Dynamics of American Political Parties

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-07-27
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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The New Dynamics of American Political Parties examines the process of gradual change that inexorably shapes and reshapes American politics. Parties and the politicians that comprise them seek control of government in order to implement their visions of proper public policy. To gain control parties need to win elections, and winning elections requires assembling an electoral coalition that is larger than that crafted by the opposition. Uncertainty rules and intra-party conflict rages as different factions and groups within the parties debate the proper course(s) of action and battle it out for control of the party. Parties can never be sure how their strategic maneuvers will play out, and, even when it appears that a certain strategy has been successful, party leaders are unclear about how long apparent success will last. Change unfolds slowly, in fits and starts.

Author Biography

Mark D. Brewer is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. His research focuses on partisanship and electoral behavior, the linkages between public opinion and public policy, and the interactions between religion and politics in the United States. Jeffrey M. Stonecash is Maxwell Professor in the Department of Political Science, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University. He researches political Science, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University. He researches political parties, changes in their electoral bases, and how these changes affect political polarization and public policy debates.

Table of Contents

Figures and Tablesp. viii
Prefacep. xi
Democracy, Representation, and Partiesp. 1
Overview: Social Change and Shifting Party Basesp. 16
Taking Shape: Party Coalitions in the Post-Bellum Nineteenth Centuryp. 33
Republican Ascendancy and Democratic Efforts To Respond, 1896-1928p. 48
Tables Turn: The New Deal Era and Democratic Dominance, 1932-1948p. 66
The Democratic Drive to the Great Societyp. 81
Republicans: Reasserting Conservative Principles and Seeking A Majorityp. 104
The Struggle of Democrats to Interpret Change and Respondp. 145
George Bush and Further Polarizationp. 166
The 2008 Election and its Interpretationp. 184
Parties and the Pursuit of Majoritiesp. 200
Bibliographyp. 211
Indexp. 233
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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