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Guide to U.S. Political Parties

Guide to U.S. Political Parties

Edited by:

June 2014 | 456 pages | CQ Press

This one-volume reference presents the major conceptual approaches to the study of U.S. political parties and the national party system, describing the organization and behavior of U.S. political parties in thematic, narrative chapters that help undergraduate students better understand party origins, historical development, and current operations. Further, it provides researchers with in-depth analysis of important subtopics and connections to other aspects of politics. 

Key Features:

  • Thematic, narrative chapters, organized into six major parts, provide the context, as well as in-depth analysis of the unique system of party politics in the United States.
  • Top analysts of party politics provide insightful chapters that explore how and why the U.S. parties have changed over time, including major organizational transformations by the parties, behavioral changes among candidates and party activists, and attitudinal changes among their partisans in the electorate.
  • The authors discuss the way the traditional concept of formal party organizations gave way over time to a candidate-centered model, fueled in part by changes in campaign finance, the rise of new communication technologies, and fragmentation of the electorate.

This book is an ideal reference for students and researchers who want to develop a deeper understanding of the current challenges faced by citizens of republican government in the United States. 

About the Editor
Marjorie Randon Hershey and Edward M. Burmila
Who is Included in a "Party"?

Different Definitions of "Party"

Central Themes in the Study of Political Parties

Plan of the Guide

Part I. What Are Parties For?
Mark D. Brewer and Jeffrey M. Stonecash
1. Parties and the Respone to Change: The Representation and Mobilization of Divisions in a Nation
The Nature of Party Coalitional Change

Parties, Conflict, and the Challenge of Social Change

Partisan Responses to Change


Jamie L. Carson
2. Political Parties: Recruiting Leaders and Structuring Elections
Relationships Between Political Parties and Their Candidates

Challenges to the Parties' Role Posed by Progressive Era Reforms

Unintended Consequences of Candidate-Selection Reforms

Decline and Resurgence of Parties' Roles in Nominating Candidates and Structuring Elections

How the Parties Regained an Important Role in Campaigns


Frances E. Lee
3. Parties as Coordinators: Can Parties Unite What the Constitution Divides?
Parties as Centralizers: Theory and Practice

Building Majorities: Procedural and Substantive

Enacting Policies

Do Parties Promote Policy Coherence?

Bridging the Separation of Powers?

Promoting Accountability

The Parties and the Constitution

Hans Noel
4. What the Parties Stand For
Understanding Changes in Party Philosophies

The First Party System (1789-1824): The Great Principle

The Second Party System (1828-1854): Reemergent Conflict

The Third Party System (1854-1892): The Irresistible Force of Slavery

The Fourth Party System (1896-1932): The Progressive Era

The Fifth Party System (1932-) and Beyond: Liberalism Versus Conservatism

Party Ideologies in the Twenty-First Century

Paul A. Beck
5. Parties in the American Political Environment: Shaped, Adaptive, and Shapers
The Constitutional Framework and Political Parties

The Uniqueness of the American Parties

Environmental Change and Shifting Powers Within Parties

The Lens Reversed: Parties Shaping Their Environments

Emerging Environmental Challenges to the Parties


Part II. Historical Development of the Parties
6. The Origins and Development of U.S. Political Parties, 1790-1861
Clashing Views About Government

The Parties’ Coalitions

The Parties Fade

A Populist Party System

The Rise of Van Buren

Party Organizations

The Whigs and the Democrats

Sectional Tension

New Parties Arise


Jeffrey D. Grynaviski
7. Political Parties in the Age of Industrialization: From Their Golden Age Through the Progressive Era
The Golden Age of Parties

Political Party Organization

Voter Behavior

The Progressive Era


Kristi Andersen
8. Constructing a New Majority: The Depression, the New Deal, and the Democrats
Party Politics in the 1920s

A Changing Electorate

The Great Depression and Party Politics

The Mechanics of Political Change: Mobilization and Conversion

The Democrats Organize a Coalition

Party System Consolidation


Jeffery A. Jenkins
9. Partisanship, Sectionalism, and Race: Civil Rights and Party Development From the 1950s Through the 1970s
Background to the Era

The Eisenhower Years

The Kennedy/Johnson Years

The Nixon/Ford Years

The Carter Years and Beyond


David Karol
10. Parties Revised and Revived: Democrats and Republicans in the Age of Reagan, 1980 to 2000
Parties in the Electorate: The End of Democratic Dominance

Changing Party Coalitions

The Parties and the Presidency

The Parties in Congress

The Democratic Response to Reagan

Third-Party Developments in the 1980s and 1990s

Conclusion: Parties Revised and Revived

Casey B.K. Dominguez
11. Polarization and Volatility: The State of the Party System in the Twenty-First Century
Political Events in the First Decade of the Twenty-First Century

The Party as Organization

Party in the Electorate

Party in Government

Understanding Outcomes

Prospects for Future Change


Part III. Party Organizations
Daniel DiSalvo
12. The Nature of Party Organizations
Party Structures

Party Development

Party Organizations in Congress


Vladimir Kogan
13. From Machines to Service Centers: The Evolution of State and Local Political Parties
The Anatomy of the Party

Machine Politics in the City

Era of Political Reform

Adaptation and Resurgence: Party Activities in the Modern Era

Survival in the Twenty-First Century: Emerging Challenges

Daniel J. Galvin
14. The Transformation of the National Party Committees
The Timing and Process of Party Change

The Republican National Committee’s Transformation Into a Service Institution

The Democratic National Committee’s Delayed Transformation Into a Service Institution


Paul S. Herrnson
15. The Impact of Reform on National Party Financing and Campaigning
The Institutional Setting

Party Finance During the Golden Age

Party Finance and the Federal Election Campaign Act

Party Finance and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act

Party Finance in the Post-BCRA Era

Political Parties as Enduring Multilayered Coalitions

Geoffrey C. Layman
16. Party Activists
Perspectives on Parties and Party Activists

Amateurs and Professionals: The Political Incentives and Norms of Party Activists

Party Activists and Partisan Change

Activists and Party Polarization


Ronald B. Rapoport and Justin de Benedictis-Kessner
17. Vote-Seeking Third Parties in the Twentieth Century
Categorizations of Third Parties

Factional Parties

Regional Versus National Parties

Characteristics of Candidates and Campaigns

Third Parties and the Institutional Environment

The Institutional Context

Opportunities for Success: The Political Environment

Comparing the Campaigns

The Dynamic of Third Parties

Part IV. Parties in the Electorate
Marc J. Hetherington
18. The Nature of Partisan Identification
What Is Partisanship?

The Distribution of Partisanship

Where Party Identification Comes From

Beyond Socialization and Groups

The Effects of Party Identification


Logan Dancey
19. Party Identification and Issue Attitudes
The Partisan Divide

How Voters Align Party and Issues Positions

The Normative Implications

Conclusions and Remaining Questions

Russell J. Dalton
20. Independents and American Elections
The Evidence of Weakening Party Ties

The Consequences of Dealignment

Independents and Electoral Politics

Barbara Norrander
21. Primary Elections and Caucuses
Direct Primaries

The Presidential Nomination Process

Concerns About Primary Elections

Helmut Norpoth
22. Partisanship in General Elections
Party Identification and the Vote

Rivals of Party Identification

Issue Opinions in General Elections

Candidate Perceptions in General Elections

The Impact of Issues and Candidates

Cycles and Equilibrium in General Elections


Thomas M. Carsey
23. Differing Views on Polarization of the Electorate
Is the Electorate Polarized Now?

Causes of Party Polarization in the Electorate

The Consequences of Party Polarization in the Electorate


Part V. Parties in Government
Bruce I. Oppenheimer
24. Ebbs and Flows in the Power of Congressional Party Leaders Since 1910
Moving in Opposite Directions, 1910–1915

Republican Dominance Followed by Democratic Control, 1919–1937

The Conservative Coalition and the Independent Power of Committee Chairs, 1937-1970

The Return of Stronger Parties, 1970 to the Present 317


Jennifer Hayes Clark and Gerald C. Wright
25. Differences in Party Leadership and Control Among the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and State Legislatures
Legislative Leadership: Structure and Organization

Where’s the Party? Assessing Contemporary Debates of Party Power

Leadership, Gatekeeping Rights, and Majority Roll Rates

Analyses and Results


Jesse H. Rhodes
26. What Influence Do the Parties Have in the Presidency and the Bureaucracy?
Parties, the Presidency, and the Constitution

The Rise of Political Parties and the Transformation of the Presidency

The Progressive Movement and Challenges to the Nineteenth-Century Party System

The Modern Presidency and the Transformation of the American Party System

From the High Tide of the Modern Presidency to the Reemergence of Party Politics


David R. Jones
27. Partisan Control of Government and Public Policy
Party Differentiation in Policy Preferences

Presidential Relations With Copartisans

Policy Outcomes Under Divided Versus Unified Government

Policy Outcomes Under Democratic Versus Republican Control

Changes in Party Control


Marjorie Randon Hershey and Jessica Gall Myrick
28. Political Parties and the Changing Media Environment
Relationships Between the Parties and the Media

How the Party-Media Relationship Has Changed

How Parties Use the Digital Media

How the Media Constrain the Parties’ Goals


Part VI. Parties in Their Environment
Richard M. Skinner
29. Political Parties and Interest Groups: Parties as Networks
Groups and the Party Networks

Members of the Party Networks

Interest Groups and Political Parties: Personnel and Resources

Groups as Policy Demanders

Party-Group Tensions


John J. Coleman
30. The Standard of Responsible Parties
The Debate Over Responsible and Functional Parties

Challenges Facing Responsible Parties in the United States

Episodes of Responsible Party Government

The Current Era and Party Responsibility

Polarization and the Responsible Party Ideal


Lawrence R. Jacobs
31. Political Parties and Economic Inequality
Political Parties and Economic Structure

Information and Power

So What?

Disciplined Parties and Democracy

Marjorie Randon Hershey
Selecting Leaders

Policy Coordination Within Government

Holding Leaders Accountable

What Happens Next?

Summing Up


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ISBN: 9781452267807

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