Congress as Public Enemy: Public Attitudes Toward American Political Institutions

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 29, 1995 - Political Science - 186 pages
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This timely book describes and explains the American people's alleged hatred of their own branch of government, the U.S. Congress. Focus group sessions held across the country and a specially designed national survey indicate that much of the negativity is generated by popular perceptions of the processes of governing visible in Congress. But Hibbing and Theiss-Morse conclude that the public's unwitting desire to reform democracy out of a democratic legislature is a cure more dangerous than the disease.
 

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Congress as public enemy: public attitudes toward American political institutions

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Congress, the people's branch of government, is passionately ridiculed with great regularity by the people. But why? Does everyone really despise Congress, and what about it do they hate? These ... Read full review

Congress as public enemy: public attitudes toward American political institutions

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Congress, the people's branch of government, is passionately ridiculed with great regularity by the people. But why? Does everyone really despise Congress, and what about it do they hate? These ... Read full review

Contents

What is wrong with the American political
1
Changing levels of support for individual institutions
22
Perceptions of political institutions
41
Perceptions of congressional features and reforms
62
Focus groups and perceptions of the Washington system
84
Who approves of Congress?
106
involvement
112
Support for democratic processes
125
Congress
133
The people and their political system
145
Appendix
163
References
174
Index
183
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About the author (1995)

Hibbing is Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska.

Elizabeth Theiss-Morse is Professor and Chair of Political Science at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where she has taught since 1988. She is the co-author of two award-winning Cambridge University Press books: Congress as Public Enemy: Public Attitudes toward American Political Institutions (co-authored with John R. Hibbing), winner of the APSA's Fenno Prize in 1996 for the best book on Congress; and With Malice Toward Some: How People Make Civil Liberties Judgments (co-authored with George E. Marcus, John L. Sullivan and Sandra L. Wood), winner of the APSA's Best Book in Political Psychology Prize in 1996. A second book written with John Hibbing, Stealth Democracy: Americans' Beliefs about How Government Should Work (Cambridge, 2002), was named an 'Outstanding Academic Title' by Choice magazine in 2003. She also co-edited with John Hibbing What Is It About Government that Americans Dislike? (Cambridge, 2001). She has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Perspectives on Politics, Political Psychology, and Political Behavior, among others, and has received five National Science Foundation Grants.

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