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The Logic of American Politics

The Logic of American Politics

Eleventh Edition

March 2023 | 816 pages | CQ Press
Why does the American political system work the way it does?

After observing the strains of intense partisanship and divided government, many Americans are wondering what logic, if any, can be found in politics. With both sides of the political spectrum being so different from one another and the scales often tipping in the favor of the opposing party by a fraction of a percentage point, how can anyone work the system to their advantage?

With fresh analysis of the 2022 midterm election results, the Eleventh Edition of bestselling textbook The Logic of American Politics provides students with the tools they need to make sense of our government today. Weaving together historical context, contemporary politics, and a "toolkit" of institutional design concepts, the authors build an understanding of political institutions and practices as imperfect solutions to collective action problems.
A Note to Students
Chapter 1. The Logic of American Politics
Part I. The Nationalization of Politics
Chapter 2. The Constitution
Chapter 3. Federalism
Chapter 4. Civil Rights
Chapter 5. Civil Liberties
Part II. The Institutions of Government
Chapter 6. Congress
Chapter 7. The Presidency
Chapter 8. The Bureaucracy
Chapter 9. The Federal Judiciary
Part III. The Public’s Influence on National Policy
Chapter 10. Public Opinion
Chapter 11. Voting, Campaigns, and Elections
Chapter 12. Political Parties
Chapter 13. Interest Groups
Chapter 14. Media
Part IV. Conclusion
Chapter 15. Is There a Logic to American Policy?
Reference Material
About the Authors


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“I have been a fan of The Logic of American Politics for many years. It has managed to nimbly stay on top of the everchanging world of American politics. The textbook seamlessly mixes in fundamental truths of the discipline with contemporary references to recent changes. Lively prose is combined with innovative and cleverly presented data analysis to produce a work that challenges my students but does not go over their heads. It reinforces the connections I try to make between my students’ everyday lives and the political world around them. This is simply an outstanding text for those teaching an introductory class in American government.”

Marty Cohen
James Madison University

“I’ve been using The Logic of American Politics for more than a decade because it checks all the boxes for a textbook: comprehensive coverage of the major parts of American government; a theme that helps students see connections among various aspects of politics; and timely updates that keep the content fresh. This is the best book on the market.”

Danny Hayes
George Washington University

The Logic of American Politics offers a fresh perspective into the American system of government—one rooted in collective action problems in politics and how government institutions solve and create them.

For its theoretically informed approach based primarily on the “new institutionalist” tradition, the authors use highly accessible language throughout the text. They have always updated it with timely discussions to connect concepts and theories to events hot to the touch like government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. Often presented in “Strategy and Choice” and “Politics to Policy” boxes throughout the text, these discussions provide informative and absorbing illustrations for the logic behind political institutions and processes.

I have assigned this text for my “Introduction to American Government” course. It has noticeably challenged—and enabled—my students to analyze the politics in their lives and on the news through a powerful critical lens.”

Huchen Liu
University of Nebraska Omaha

The Logic of American Politics offers the best theoretically driven understanding of American politics for undergraduates; I’ve used it for nearly twenty years at a variety of institutions. It goes far beyond simple civics to teach students how to think like a political scientist. It explains historical and contemporary political patterns through concepts like collective action, delegation, and agenda control while remaining accessible for even first-year college students.”

Jessica Trounstine
University of California Merced

The Logic of American Politics is a consistently valuable resource for any educator hoping to explain the seemingly illogical elements of American Politics. The format of the textbook spans all major substantive areas of American Politics, including foundational elements, institutions, public opinion, and policy-making, while incorporating current political issues and examples throughout the text. The “Politics to Policy” feature is particularly helpful to understand the political rationale behind significant policies, and tangibly link theory to outcomes.”

Shannon McQueen
West Chester University

“Any political system can be evaluated in terms of its durability, whether it resolves collective action problems, solves the tragedy of the commons, protects individual freedom and ensures equity. The wonderful thing about The Logic of American Politics is that it helps students both understand this and then evaluate the American political system on these terms. It is a great textbook for those who want to think critically about politics in the United States.”

Forrest Maltzman
George Washington University

"The Logic of American Politics is a terrifically rich summation of our knowledge in this particular area; more importantly, it is a masterfully articulated blueprint for how to think about politics in general. In my opinion, there is not a more potent exposition of the current theories and empirical evidence in political science. For that reason, I not only assign this book to undergraduate students, but also in many of my PhD courses to give young scholars a foundation for doing original research in the field."

Nate Monroe
University of California Merced

11th ed we use 10th Good book

Will use in Fall want a hard copy too

Professor Robert Milstein
English Communications Dept, East-West University
April 20, 2023