The American Anomaly: U.S. Politics and Government in Comparative Perspective / Edition 2

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To a degree that may surprise many Americans, U.S. politics and government are quite atypical in the world. The American Anomaly systematically analyzes and explains the U.S. political system by way of comparison with other countries, especially other industrialized democracies. It is organized into three sections on the constitutional order, governmental institutions, and political participation, comprising eleven chapters that parallel the organization of many American politics courses. Extensive case studies in each chapter draw on all the major regions of the world, with examples from dozens of political systems. It is an ideal supplemental text for a college student to truly understand American politics in comparative perspective.

About the Author:
Raymond A. Smith is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and New York University

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Comparison generates knowledge, and the comparative approach used in this textbook offers a superb way to stimulate student interest not only in American politics, but also in the politics of other nations. I wish I'd read this book when I was in college."

—Richard M. Pious, Barnard College

"There are both striking similarities and crucial differences between how politics works in the U.S. and how politics operates in other countries. Smith's wonderful achievement in this book is to use these similarities and differences to provide readers with an enhanced understanding of American politics."

—Charles Shipan, University of Michigan

"With today's globalization, revolutions seeking democracy, and new technology that has more closely connected the world, the new edition of The American Anomaly is a particularly timely book. It provides an engaging introduction to how American government and politics still stands out as an important democratic model, as it is in fact so different in many ways from other democracies that have followed in its general path."

—Robert Y. Shapiro, Columbia University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415879736
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/14/2010
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Raymond A. Smith, Ph.D. is an adjunct assistant professor of political science at Columbia University and New York University and a Senior Fellow with the Progressive Policy Institute. He is author of Importing Democracy: Ideas from around the World to Reform and Revitalize U.S. Politics and Government.

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Table of Contents

Preface     vii
The Constitutional Order
The American Nation, State, and Regime     3
The U.S. Constitution     19
Federalism     33
Separation of Powers     47
The Institutions of Government
The Executive Branch: The Presidency and the Bureaucracy     69
The Legislative Branch: The Two Houses of Congress     89
The Judicial Branch: The Supreme Court and the Federal Courts     107
Political Participation
Voting and Elections     123
Political Parties and Interest Groups     143
Unconventional Political Participation     163
Public Opinion and Political Values     177
Conclusion: The American Anomaly on Balance     195
For Further Study: A Brief Bibliographic Essay on American Exceptionalism     201
Index     205
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