370 pages | 80 Color Illus.
American Government: Constitutional Democracy Under Pressure highlights the necessary tension between our constitutional principles and institutions and the populist heat that sometimes roils our national politics, especially at the current political moment. Our constitutional democracy has been under pressure for some time, but few would deny that fears for its fate have deepened in just the past few years. We assume that our political institutions will limit and contain contemporary populism, just as the Founders intended and as they have in the past, but will they? An increasingly polarized electorate, urging their representatives to fight and never to compromise, may be stressing Constitutional limits. This new, compact core text offers to help American government teachers lead their students to a nuanced theoretical and practical understanding of what is happening in the politics of their Constitutional democracy today.
This brief textbook highlights the tension between constitutional democracy and populism in American government, focusing on questions of constitutionalism. In this well-written book, Cal Jillson gets students to ask key questions regarding the dynamic, complicated relationship between contemporary populism and government institutions in an interesting and well-executed departure from his usual American political development focus.
Mark C. Miller, Clark University
This timely text is a fantastic resource for students and professors, focusing on the most pressing issue facing America today: the functioning of our constitutional democracy amid increasing partisanship, polarization, and populism. The book is well-written, well-organized, and well-focused on the concepts, theories, and history that will allow students to engage the big questions of the modern day.
Morgan Hazelton, Saint Louis University
Cal Jillson's new brief textbook is outstanding. With a well-researched, comprehensive set of historical analyses and effective writing style that is clear and flows well, it will be easy for American Government students to follow. I will surely use it in the future, and highly recommend it!
Benjamin J. Kassow, University of North Dakota
In American Government: Constitutional Democracy Under Pressure, Cal Jillson provides an accessible and engaging treatment of the U.S. federal government. Understanding the formal and practical features of the Republic has arguably never been more important than in the midst of these challenging times. Constitutionally designed to lean into the winds of change, the structure and flows of the Republic are wonderfully elucidated and explained by Jillson in this text.
John W. Patty, University of Chicago
Chapter 1 THE REVOLUTION AND THE CONSTITUTION
Chapter 2 FEDERALISM AND THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER
Chapter 3 CIVIL LIBERTIES: DEMOCRACY AND THE EXPANSION OF LIBERTY’S REALM
Chapter 4 CIVIL RIGHTS: WHERE LIBERTY AND EQUALITY COLLIDE
Chapter 5 SHAPING AMERICANS: POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION, PUBLIC OPINION, AND THE MEDIA
Chapter 6 FACTIONS TODAY: INTEREST GROUPS AND POLITICAL PARTIES
Chapter 7 DEMOCRACY’S MOMENT: VOTING, CAMPAIGNS, AND ELECTIONS
Chapter 8 CONGRESS: PARTISANSHIP, POLARIZATION, AND GRIDLOCK
Chapter 9 THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH: THE PRESIDENT, THE BUREAUCRACY, AND EXECUTIVE POWER
Chapter 10 THE FEDERAL COURTS: ORIGINALISM VERSUS LIVING CONSTITUTIONALISM
Appendix A THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Appendix B CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
Appendix C FEDERALIST NUMBERS 10, 51, AND 78
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