Electoral Realignments: A Critique of an American Genre / Edition 1

Electoral Realignments: A Critique of an American Genre / Edition 1

by David R. Mayhew
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ISBN-10:
0300093659
ISBN-13:
9780300093650
Pub. Date:
05/10/2004
Publisher:
Yale University Press
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Overview

Electoral Realignments: A Critique of an American Genre / Edition 1

The study of electoral realignments is one of the most influential and intellectually stimulating enterprises undertaken by American political scientists. Realignment theory has been seen as a science able to predict changes, and generations of students, journalists, pundits, and political scientists have been trained to be on the lookout for "signs" of new electoral realignments. Now a major political scientist argues that the essential claims of realignment theory are wrong-that American elections, parties, and policymaking are not (and never were) reconfigured according to the realignment calendar.
David Mayhew examines fifteen key empirical claims of realignment theory in detail and shows us why each in turn does not hold up under scrutiny. It is time, he insists, to open the field to new ideas. We might, for example, adopt a more nominalistic, skeptical way of thinking about American elections that highlights contingency, short-term election strategies, and valence issues. Or we might examine such broad topics as bellicosity in early American history, or racial questions in much of our electoral history. But we must move on from an old orthodoxy and failed model of illumination.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300093650
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 05/10/2004
Series: Institution for Social and Policy Studies Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsvii
Chapter 1Introduction1
Chapter 2The Realignments Perspective7
Chapter 3Framing the Critique34
Chapter 4The Cyclical Dynamic43
Chapter 5Processes and Issues70
Chapter 6Policies and Democracy103
Chapter 7Conclusion141
Index167

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