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New Directions in American Political Parties



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Our portraits of voters, their relationship to parties, and the behavior of elected party members have changed significantly within the last 10 to 15 years. Characterizations of dealignment and decreased importance of parties have been fairly rapidly replaced by a focus on party polarization. Voters are becoming more ideological and the debate is now about the relative role of ideology, religious attachment, views on immigration, and class in affecting party identification and voting. In a short period of time we have gone from concern that parties are not responsive or sufficiently different to whether polarization has become too great.This volume, with contributions from some of the most noted scholars of political parties, brings together assessments of these changes to provide a comprehensive overview of current trends in the field. It serves as an excellent companion to courses on parties and elections, and a useful overview for scholars and students of American politics generally.

Author Biography

Jeffrey M. Stonecash is Maxwell Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University. He is the author of numerous books on political Parties, polarization, and state politics.

Table of Contents

List of Tablesp. vii
List of Figuresp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Contributorsp. xiii
Overview: Voters and Parties in Recent Decadesp. 1
Changing American Political Partiesp. 3
Social Change and Party Responsep. 11
Social Change in America: The Context for Partiesp. 13
Strategic Maneuvers: Political Parties and the Pursuit of Winning Coalitions in a Constantly Changing Electoral Environmentp. 22
Parties and the Media: Getting Messages to Votersp. 44
Party Organization and Mobilization of Resources: Evolution, Reinvention, and Survivalp. 63
Sources of Political Divisions, Realignment, and Current Party Differencesp. 91
Blacks and the Democratic Party: A Resilient Coalitionp. 93
Class in American Politicsp. 110
Ideological Realignment among Votersp. 126
Religion, Moralism, and the Cultural Wars: Competing Moral Visionsp. 148
Immigrants and Political Partiesp. 166
Partisan Trends in the South and Northeast: Political Ping-Pongp. 186
Party Actions, Institutions, and Impactsp. 203
The President as a Partisan Actorp. 205
Consequences of Electoral and Institutional Change: The Evolution of Conditional Party Government in the U.S. House of Representativesp. 234
Parties, Public Policy Differences, and Impactp. 251
Bibliographyp. 263
Indexp. 291
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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