Responsible Partisanship?: The Evolution of American Political Parties since 1950 / Edition 1

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Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A. 2003 Paperback New Book First Edition. New, unread softcover.

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More than fifty 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.

While the possibilities and limits of responsible party government have been central topics in the literature since 1950, this book is the first to reassess all aspects of the APSA report. Here a distinguished group of scholars—among them Charles O. Jones, Barbara Sinclair, Frank J. Sorauf, John Bibby, and Gerald Pomper—examine the effectiveness, accountability, and relevance of parties to the democratic process.

These 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-including chapters on the changing role of parties in Congress and in the presidency-and also consider the roles of parties among the electorate, examining trends in voting behavior, party identification, and ideology. A capstone essay by Leon Epstein, the dean of American party scholars, reviews the ongoing quest for responsible partisanship over the past half century.

These contributors offer a mixed assessment of the two-party system, showing that parties are in many respects stronger at the national level than they were in 1950 but not necessarily more responsible. The most comprehensive description and analysis of American parties now available, Responsible Partisanship? should become required reading for all students and citizens concerned with making parties more accountable instruments of government.

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Editorial Reviews

Joseph A. Schlesinger
An essential guide to under-standing the current condition of America's parties.
Sidney M. Milkis
A comprehensive and fresh perspective on the indispensable yet fragile place of political parties in American democracy.
William J. Crotty
A thoughtful, tough-minded look at where we are today and how we got there. A most impressive and welcome contribution.
David R. Mayhew
A must read for anyone interested in American political parties.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700612178
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Series: Studies in Government and Public Policy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables


1. The Search for Responsibility, John C. Green and Paul S. Herrnson

2. In the Spirit of Their Times: "Toward a More Responsible Two-Party System" and Party Politics, John Kenneth White and Jerome M. Mileur

3. Party Development in the Twentieth Century: Laying the Foundations for Responsible Party Government?, John C. Green and Paul S. Herrnson

4. Election Laws, Court Rulings, Party Rules and Practices: Steps Toward and Away from a Stronger Party Role, L. Sandy Maisel and John F. Bibby

5. Power, Money, and Responsibility in the Major American Parties, Frank J. Sorauf

6. Campaign Consultants and Responsible Party Government, David B. Magleby, Kelly D. Patterson, and James A. Thurber

7. The Dream Fulfilled? Party Development in Congress, 1950-2000, Barbara Sinclair

8. Presidential Leadership in a Government of Parties: An Unrealized Perspective, Charles O. Jones

9. The Party in the Electorate as a Basis for More Responsible Parties, Herbert F. Weisberg

10. Toward a More Responsible Two-Party Voter: The Evolving Bases of Partisanship, Gerald M. Pomper and Marc D. Weiner

11. A Persistent Quest, Leon D. Epstein

About the Authors



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