About the Authors
Chapter 1: American Politics from a Comparative Perspective
What Does It Mean to Examine American Politics from a Comparative Perspective?
Is American Democracy the Best Type of Democracy?
Why Is It Important to Examine American Politics from a Comparative Perspective?
What to Expect in the Following Chapters
Chapter 2: Similarities between the United States and Other Democracies
Public Contestation (Competition) and Inclusion (Participation)
Chapter 3: American Exceptionalism
Differing Views of Governing Legitimacy
Functional Explanations for American Exceptionalism
Social Democracy and Liberal Democracy
Chapter 4: Political Beliefs: Political Culture and Ideology
Political Engagement: Political Interest
Interpersonal Trust, Reciprocity, and Social Capital
Political Efficacy: Free Choice and Control over Life
Distinction of American Cultural Beliefs
Individualism and Economy
Chapter 5: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Explaining Differing Levels of Civil Rights and Liberties
Civil Liberties in Practice
Chapter 6: Constitutional Arrangements
Constitutional Arrangement: Constitutional Longevity
Constitutional Arrangement: Majoritarian and Consociational Democracies
Vertical Organization of Government: Unitary, Federal, and Confederal Systems
Chapter 7: Governing Institutions
National Governing Institutions
Chapter 8: Interest Groups
Interest Groups, Social Movements, and Social Movement Organizations
Interest Group Life Cycle
Pluralist Versus Neo-Corporatist Interest Group Arrangements
Why Pluralist or Neo-Corporatist?
Role of Interest Groups in the United States Historically and Today
How Do Groups Participate in Politics?
Chapter 9: Political Parties
Party History and Formation
American Party Development—Why Aren’t Parties as Strong?
The Founding and the Aversion to Parties
The Nature of American Parties
Where Are the American Cleavages?
Role of Parties in Government
American Two-Party System Versus Other Party Systems
An Americanization of Parties Elsewhere or More Party Government in the United States?
Chapter 10: Elections and Electoral Institutions
Plurality, Majority, and Proportional Representation Systems
Consequences of Electoral Systems
Chapter 11: Electoral Behavior
Context of Elections and Campaigns
Voting Behavior: Electoral Participation
Political Party Mobilization: Weak Party Organization in the United States
Campaign Information Flow
Clarity of Electoral Choice: Liberalism and Limited Government
Evaluating the Consequences of the Electoral Context on Voter Participation
Electoral Behavior: Determinants of Vote Choice
Consequences of Electoral Laws, Context, and Voting for Democracy
Chapter 12: Conclusion