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The Logic of American Politics
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The Logic of American Politics

Tenth Edition


February 2021 | 784 pages | CQ Press
Why does the American political system work the way it does?

Find the answers in The Logic of American Politics. This bestselling text arms students with a "toolkit" of institutional design concepts—command, veto, agenda control, voting rules, and delegation—to help them comprehend how the American political system was designed and why it works the way it does. The authors build students' critical thinking through a simple yet powerful idea: politics is about solving collective action problems. This thoroughly updated Tenth Edition considers the most recent events and data, including rising political polarization, the country’s reaction to changing demographics, and Americans’ growing emotional involvement in politics. With a fresh analysis of the 2020 election results, this bestseller provides students the tools they need to make sense of the government they have.

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Preface
 
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

 
Representative Government

 
The Work of Government

 
Conclusion: Collective Action and America’s Constitution

 
 
Part I. The Nationalization of Politics
 
Chapter 2. The Constitution
The Road to Independence

 
America’s First Constitution: The Articles of Confederation

 
Drafting a New Constitution

 
Features of the Constitution

 
Substantive Issues

 
The Fight for Ratification

 
The Theory Underlying the Constitution

 
Designing Institutions for Collective Action: The Framers’ Tool Kit

 
Assessing the Constitution’s Performance in Today’s American Politics

 
 
Chapter 3. Federalism
American-Style Federalism

 
Federalism and the Constitution

 
The Paths to Nationalization

 
Modern Federalism

 
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

 
Gun Rights

 
Criminal Rights

 
Privacy

 
Civil Liberties as Public Policy

 
 
Part II. The Institutions of Government
 
Chapter 6. Congress
Congress in the Constitution

 
Congress and Electoral Politics

 
Who Serves in Congress?

 
Basic Problems of Legislative Organization

 
Organizing Congress

 
Making Laws

 
Evaluating Congress

 
 
Chapter 7. The Presidency
The Historical Presidency

 
The Modern Presidency

 
The President as Commander in Chief and Head of State

 
The President as Chief Executive

 
The President as Legislator

 
Going Public

 
The Institutional Presidency

 
Conclusion

 
 
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

 
Does a Politicized Judiciary Alter Separation of Powers?

 
 
Part III. 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 Slow Expansion of the Right to Vote

 
Who Uses the Right to Vote?

 
The Basic Necessities of Election Campaigns: Candidates and Messages

 
Campaign Money

 
The Logic of Elections Revisited

 
 
Chapter 12. Political Parties
The Constitution’s Unwanted Offspring

 
Development and Evolution of the Party Systems

 
Revival of the Parties: A Sixth Party System?

 
Expediency Persists

 
 
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 Groups and Elections

 
Interest Group Politics: Controversial and Thriving

 
 
Chapter 14. Media
Development of the News Business

 
Legacy News as a Consumer Product: How the News Gets “Made”

 
Demand for and Effects of News

 
News Media as the “Fourth Branch”

 
Politician–Press Relations Then and Now

 
 
Part IV. 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

 
The Logic of a Government Shutdown

 
The Prisoner’s Dilemma of Entitlement Reform

 
The Success and Failure of Collective Action: A Tale of Two Tax Reforms

 
Conclusion

 
 
Reference Material
 
Glossary
 
Notes
 
Index
 
About the Authors

Supplements

Instructor Resource Site
edge.sagepub.com/kernell10e


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