Congress as Public Enemy: Public Attitudes toward American Political Institutions

Congress as Public Enemy: Public Attitudes toward American Political Institutions

by John R. Hibbing, Elizabeth Theiss-Morse
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521482992

ISBN-13: 9780521482998

Pub. Date: 07/28/2010

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This timely book describes and explains the American people's alleged hatred of their own branch of government, the U.S. Congress. Intensive 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. John R. Hibbing and…  See more details below

Overview

This timely book describes and explains the American people's alleged hatred of their own branch of government, the U.S. Congress. Intensive 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. John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse argue that, although the public is deeply disturbed by debate, compromise, deliberate pace, the presence of interest groups, and the professionalization of politics, many of these traits are endemic to modern democratic government. Congress is an enemy of the public partially because it is so public. Calls for reforms such as term limitations reflect the public's desire to attack these disliked features. Acknowledging the need for some reforms to be taken more seriously, the authors 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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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521482998
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
07/28/2010
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Public Opinion and Political Psychology Series
Pages:
186
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
Preface
1Introduction: What is wrong with the American political system?1
2Changing levels of support for individual institutions22
3Perceptions of political institutions41
4Perceptions of congressional features and reforms62
5Focus groups and perceptions of the Washington system84
6Who approves of Congress?106
7Support for democratic processes125
8Conclusion: The people and their political system145
Appendix163
References174
Index183

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