Our portraits of voters, their relationship to parties, and the behavior of elected party members have changed significantly within the last 10 to 15 years. Characterizations of dealignment and decreased importance of parties have been fairly rapidly replaced by a focus on party polarization. Voters are becoming more ideological and the debate is now about the relative role of ideology, religious attachment, views on immigration, and class in affecting party identification and voting. In a short period of time we have gone from concern that parties are not responsive or sufficiently different to whether polarization has become too great.
This volume, with contributions from some of the most noted scholars of political parties, brings together assessments of these changes to provide a comprehensive overview of current trends in the field. It serves as an excellent companion to courses on parties and elections, and a useful overview for scholars and students of American politics generally.
"This volume is wonderful for several reasons. Not only do the chapters reflect the collective wisdom of the field's leading scholars on American political parties but it addresses one of the most important questions in the study of parties today: how they are responding to and taking advantage of an increasingly partisan electorate. It is in its totality a thorough and contemporary study of today's political parties in the U.S."
—Quentin Kidd, Christopher Newport University
"Stonecash has assembled an excellent collection of original essays—all rich in content—in this important and timely volume on political parties. With up-to-date research from leading scholars in the field, New Directions in American Political Parties is an ideal book for courses on parties and elections."
—Peter L. Francia, East Carolina University
"Stonecash gives us a fresh perspective on American political parties in this timely volume with contributions by an impressive team of scholars. He shows parties as they really are today by bringing the dimensions of new media, race, class, religion, immigration and geography to the discussion of party as institutions in government, in elections, and in American history. This will be my go-to book for teaching about political parties in the Obama era and beyond."
—Robin A. Kolodny, Temple University
"America's parties are older than most countries. Yet beneath this veneer of stability there is continual change in the policies, organizations and coalitions of the Democrats and Republicans. Readers seeking to keep abreast of these developments can learn much from the timely studies collected in this volume."
—David Karol, University of California, Berkeley
"Given the recent increase in the ideological polarization of the congressional parties, and the impact of new media sources, this volume serves as a perfect addition to any U.S. Political Parties class. Its contemporary focus provides a much needed addendum to the study of the ever shifting nature of party governance and partisan competition."
—Peter F. Galderisi, University of California, San Diego
"Jeffrey Stonecash's edited volume, New Directions in American Political Parties, features an all-star lineup of contributors. I've long been impressed by the extent to which Stonecash places current developments in party politics into the longer sweep of American social and economic history. The chapters in this book, individually and as a group, do a wonderful job of achieving this vital goal."
—Marjorie R. Hershey, Indiana University
'Stonecash (Syracuse Univ.) has put together an excellent set of articles written with the aim of explaining the many changes that have buffeted the US party system over the last quarter century.[…] Here also can be found an examination and explanation of the importance of ideology, religion, class, views on immigration, and other related issues in shaping and forming voters' affiliations. A strong close to this edited work examines the evolution of "conditional party government." Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, and graduate students.' — CHOICE, W. K. Hall, Bradley University
1. Changing American Political Parties (Jeffrey M. Stonecash) 2. Social Change in America: The Context for Parties (Jeffrey M. Stonecash) 3. Strategic Maneuvers: Political Parties and the Pursuit of Winning Coalitions in a Constantly Changing Electoral Environment (Mark D. Brewer) 4. Parties and the Media: Getting Messages to Voters (Danny Hayes) 5. Party Organization and Mobilization of Resources: Evolution, Reinvention and Survival (Diana Dwyre) 6. Blacks and the Democratic Party: A Resilient Coalition (Kerry Haynie and Candis S. Watts) 7. Class in American Politics (Jeffrey M. Stonecash) 8. Ideological Realignment Among Voters (Alan Abramowitz) 9. Religion, Moralism and the Cultural Wars: Competing Moral Visions (Laura Olson) 10. Immigrants and Political Parties (Marika Dunn and Jane Junn) 11. Partisan Trends in the South and Northeast: Political Ping Pong (Howard L. Reiter) 12. The President as a Partisan Actor (Sidney M. Milkis) 13. Consequences of Electoral and Institutional Change: the Evolution of Conditional Party Government in the U.S. House of Representatives (David Rohde and John Aldrich) 14. Parties, Public Policy Differences, and Impact (Rebekah E. Liscio and Jeffrey M. Stonecash)
The Routledge series New Directions in American Politics is composed of contributed volumes covering key areas of study in the field of American politics and government. Each title provides a state-of-the-art overview of current trends in its respective subfield, with an eye toward cutting edge research accessible to undergraduate students. While the volumes reflect all the main topics of relevant study, rather than cover the dry "nuts and bolts" of the subject they instead engage readers through intriguing puzzles and relevant questions that tie into your syllabus. The most recent scholarship, real-world controversies, and theoretical debates come alive in these volumes, getting students excited about the same issues that animate scholars.