Can America Govern Itself? brings together a diverse group of distinguished scholars to analyze how rising party polarization and economic inequality have affected the performance of American governing institutions. It is organized around two themes: the changing nature of representation in the United States; and how changes in the political environment have affected the internal processes of institutions, overall government performance, and policy outcomes. The chapters in this volume analyze concerns about power, influence and representation in American politics, the quality of deliberation and political communications, the management and implementation of public policy, and the performance of an eighteenth century constitution in today's polarized political environment. These renowned scholars provide a deeper and more systematic grasp of what is new, and what is perennial in challenges to democracy at a fraught moment.
Table of Contents
1. Anxieties of American democracy Frances E. Lee and Nolan McCarty; Part I. Anxieties of Power, Influence, and Representation: 2. In the private interest? Business influence and American democracy Anthony S. Chen; 3. The interest group top tier: lobbying inequality and American governance Lee Drutman, Matt Grossmann and Timothy LaPira; 4. Developments in Congressional responsiveness to donor opinion Brandice Canes-Wrone and Nathan Gibson; 5. Minority protest and the early stages of governmental responsiveness in the electoral process Daniel Gillion and Patricia Posey; 6. The hollow parties Daniel Schlozman and Sam Rosenfeld; Part II. Procedural Anxieties: 7. Does regular order produce a more deliberative Congress? Evidence from the annual appropriations process Lee Drutman and Peter Hanson; 8. Congress at work: legislative capacity and entrepreneurship in the contemporary Congress James Curry and Frances Lee; 9. Dumbing down? Trends in the complexity of political communication Kenneth Benoit, Kevin Munger and Arthur Spirling; Part III. Anxieties of Governance: 10. Public policy and political dysfunction: the policyscape, policy maintenance, and oversight Suzanne Mettler and Claire Leavitt; 11. The effects of partisan polarization on the bureaucracy David Spence; 12. Polarization and the changing American constitutional system Nolan McCarty.