What is it about Government that Americans Dislike?

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In the chapters of this edited volume, twenty-four leading scholars report research designed to help readers understand why so many Americans do not like, trust, approve of, or support their government. Readers with interests in current affairs, American politics, American government, and American opinion should be interested in this book. Since government is not always unpopular and since some parts of government are liked more than others, the authors are able to obtain insight into the particular features of politics that tend to be turnoffs with the public.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The volume contains 14 valuable articles that highlight the significance of the study of public attitudes about government performance, and taken together, raise many fascinating questions.... This collection of original research on public attitudes about government performance is well organized and thought provoking. It is well worth reading, and should spur additional research on this important topic." Perspectives on Politics
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: studying the American people's attitudes toward government John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse; Part I. When Do Americans Tend to Be Dissatisfied with Government?: 1. Political trust revisited: déjà vu all over again? Jack Citrin and Samantha Luks; 2. We're all in this together: the decline in trust in government, 1958–96 John R. Alford; 3. Were the halcyon days really golden? Attitudes toward the political system, 1945–65 Stephen Earl Bennett; 4. The origins and consequences of public views about government Virginia Chanley, Wendy Rahn and Thomas Rudolph; Part II. With Which Government Institutions Do American Tend to Be Satisfied?: 5. Public confidence in the leaders of American governmental institutions Lilliard E. Richardson Jr., David Houston and Chris Sissie Hadjiharalambous; 6. Linking presidential and congressional approval during unified and divided government Jeffrey L. Bernstein; 7. Is Washington really the problem? Eric M. Uslaner; 8. Explaining public support for devolution: the role of political trust Marc J. Hetherington and John D. Nugent; Part III. Do Actions on the Part of Politicians Cause Americans to Be Dissatisfied with Government?: 9. On red capes and charging bulls: how and why conservative politicians and interest groups promoted political anger Amy Fried and Douglas B. Harris; 10. A reassessment of who's to blame: a positive case for the public evaluation of Congress David W. Brady and Sean M. Theriault; 11. Sr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: public views of debate in the political system Carolyn M. Funk; Part IV. How Is Dissatisfaction with Government Measured and Incorporated into Theory?: 12. Trust in federal government: the phenomenon and its antecedents Diana Owen and Jack Dennis; 13. The psychology of public dissatisfaction with government Tom R. Tyler; 14. The means is the end John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse.
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