Questions of influence are at the heart of political science. A particularly compelling answer to the question of who wields influence takes the form of subsystems theory. Combining detailed historiographical and quantitative analysis, Jeffrey Worsham tracks, explains, and explores the policy consequences of political variation in the financial subsystem from its inception through the 1990s, arguing that subsystems are a wavering-equilibrium solution to the problem of policymaking in the United States. The book answers three interrelated questions with regard to the wavering-equilibrium solution. First, what have been the major patterns of participation, or political variation, in the financial subsystem for the first 100 years of its existence? Second, what accounts for those patterns and the change from one type of politics to another? Finally, what are the consequences of different types of subsystem politics for public policy?
Table of Contents
Doing the Subsystem Two-Step -- The Birth and Evolution of the Financial Subsystem: A Historical Overview, 1865–1935 -- Who Is on First? Mapping Subsystem Political Change -- Doing the Legislative Mambo: The Treatment of Legislation, 1919–1988 -- Examining Inter-Subsystem Dynamics: Determining Who Benefits from Regulatory Legislation -- Green Grass and High Tides Forever: Regulating Bank Holding Companies -- Banking on Change: The Partial Deregulation of the Financial Industry -- Conclusion: Subsystems as a Unit of Analysis
Jeffrey Worsham is assistant professor of political science at West Virginia University.