in important ways in recent decades.
Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control
Mathew D. McCubbins, Roger G. Noll, and Barry R. Weingast describe how oversight and administrative procedures are used to induce compliance from government agencies to the policy preferences of policy makers.
The Judiciary
from A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law
In this lecture to law school students, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia makes a strong case for judges to limit their analysis to what laws say instead of exploring their intent.
from Active Liberty
Antonin Scalia's colleague, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, argues instead that judges should weigh the implications of their decisions for advancing democracy.
Federalist No. 78
While asserting that the unelected judiciary is the 'least dangerous branch," Alexander Hamilton assumes for the Supreme Court the important role of judicial review.
The Voting Behavior of Barack Obama's Judges: As Far Left as Some Opponents Say or Just Mainstream Liberals?
This essay argues that all presidents seek judges who share their policy views; the evidence presented here shows that they have succeeded.
Public Opinion
Analyzing and Interpreting Polls
Herbert Asher explains the common ways that polls are misinterpreted and misused.
Dynamic Representation
This essay explains how this important and creative study measures the correlation between public preferences and government behavior.
from Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America
Morris P. Fiorina challenges the popular notion that Americans are becoming more deeply divided on cultural issues.
How Divided Are We?
James Q. Wilson argues that the ideological and partisan polarization of American politics is real, has increased, and has spread to voters through political and media elites.
Religion in American Politics
Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell explore the way religious values have come to influence attitudes about politics, the parties, and key social issues in the United States.
Voting, Campaigns, and Elections
from The Reasoning Voter
Samuel L. Popkin argues that in a world of imperfect and incomplete information, voters rely on shortcuts to make decisions. His depiction of the decision-making processes of voters helps to explain the characteristics of campaigns and other' features of American politics.
No Compromise: The Electoral Origins of Legislative Gridlock
Gary C. Jacobson describes the way that partisan polarization and gridlock in American policy making reflect the disparate electoral coalitions responsible for electing Democrats and Republicans to public office.
West from Air Wars
Darrell M. West describes the mechanics and strategies of modern television advertising in political campaigns.
America's Ignorant Voters
Michael Schudson observes that American voters are not becoming less knowledgeable about government (contrary to the conventional wisdom) and, even without all the facts about politics, are able to make reasonable judgments about candidates.
Super PACs and Secret Money
Paul Blumenthal describes the emergence of Super PACs and their surprising growth since the Supreme Court's Citizens United 2010 decision and a follow-up appeals court decision that certain kinds of organization can receive unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, and unions.
Political Parties
from Why Parties?
John H. Aldrich describes the political problems that parties solve for candidates and voters.
Partisanship and Voting Behavior, 1952-1996
Larry M. Bartels describes trends in the party identification of Americans and explains the importance of these trends for voting behavior.
Parties as Problem Solvers
According to Morris P. Fiorina, today's centralized, cohesive parties are no better at solving today's problems than the decentralized, disunited parties of a half century ago and may -even make them worse.
Interest Groups
The Scope and Bias of the Pressure System
In a still-relevant piece from the 1960s, E. E. Schattschneider argues that moneyed interests dominated midcentury politics by controlling the agenda and influencing policymakers.
The Evolution of Interest Groups
John R. Wright surveys the development of interest groups in America, emphasizing the conflicting forces of collective action problems and societal disturbances.
Buying Time: Moneyed Interests and the Mobilization of Bias in Congressional Committees
Legislators are more responsive to organized business interests than to unorganized voters, a responsiveness that is more evident in committee than on the floor and more evident in their commitment of time than in their votes.
News Media
The Market and the Media
News, James T. Hamilton reminds us, is a consumer product and as such changes with consumer demands and market competition.
from War Stories
Reporters and politicians engage each other with different goals in the news they jointly make. The authors assess the product of their interaction on foreign policy-making.
Understanding the Participatory News Consumer
The Pew Research Center's report provides a detailed look at the effect of changes in information technology on the way Americans receive, use, and react to the news and news organizations.
Constitution of the United States
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