This book offers a comprehensive assessment of the major theoretical approaches to the study of American politics. Written by leading scholars in the field, the book's essays focus particularly on the contributions that competing macro- and microanalytic approaches make to our understanding of political change in America.The essays include systematic overviews of the patterns of constancy and change that characterize American political history as well as comparative discussions of theoretical traditions in the study of American political change. The volume concludes with four provocative essays proposing new and integrated interpretations of American politics.This is a path-breaking book that all scholars concerned with American politics will want to read and that all serious students of American politics will need to study. The Dynamics of American Politics is appropriate for graduate core seminars on American politics, undergraduate capstone courses on American politics, courses on political theory and approaches to political analysis, and rigorous lower-division courses on American politics.
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Foreword -- Conversations on the Study of American Politics: An Introduction -- Patterns of Political Change and Inquiry -- Patterns and Periodicity in American National Politics -- Pattern Recognition and “Doing” Political History: Art, Science, or Bootless Enterprise? -- Common Ground: History and Theories of American Politics -- Macroanalysis -- American Exceptionalism Reconsidered: Culture or Institutions? -- Liberalism and the Course of American Social Welfare Policy -- Macroeconomic Change and Political Transformation in the United States -- The Origins of Social Policy in the United States: A Polity-Centered Analysis -- Microanalysis -- Rational Choice Theory and the Study of American Politics -- The Social Psychology of Politics -- Contexts, Intermediaries, and Political Behavior -- Group Politics Reexamined: From Pluralism to Political Economy -- Linkage Processes -- Politics as Persuasion -- Beyond the Iconography of Order: Notes for a “New Institutionalism” -- Political Learning and Political Change: Understanding Development Across Time -- Conclusion -- Ideas, Interests, and Institutions