This new edition of the bestselling The Logic of American Politics is thoroughly updated and covers the dramatic 2016 election results with a thorough analysis of those results. It arms students with a revised introduction to institutional design that makes concepts such as command, veto, agenda control, voting rules, and delegation easier for students to master and apply, so they clearly see how the American political system was devised and why it works the way it does. Authors Samuel Kernell, Gary C. Jacobson, Thad Kousser, and Lynn Vavreck build students' critical thinking through a simple yet powerful idea: politics is about solving collective action problems.
This new edition continues to delve into partisan differences among voters and in government and highlight the increasingly partisan nature of campaigns. By exploring issues such as the Affordable Care Act’s troubled implementation, the increasing legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage in the states, and the debate over immigration, the book illustrates how the institutional structures of government, federalism, and even campaigns can help voters make sense of their choices. The concluding chapter on policymaking examines the noticeable logic that guides American policy, as shown through issues like health care reform, global climate change, and the federal budget. Students glean insights into the sources of policy problems, identify possible solutions, and realize why agreement on those solutions is often so hard to achieve.
Table of Contents
A Note to Students
Chapter 1: The Logic of American Politics
The Importance of Institutional Design
Constitutions and Governments
Collective Action Problems
The Costs of Collective Action
The Work of Government
Collective Action and America’s Constitution
PART 1 The Nationalization of Politics
Chapter 2: The Constitution
The Road to Independence
America’s First Constitution: The Articles of Confederation
Drafting a New Constitution
The Fight for Ratification
The Theory Underlying the Constitution
Designing Institutions for Collective Action: The Framers’ Tool Kit
The Constitution Begins the Nationalization of American Politics
Chapter 3: Federalism
Federalism and the Constitution
The Paths to Nationalization
Evolving Federalism: A By-Product of National Policy
Chapter 4: Civil Rights
What Are Civil Rights?
The Civil Rights of African Americans
The Politics of Black Civil Rights
The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement
Chapter 5: Civil Liberties
Nationalization of Civil Liberties
Writing Rights and Liberties into the Constitution
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of the Press
Freedom of Religion
Assessing Civil Liberties as Public Policy
PART 2 The Institutions of Government
Chapter 6: Congress
Congress in the Constitution
Congress and Electoral Politics
Who Serves in Congress?
The Basic Problems of Legislative Organization
Chapter 7: The Presidency
The Historical Presidency
The Modern Presidency
Dilemma of Leadership
Chapter 8: The Bureaucracy
The Development of the Federal Bureaucracy
An Expanding Government
Bureaucracy in Action
Who Controls the Bureaucracy?
Bureaucratic Reform: A Hardy Perennial
Chapter 9: The Federal Judiciary
Setting the Stage for Judicial Review
Three Eras of the Court’s Judicial Review
The Structure of the Federal Judiciary
Judicial Decision Making
The Supreme Court’s Place in the Separation of Powers
Who Guards the Guardians?
PART 3 The Public’s Influence on National Policy
Chapter 10: Public Opinion
What Is Public Opinion?
Measuring Public Opinion
The Origins of Public Opinion
Is Public Opinion Meaningful?
The Content of Public Opinion
Effects of Background on Public Opinion
Public Opinion: A Vital Component of American Politics
Chapter 11: Voting, Campaigns, and Elections
The Logic of Elections
The Right to Vote
Who Uses the Right to Vote?
The Logic of Elections Revisited
Chapter 12: Political Parties
The Constitution’s Unwanted Offspring
The Development and Evolution of the Party Systems
The Revival of the Parties: A Sixth Party System?
Chapter 13: Interest Groups
The Logic of Lobbying
The Origins of Interest Group Politics in the United States
Contemporary Interest Groups
What Do Interest Groups Do?
Interest Group Politics: Controversial and Thriving
Chapter 14: The News Media
Development of the News Business
News as a Consumer Product
News Media as the “Fourth Branch”
News as the Product of Politics
Strategic Relations between Politicians and Reporters
Conclusion: Politician–Press Relations Then and Now
PART 4 Conclusion
Chapter 15: Is There a Logic to American Policy?
Free Riding and Health Care
The Obstacles to Taking Domestic Action to Stop Global Climate Change
High-Stakes Maneuvering: Why We Tiptoe Up To, but Have Not Fallen Off, the Fiscal Cliff
The Prisoner’s Dilemma of Entitlement Reform
The Success and Failure of Collective Action: A Tale of Two Tax Reforms
About the Authors