American Gridlock: The Sources, Character, and Impact of Political Polarization

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James A. Thurber, Antoine Yoshinaka
Cambridge University Press, Nov 12, 2015 - Political Science - 436 pages
American Gridlock brings together the country's preeminent experts on the causes, characteristics, and consequences of partisan polarization in US politics and government, with each chapter presenting original scholarship and novel data. This book is the first to combine research on all facets of polarization, among the public (both voters and activists), in our federal institutions (Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court), at the state level, and in the media. Each chapter includes a bullet-point summary of its main argument and conclusions, and is written in clear prose that highlights the substantive implications of polarization for representation and policy-making. Authors examine polarization with an array of current and historical data, including public opinion surveys, electoral and legislative and congressional data, experimental data, and content analyses of media outlets. American Gridlock's theoretical and empirical depth distinguishes it from any other volume on polarization.
 

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Contents

Partisan Sorted and Polarized
19
Redistricting and Polarization
45
Party Activists Interest Groups and Polarization in American
68
Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics Still?
86
The Foundations of Polarized Politics
113
PresidentialCongressional Relations in an Era of Polarized
133
The Ugly Side of Party Polarization in Congress
152
The Sources and Consequences of Polarization in the U
171
Evidence
236
Evidence
259
District Polarization and Media Coverage
287
Polarization and Partisan
309
The Polarizing Effects of Partisan and Mainstream News
337
Congressional Polarization and Its Connection to Income
357
The Sources and Impact of Political Polarization
378
Index
389

Polarization in American State Legislatures
203
Two States Experiences
222

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About the author (2015)

James A. Thurber is University Distinguished Professor of Government and Founder and Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, Washington DC. In 2010, he won the Walter Beach Pi Sigma American Political Science Association Award for his work combining applied and academic research. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Lobbying Law Reform. He is the author of multiple books and more than eighty articles and chapters on Congress, congressional-presidential relations, congressional budgeting, congressional reform, interest groups and lobbying, congressional ethics, and campaigns and elections. He co-produced three BBC TV documentaries on the US Congress and elections.

Antoine Yoshinaka is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the State University of New York, Buffalo. He has published numerous articles on elections, parties, and representation in outlets like PS: Political Science and Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, the British Journal of Political Science and Electoral Studies. His book Crossing the Aisle: Party Switching by US Legislators in the Postwar Era was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.

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