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The Increasingly United States

How and Why American Political Behavior Nationalized

Author: Daniel J. Hopkins

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN:

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 520

In a campaign for state or local office these days, you’re as likely today to hear accusations that an opponent advanced Obamacare or supported Donald Trump as you are to hear about issues affecting the state or local community. This is because American political behavior has become substantially more nationalized. American voters are far more engaged with and knowledgeable about what’s happening in Washington, DC, than in similar messages whether they are in the South, the Northeast, or the Midwest. Gone are the days when all politics was local. With The Increasingly United States, Daniel J. Hopkins explores this trend and its implications for the American political system. The change is significant in part because it works against a key rationale of America’s federalist system, which was built on the assumption that citizens would be more strongly attached to their states and localities. It also has profound implications for how voters are represented. If voters are well informed about state politics, for example, the governor has an incentive to deliver what voters—or at least a pivotal segment of them—want. But if voters are likely to back the same party in gubernatorial as in presidential elections irrespective of the governor’s actions in office, governors may instead come to see their ambitions as tethered more closely to their status in the national party.

The Cities on the Hill

How Urban Institutions Transformed National Politics

Author: Thomas K. Ogorzalek

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN:

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 372

Over the second half of the 20th century, American politics was reorganized around race as the tenuous New Deal coalition frayed and eventually collapsed. What drove this change? In The Cities on the Hill, Thomas Ogorzalek argues that the answer lies not in the sectional divide between North and South, but in the differences between how cities and rural areas govern themselves and pursue their interests on the national stage. Using a wide range of evidence from Congress and an original dataset measuring the urbanicity of districts over time, he shows how the trajectory of partisan politics in America today was set in the very beginning of the New Deal. Both rural and urban America were riven with local racial conflict, but beginning in the 1930s, city leaders became increasingly unified in national politics and supportive of civil rights, changes that sowed the seeds of modern liberalism. As Ogorzalek powerfully demonstrates, the red and blue shades of contemporary political geography derive more from rural and urban perspectives than clean state or regional lines-but local institutions can help bridges the divides that keep Americans apart.

From Politics to the Pews

How Partisanship and the Political Environment Shape Religious Identity

Author: Michele F. Margolis

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN:

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 443

One of the most substantial divides in American politics is the “God gap.” Religious voters tend to identify with and support the Republican Party, while secular voters generally support the Democratic Party. Conventional wisdom suggests that religious differences between Republicans and Democrats have produced this gap, with voters sorting themselves into the party that best represents their religious views. Michele F. Margolis offers a bold challenge to the conventional wisdom, arguing that the relationship between religion and politics is far from a one-way street that starts in the church and ends at the ballot box. Margolis contends that political identity has a profound effect on social identity, including religion. Whether a person chooses to identify as religious and the extent of their involvement in a religious community are, in part, a response to political surroundings. In today’s climate of political polarization, partisan actors also help reinforce the relationship between religion and politics, as Democratic and Republican elites stake out divergent positions on moral issues and use religious faith to varying degrees when reaching out to voters.

Good Enough for Government Work

The Public Reputation Crisis in America (And What We Can Do to Fix It)

Author: Amy E. Lerman

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN:

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 566

American government is in the midst of a reputation crisis. An overwhelming majority of citizens—Republicans and Democrats alike—hold negative perceptions of the government and believe it is wasteful, inefficient, and doing a generally poor job managing public programs and providing public services. When social problems arise, Americans are therefore skeptical that the government has the ability to respond effectively. It’s a serious problem, argues Amy E. Lerman, and it will not be a simple one to fix. With Good Enough for Government Work, Lerman uses surveys, experiments, and public opinion data to argue persuasively that the reputation of government is itself an impediment to government’s ability to achieve the common good. In addition to improving its efficiency and effectiveness, government therefore has an equally critical task: countering the belief that the public sector is mired in incompetence. Lerman takes readers through the main challenges. Negative perceptions are highly resistant to change, she shows, because we tend to perceive the world in a way that confirms our negative stereotypes of government—even in the face of new information. Those who hold particularly negative perceptions also begin to “opt out” in favor of private alternatives, such as sending their children to private schools, living in gated communities, and refusing to participate in public health insurance programs. When sufficient numbers of people opt out of public services, the result can be a decline in the objective quality of public provision. In this way, citizens’ beliefs about government can quickly become a self-fulfilling prophecy, with consequences for all. Lerman concludes with practical solutions for how the government might improve its reputation and roll back current efforts to eliminate or privatize even some of the most critical public services.

Politics in America

the ability to govern

Author: Lance T. LeLoup

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Political Science

Page: 573

View: 197

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Category: Political science

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Category: Research

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Category: Forecasting

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