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The Politics of Power: A Critical Introduction to American Government



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This brief introduction to American government highlights the ongoing tension between capitalism and democracy. With recent political conflict over issues such as how to rein in Wall Street, expand access to health care, put Americans back to work, and plan for an increasingly globalized future, the time is ripe for a new edition of The Politics of Power .

Table of Contents

List of What Do You Think? Boxesp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
Democracy's Challengep. 1
Introductionp. 1
Constitutional Democracy and Capitalismp. 6
Standards of Democracyp. 11
Political Changep. 15
Conclusionp. 20
Chapter Summaryp. 21
Critical Thinking Questionsp. 22
Suggested Readingsp. 23
American Political Economyp. 25
Capitalism and Democracyp. 28
Introductionp. 28
The Dilemmas of Marketsp. 29
The System of Corporate Capitalismp. 33
The Mobilization of Biasp. 37
The Changing Landscape of American Capitalismp. 39
Who Owns America's Private Government?p. 43
The Changing Structure of Employmentp. 45
America's Extreme Market Capitalismp. 50
Capitalist Instability and Crisisp. 54
Conclusionp. 59
Chapter Summaryp. 60
Critical Thinking Questionsp. 62
Suggested Readingsp. 63
The History of American Political Economyp. 64
Introductionp. 64
Competitive Capitalismp. 67
The Rise of Corporate Capitalismp. 69
A New Dealp. 71
The Rise and Fall of the Golden Agep. 74
The Rise of Extreme Market Capitalism, 1980-2008p. 76
The Crisis of Extreme Market Capitalismp. 82
A New Foundationp. 84
Conclusionp. 88
Chapter Summaryp. 89
Critical Thinking Questionsp. 91
Suggested Readingsp. 91
Political Participationp. 93
Political Parties, Elections, and Public Opinionp. 95
Introductionp. 95
The Origins of the Two-Party Systemp. 96
American Parties in Comparative Perspectivep. 97
Critical Elections and Party Decayp. 99
Turnout and American Votersp. 104
Money and Electionsp. 106
The Rise and Fall of the New Deal and Reagan Coalitionsp. 110
The 2008 Presidential Election and the Challenge to Republican Dominancep. 115
Polarization and American Politicsp. 121
The New Media and Public Opinionp. 125
Conclusionp. 128
Chapter Summaryp. 129
Critical Thinking Questionsp. 132
Suggested Readingsp. 133
Interest Groups and Social Movementsp. 134
Introductionp. 134
Interest Groupsp. 138
David and Goliathp. 141
The Changing Quality of Membershipp. 144
E-Media, Interest Groups, and Political Participationp. 146
A Comparative Perspective on American Interest Groupsp. 148
Social Movementsp. 150
Conclusionp. 167
Chapter Summaryp. 167
Critical Thinking Questionsp. 169
Suggested Readingsp. 169
Political Institutionsp. 171
The Presidencyp. 175
Introductionp. 175
The Historical Presidencyp. 178
The Imperial Presidentp. 181
The Perils of Presidential Powerp. 186
Directing the Executivep. 192
The Exercise of Presidential Powerp. 198
Conclusionp. 205
Chapter Summaryp. 206
Critical Thinking Questionsp. 209
Suggested Readingsp. 209
The Congressp. 210
Introductionp. 210
The Origin of Two Legislative Chambersp. 213
Congress: Past and Presentp. 216
Congressional Careers and the Electoral Connectionp. 220
Members of Congressp. 227
Realignment and Polarizationp. 229
The Legislative Processp. 233
Seeking Influencep. 239
Conclusionp. 242
Chapter Summaryp. 243
Critical Thinking Questionsp. 245
Suggested Readingsp. 245
The Courtsp. 246
Introductionp. 246
A Dual Court Systemp. 250
The Federal Court Systemp. 253
The Supreme Courtp. 259
The Modern Court: From Warren to Robertsp. 269
Politics by Lawsuitp. 278
The Courts in Comparative Perspective: Incarceration Nationp. 280
Conclusionp. 282
Chapter Summaryp. 283
Critical Thinking Questionsp. 285
Suggested Readingsp. 286
Public Policyp. 287
Economic Policyp. 289
Introductionp. 289
The Government and the Economyp. 289
Fiscal Policyp. 294
Taxesp. 296
Spendingp. 300
Monetary Policyp. 303
Regulationp. 309
Conclusionp. 314
Chapter Summaryp. 316
Critical Thinking Questionsp. 317
Suggested Readingsp. 318
Social Policyp. 319
Introductionp. 319
The Historical Welfare Statep. 323
The New Deal and Beyondp. 325
The New Povertyp. 330
The Great Society Programp. 332
From Reagan to Clintonp. 336
From Bush to Obamap. 339
Conclusionp. 345
Chapter Summaryp. 347
Critical Thinking Questionsp. 349
Suggested Readingsp. 349
Foreign Policyp. 350
Introductionp. 350
Making Foreign Policyp. 352
American Foreign Policy before World War IIp. 353
American Foreign Policy after World War IIp. 355
A New Era of Globalization?p. 361
The Military Establishmentp. 365
The Shift to Unilateralismp. 368
The Obama Presidency: Continuity or Change?p. 373
Declining Hegemony?p. 374
Conclusionp. 377
Chapter Summaryp. 378
Critical Thinking Questionsp. 381
Suggested Readingsp. 381
Democracy's Character and Futurep. 382
Introductionp. 382
Capitalism, and Democracy Revisitedp. 384
American Democracy in Theory and Practicep. 388
Conclusionp. 391
Endnotes E-1
Glossary G-1
Credits C-1
Index I-1
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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