During the past decade, Democrats and Republicans each have received about fifty percent of the votes and controlled about half of the government, but this has not resulted in policy deadlock. Despite highly partisan political posturing, the policy regime has been largely moderate. Incremental, yet substantial, policy innovations such as welfare reform; deficit reduction; the North American Free Trade Agreement; and, the deregulation of telecommunications, banking, and agriculture have been accompanied by such continuities as Social Security and Medicare, the maintenance of earlier immigration reforms, and the persistence of many rights-based policies, including federal affirmative action. In "Seeking the Center", twenty-one contributors analyze policy outcomes in light of the frequent alternation in power among evenly divided parties. They show how the triumph of policy moderation and the defeat of more ambitious efforts, such as health care reform, can be explained by mutually supporting economic, intellectual, and political forces.
Demonstrating that the determinants of public policy become clear by probing specific issues, rather than in abstract theorizing, they restore the politics of policymaking to the forefront of the political science agenda. A successor to Martin A. Levin and Marc K. Landy's influential "The New Politics of Public Policy" (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), this book will be vital reading for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in political science and public policy, as well as a resource for scholars in both fields.
Martin A. Levin is a professor of politics at Brandeis University. He is coauthor of After the Cure: Managing AIDs and Other Public Health Crises (University Press of Kansas, 2000). Marc Landy is a professor of political science at Boston College. He is coauthor of Presidential Greatness (University Press of Kansas, 2000). Martin Shapiro is the James W. and Isabel Coffroth Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley's School of Law. He is the author of Who Guards the Guardians: Judicial Control of Administration (University of Georgia Press, 1988).
Preface Part I: Introduction 1. Durability and ChangeMartin A. Levin and Marc K. LandyPart II: Taxing and Spending2. Budgeting More, Deciding LessEric M. Patashnik3. From Expansion to Austerity: The New Politics of Taxing and SpendingPaul Pierson4. Four Pathways of Power: Probing the Political Dynamics of Federal Tax Policy in the in the Turbulent 1980s and 1990sDavid R. Beam and Timothy J. ConlanPart III: Rights Policies 5. Immigration Reform ReduxPeter H. Schuck6. Republican Efforts to End Affirmative Action: Walking a Fine LineJohn David Skrentny7. On the Resilience of RightsThomas F. BurkePart IV: Social Welfare Policy8. The Evolving Old Politics of Social SecurityMartha Derthick9. The Politics of Rights Retraction: Welfare Reform from Entitlement to Block GrantSteven M. Teles, Brandeis UniversityTimothy S. Prinz10. The New Politics of the Working PoorChristopher Howard11. Dead on Arrival? New Politics, Old Politics, and the Case of National Health ReformCathie Jo Martin12. The New Politics of the CensusPeter SkerryPart V: Foreign Trade13. The Postwar Liberal Trade Regime: Resilience under PressureDavid VogelPart VI: Durability and Change14. Much Huffing and Puffing, Little ChangeDavid R. Mayhew15. Bill Clinton and the Politics of Divided DemocracySidney M. Milkis16. Two-Tier Politics RevisitedWilson Carey McWilliams17. Exit "Equality," Enter "Fairness"Eugene Bardach18. The Politics and Policy of the Regulated Market, Efficiency- Constrained Welfare StateMartin Shapiro
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