Understanding American Political Parties: Democratic Ideals, Political Uncertainty, and Strategic Positioning

by ;
  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 8/17/2012
  • Publisher: Routledge

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $38.95 Save up to $35.60
  • Rent Book $5.00
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Used and Rental copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


There is a clear discrepancy between the ideal role of political parties expressed in many textbooks and the reality that we see playing out in politics. This book fills that void by explaining the difficulties that parties run into in seeking to play out these ideals. Parties have long-term commitments and principles, but must adjust in the short-run based on the size and composition of their existing electoral base, current social and economic conditions, the composition of their congressional party, and interpretations of the meaning of recent elections. The process may at times seem erratic and as if parties lack principles, but the parties are seeking to represent the differing perspectives on policy that dominate our society.

Author Biography

Jeffrey M. Stonecash is Maxwell Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University. His research focuses on political parties, realignment of their electoral bases, and the impact of changing alignments on the nature of policy debates.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
American Political Parties: Democratic Ideals and Doubtsp. 1
Democracy and the Ideal Role of Political Partiesp. 3
Enduring Doubts about Political Partiesp. 12
Parties and Political Conditionsp. 25
Notions of Party and Conflictp. 27
Shifting Electoral Basesp. 36
Conflicting Interpretations of Changep. 41
The Lack of a Majorityp. 49
Continuing Social Change and Eventsp. 57
Voters, Partisanship and the Mediap. 68
Enduring Uncertainty and Troubling Behaviorsp. 79
Pursuing Party Goalsp. 81
Pursuing Coalitions and an Identity: Long-Term Strategiesp. 83
Disparaging the Other Party: Short-Term Strategiesp. 97
Democracy and the Continuous Campaignp. 102
Notesp. 105
Bibliographyp. 120
Indexp. 134
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Rewards Program

Write a Review