Dynamics of American Political Parties

Dynamics of American Political Parties

By: Mark D. Brewer (author), Jeffrey M. Stonecash (author)Paperback

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Dynamics of American Political Parties examines the process of gradual change that inexorably shapes and reshapes American politics. Parties and the politicians that comprise them seek control of government in order to implement their visions of proper public policy. To gain control parties need to win elections, and winning elections requires assembling an electoral coalition that is larger than that crafted by the opposition. Uncertainty rules and intra-party conflict rages as different factions and groups within the parties debate the proper course(s) of action and battle it out for control of the party. Parties can never be sure how their strategic maneuvers will play out, and, even when it appears that a certain strategy has been successful, party leaders are unclear about how long apparent success will last. Change unfolds slowly, in fits and starts.

About Author

Mark D. Brewer is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. His research focuses on partisanship and electoral behavior at both the mass and elite levels, the linkages between public opinion and public policy, and the interactions that exist between religion and politics in the United States. Brewer is the author of Relevant No More? The Catholic/Protestant Divide in American Politics and Party Images in the American Electorate, and he is coauthor of Diverging Parties: Realignment, Social Change, and Party Polarization; Split: Class and Cultural Divides in American Politics; and Parties and Elections in America, 5th edition. He has published articles in Political Research Quarterly, Political Behavior, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Jeffrey M. Stonecash is Maxwell Professor in the Department of Political Science, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University. He researches political parties, changes in their electoral bases, and how these changes affect political polarization and public policy debates. His recent books are Class and Party in American Politics (2000), Diverging Parties (2003), Parties Matter (2005), Split: Class and Cultural Divides in American Politics (2007), Political Polling, 2nd edition (2008), and Reassessing the Incumbency Effect (2008). He has done polling and consulting for political candidates since 1985.


1. Democracy, representation, and parties; 2. Overview: social change and shifting party bases; 3. Taking shape: party coalitions in the post-bellum nineteenth century; 4. Republican ascendancy and Democratic efforts to respond: 1896-1928; 5. New Deal dominance and struggles with internal diversity; 6. The Democratic drive to the great society; 7. Republicans: reasserting conservative principles and seeking a majority; 8. The Democratic struggle to respond; 9. George Bush and further polarization; 10. The 2008 election and its interpretation; 11. Parties and the pursuit of majorities.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780521708876
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 256
  • ID: 9780521708876
  • weight: 360
  • ISBN10: 0521708877

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