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Edinburgh University Press
U.S. Government and Politics / Edition 2

U.S. Government and Politics / Edition 2

by William Storey


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U.S. Government and Politics / Edition 2

The US political system is designed to ensure that freedom and opportunity will always be protected, by making it almost impossible for power to become concentrated in the hands of a few people seeking to run society for their own benefit. Have these aims been achieved? The answer is that Americans have sharply contrasting views on how well their political system works. They disagreed with each other when they established the system at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and have continued to disagree ever since. This book covers the key issues, political systems and governing institutions at the heart of these disagreements, outlining the thinking behind the main points of view, to help its readers decide for themselves which viewpoint they find most persuasive.This new edition of the best-selling introduction to US Government and Politics has been completely revised and updated to reflect the changes in the area since the election of the new President.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780748638802
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication date: 08/06/2010
Series: Politics Study Guides Series
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

William Storey is an experienced teacher and principal examiner for U.S. Politics with the Edexcel Exam Board. He is a regular contributor to the journals Talking Politics and Politics Review and leads courses for teachers and students.

Table of Contents

List of Boxes     viii
List of Tables     ix
Introduction     x
The Framework of US Politics
The Constitution - History and Key Features     3
The origins of the Constitution     4
How the Constitution was written     7
The ratification debate: its advantages and disadvantages     10
The key features of the Constitution     13
Viewpoints on the effectiveness of the Constitution     19
Evaluating the Constitution - Race and US Politics     28
The impact of slavery and segregation     29
Responding to exclusion from society     33
The struggle for integration     35
Constitutional issues raised by the end of legalised segregation     40
The development of Affirmative Action programmes     43
Resistance to Affirmative Action     45
The current political debate on Affirmative Action     49
Interpreting the Constitution - the Supreme Court     62
The constitutional powers of the judicial branch of government     63
The organisation of the judiciary     65
How judges are appointed     66
The judicial process     71
The power of judicial review     72
The useof judicial power     77
'Culture Wars'     80
Prospects for the Supreme Court     82
The Limits of Federal Power - Federalism and Pluralism
Federalism     91
The states at independence from Britain     92
Federalism in the Constitution     94
The growth of the central government     97
Restoring powers to the states     105
Federalism in the twenty-first century     111
Elections     121
The Founding Fathers' dilemma     122
The electoral system     123
Making the electoral system genuinely democratic     136
Concerns about the system: campaign finance     139
Concerns about the system: redistricting     147
Concerns about the system: participation     148
Elections in the twenty-first century     150
Political Parties     167
The emergence of two 'umbrella' parties     168
'The party's over': the decline of political parties     171
Two ideological parties: the resurgence of political parties     173
Party supporters     192
Minor parties     196
Pressure Groups     205
Pressure groups and the Constitution      206
Influencing individuals and the local community     207
Influencing state governments     209
Influencing elections     210
Influencing the House of Representatives     213
Influencing the Senate     217
Influencing the White House     219
Influencing the Federal bureaucracy     220
Influencing the judiciary     221
The impact of pressure groups on the US political system     223
Testing the Limits of Federal Power - the Legislature and the Executive
Congress     233
Congress and the Constitution     234
Congress and the presidency     236
Congress and the judiciary     246
Legislating: the process of passing laws     247
Representation: promoting the interests of constituents     257
Political parties in Congress     269
Evaluating the effectiveness of Congress     271
The Presidency - Domestic Affairs     280
The presidency and the Constitution     281
The President's role as chief executive of the government     282
The President's role as chief legislator     295
The President's role as head of state     298
The President's role as party leader      301
The Vice President     302
Evaluating the domestic powers of the President     303
The Presidency - Foreign Affairs     308
The presidency and the Constitution     309
The goals of US foreign policy     312
The instruments of US foreign policy     321
The impact of foreign policy on domestic affairs     323
Evaluating the powers of the President     327
Index     334

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