Congress: Games and Strategies, fourth edition, is an up-to-date look at the 21st century Congress from the perspective of a professional political scientist and congressional staff member turned academic. As such, it provides both academic and real-world insights into the unique and often impenetrable world of our national legislature. Using the most recent academic literature as well as quotes from current members of Congress, it seeks to explore the overlap between theory and reality. The book uses a game analogy as an organizing theme and as a toolbox, recognizing that much of Congress’ activity is understood by analyzing the players, the rules under which they work, the strategies they employ and the pattern of winning and losing that result. Updated through the 2008 election, the book includes a host of features intended to enhance comprehension, including boxes that allow students to hear what congressmen and congresswomen themselves say about the institution.
An excellent reminder to readers of the dynamic tensions between members' strategies and Congressional rules that are essential to understanding contemporary public policy.
Susan J. Martin
Congress: Games and Strategies is an excellent text which I have used successfully for at least five years. The in-depth questions, which will increase the students' knowledge, critical thinking, and research skills, may be used for independent individual or group assignments. It is the best text on the market.
1 Preface 2 Reviewers 3 About the Authors 4 Introduction 5 Chapter 1 The Constitution: Establishing General Rules 6 Chapter 2 The Electoral Game 7 Chapter 3 The Arrival and Survival Games: Entering Congress and Staying There 8 Chapter 4 Organizing for Action: Party, Committee, and Policy Teams within the Congressional Arenas 9 Chapter 5 Interpreting the Legislative Game: Congress, the Media, and the Public 10 Chapter 6 The Public and Its Players: Organized and Unorganized Citizens 11 Chapter 7 The Policy Game: The Procedures and Strategies That Determine Winners and Losers 12 Chapter 8 Congress and Other Institutional Players: The President, the Bureaucracy, and the Courts 13 Chapter 9 Congress and Policy Results 14 Chapter 10 Congress, Reform, and the Future: Games Can Change 15 Glossary 16 Bibliography 17 Index