More than 50 years have passed since the American Political Science Association published ""Toward a More Responsible Two-Party System"", a controversial report that addressed the lack of national cohesion within the major parties. Although parties have changed a great deal since then, they remain a critical component of American democracy. This work reassesses all aspects of the APSA report. It examines the effectiveness, accountability, and relevance of parties to the democratic process. The articles cover all major relevant topics, focusing on recent changes in laws that govern parties, innovations in party organization, party finance, and the relationships among political consultants and parties. They examine the place of the party in government and also consider the roles of parties among the electorate, examining trends in voting behaviour, party identification, and ideology.
John C. Green is director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and professor of political science at the University of Akron. He is coauthor of The Bully Pulpit: The Politics of Protestant Clergy and coeditor of The state of the Parties, now in its fourth edition. Paul S. Herrnson is director of the Center for American Politics and Citizenship and professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is the author of Congressional Elections: Campaigning at Home and in Washington and Party Campaigning in the 1980s.