You are here

Expedited access to textbooks and digital content

Instructors: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of your transition to online learning, requests for complimentary review copies of our textbooks will be fulfilled through our eBooks partner, VitalSource. By providing you with a digital review copy of the requested textbook(s), we can ensure you have expedited access to our content. If you require special assistance, please contact us at (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or at textsales@sagepub.com.

Debating Reform
Share

Debating Reform
Conflicting Perspectives on How to Fix the American Political System

Fourth Edition
Edited by:


December 2019 | 400 pages | CQ Press
Getting students away from spouting opinions about highly-charged partisan issues, Debating Reform, Fourth Edition looks at key questions about reforming political institutions, with contributed pieces written by top scholars specifically for the volume. Each pro or con essay considers a concrete proposal for reforming the political system. By focusing on institutions, rather than liberal or conservative public policies, students tend to leave behind ideology and grapple with claims and evidence to draw their own conclusions and build their own arguments. Students will explore how institutions work in their American government text, but this reader helps them to understand how they can be made to work better.

 
Preface
 
1. Resolved, Article V should be revised to make it easier to amend the Constitution and to call a constitutional convention
Pro:

Sanford Levinson
Con:

David E. Kyvig
 
2. Resolved, Impeachment Should Be Normalized
Pro:

Gene Healy
Con:

Keith E. Whittington
 
3. Resolved, Marijuana Policy Should Be Set by the States, not the Federal Government
Pro:

Sam Kamin
Con:

Robert A. Mikos
 
4. Resolved, States Should Enact Voter ID Laws and Reduce Early Voting
Pro:

Michael Nelson
Con:

Keith Gunnar Bentele and Erin O’Brien
 
5. Resolved, Congress Should Bring Back the Fairness Doctrine
Pro:

Marjorie Randon Hershey
Con:

James Gattuso
 
6. Resolved, The United States Should Adopt a National Initiative and Referendum
Pro:

Todd Donovan
Con:

Richard J. Ellis
 
7. Resolved, the United States should adopt compulsory voting
Pro:

Martin P. Wattenberg
Con:

Jason Brennan
 
8. Resolved, Congress should remove the caps on the amount that individuals can contribute to candidates for federal office
Pro:

John Samples
Con:

Richard Briffault
 
9. Resolved, States Should Require Open Primaries
Pro:

Jason Altmire
Con:

Nicholas R. Seabrook
 
10. Resolved, Congress Should Bring Back Earmarks
Pro:

Scott A. Frisch and Sean Q. Kelly
Con:

Jeffrey Lazarus
 
11. Resolved, proportional representation should be adopted for U.S. House Elections
Pro:

Douglas J. Amy
Con:

Brendan J. Doherty
 
12. Resolved, the redistricting process should be nonpartisan
Pro:

Ruth Greenwood
Con:

Justin Buchler
 
13. Resolved, The Senate Should Represent People, Not States
Pro:

Bruce I. Oppenheimer
Con:

John J. Pitney Jr.
 
14. Resolved, Senate Rule XXII Should Be Amended so That Legislative Filibusters Can Be Ended by a Majority Vote
Pro:

Steven S. Smith
Con:

Wendy J. Schiller
 
15. Resolved, The Electoral College Should Be Abolished
Pro:

George C. Edwards III
Con:

Gary L. Gregg II
 
16. Resolved, The Twenty-Second Amendment Should Be Repealed
Pro:

David A. Crockett
Con:

Michael J. Korzi
 
17. Resolved, The President Should Be Able to Fire Anyone in the Executive Branch
Pro:

Philip K. Howard
Con:

Marissa Martino Golden
 
18. Resolved, The Terms of Supreme Court Justices Should Be Limited to Eighteen Years
Pro:

David Karol
Con:

Ward Farnsworth
 
19. Resolved, Americans Should Receive Four More Years of Free Public Education
Pro:

Robert Samuels
Con:

Neal McCluskey
 
20. Resolved, National Security Would Be Strengthened by Requiring the Government to Keep Fewer Secrets and Become More Transparent
Pro:

Michael Colaresi
Con:

Stephen F. Knott
 
Contributors
Sanford Levinson
Chapter 1: Pro: Resolved, Article V should be revised to make it easier to amend the Constitution and to call a constitutional convention
David Kyvig
Chapter 1: Con: Resolved, Article V should be revised to make it easier to amend the Constitution and to call a constitutional convention
Gene Healy
Chapter 2: Pro: Resolved, impeachment should be normalized
Keith Whittington
Chapter 2: Con: Resolved, impeachment should be normalized
Sam Kamin
Chpater 3: Pro: Resolved, marijuana policy should be set by the states, not the federal government
Robert Mikos
Chapter 3: Con: Resolved, marijuana policy should be set by the states, not the federal government
Michael Nelson
Chapter 4: Pro: Resolved, states should enact voter id laws and reduce early voting
Keith Bentele, Erin O'Brien
Chapter 4: Con: Resolved, states should enact voter id laws and reduce early voting
Marjorie Hershey
Chapter 5: Pro: Resolved, Congress should enact a new fairness doctrine for the 21st century
James Gattuso
Chapter 5: Con Resolved, Congress should enact a new fairness doctrine for the 21st century
Todd Donovan
Chapter 6: Pro: Resolved, the United States should adopt a national initiative and referendum
Richard Ellis
Chapter 6: Con: Resolved, the United States should adopt a national initiative and referendum
Martin Wattenberg
Chapter 7: Pro: Resolved, the United States should adopt compulsory voting
Jason Brennan
Chapter 7: Con: Resolved, the United States should adopt compulsory voting
John Samples
Chapter 8: Pro: Resolved, Congress should remove the caps on the amount that individuals can contribute to candidates for federal office
Richard Briffault
Chpater 8: Con: Resolved, Congress should remove the caps on the amount that individuals can contribute to candidates for federal office
Jason Altmire
Chapter 9: Pro: Resolved, states should require open primaries
Nicholas Seabrook
Chapter 9: Con: Resolved, states should require open primaries
Scott Frisch, Sean Kelly
Chapter 10: Pro: Resolved,Congress should bring back earmarks
Jeffrey Lazarus
Chapter 10: Con: Resolved,Congress should bring back earmarks
Douglas Amy
Chapter 11: Pro: Resolved, proportional representation should be adopted for U.S. House elections
Brendan Doherty
Chapter 11: Con: Resolved, proportional representation should be adopted for U.S. House elections
Ruth Greenwood
Chapter 12: Pro: Resolved, the redistricting process should be nonpartisan
Bruce Oppenheimer
Chapter 13: Pro: Resolved, the Senate should represent people not states
John Pitney
Chapter 13: Con: Resolved, the Senate should represent people not states
Steven Smith
Chapter 14: Pro: Resolved, Senate Rule XXII should be amended so that filibusters can be ended by a majority vote
Wendy Schiller
Chapter 14: Con: Resolved, Senate Rule XXII should be amended so that filibusters can be ended by a majority vote
George Edwards
Chapter 15: Pro: Resolved, the electoral college should be abolished
Gary Gregg
Chapter 15: Con: Resolved, the electoral college should be abolished
David Crockett
Chapter 16: Pro: Resolved, the 22nd Amendment should be repealed
Mike Korzi
Chpater 16: Con: Resolved, the 22nd Amendment should be repealed
Marissa Golden
Chapter 17: Con: Resolved, the president should be able to fire anyone in the executive branch.
David Karol
Chapter 18: Pro: Resolved, the terms of Supreme Court justices should be limited to 18 years
Ward Farnsworth
Chapter 18: Con: Resolved, the terms of Supreme Court justices should be limited to 18 years
Robert Samuels
Chapter 19: Pro: Resolved, Americans should receive four more years of free public education
Neal McCluskey
Chapter 19: Con: Resolved, Americans should receive four more years of free public education
Michael Colaresi
Chapter 20: Pro: Resolved, national security would be strengthened by requiring the government to keep fewer secrets and to become more transparent
Stephen Knott
Chapter 20: Con: Resolved, national security would be strengthened by requiring the government to keep fewer secrets and to become more transparent
Justin Buchler
Chapter 12: Con: Resolved, the redistricting process should be nonpartisan
Philip Howard
Chapter 17: Pro: Resolved, the president should be able to fire anyone in the executive branch.
Sanford Levinson, David Kyvig
Chapter 1: Resolved, Article V should be revised to make it easier to amend the Constitution and to call a constitutional convention
Gene Healy, Keith Whittington
Chapter 2: Resolved, impeachment should be normalized
Sam Kamin, Robert Mikos
Chapter 3: Resolved, marijuana policy should be set by the states, not the federal government
Michael Nelson, Keith Bentele, Erin O'Brien
Chapter 4: Resolved, states should enact voter id laws and reduce early voting
Marjorie Hershey
Chapter 5: Resolved, Congress should enact a new fairness doctrine for the 21st century
Todd Donovan, Richard Ellis
Chapter 6: Resolved, the United States should adopt a national initiative and referendum
Martin Wattenberg, Jason Brennan
Chapter 7: Resolved, the United States should adopt compulsory voting
John Samples, Richard Briffault
Chapter 8: Resolved, Congress should remove the caps on the amount that individuals can contribute to candidates for federal office
Jason Altmire, Nicholas Seabrook
Chapter 9: Resolved, states should require open primaries
Scott Frisch, Sean Kelly, Jeffrey Lazarus
Chapter 10: Resolved,Congress should bring back earmarks
Douglas Amy, Brendan Doherty
Chapter 11: Resolved, proportional representation should be adopted for U.S. House elections
Ruth Greenwood, Justin Buchler
Chapter 12: Resolved, the redistricting process should be nonpartisan
Bruce Oppenheimer, John Pitney
Chapter 13: Resolved, the Senate should represent people not states
Steven Smith, Wendy Schiller
Chapter 14: Resolved, Senate Rule XXII should be amended so that filibusters can be ended by a majority vote
George Edwards, Gary Gregg
Chapter 15: Resolved, the electoral college should be abolished
David Crockett, Mike Korzi
Chapter 16: Resolved, the 22nd Amendment should be repealed
Philip Howard, Marissa Golden
Chapter 17: Resolved, the president should be able to fire anyone in the executive branch.
David Karol, Ward Farnsworth
Chapter 18: Resolved, the terms of Supreme Court justices should be limited to 18 years
Robert Samuels, Neal McCluskey
Chapter 19: Resolved, Americans should receive four more years of free public education
Michael Colaresi, Stephen Knott
Chapter 20: Resolved, national security would be strengthened by requiring the government to keep fewer secrets and to become more transparent
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • Based on extensive feedback from adopters, Ellis and Nelson have added 5 new debate resolutions including such topics as whether impeachment should be normalized, whether the president should be able to fire anyone in the federal bureaucracy, whether marijuana policy should be set by the states or the federal government, and whether open primaries and bringing back the fairness doctrine are answers to the hyper-polarization of modern American politics.
  • Fifteen debate resolutions have been revised to reflect recent scholarship and events.
KEY FEATURES:
  • Brief chapter introductions provide valuable context for each of the debate resolutions.
  • Contributions are written specifically for the volume: essays are both well-suited to undergraduates and are in dialogue with one another.

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from
$40.00*
*180 day rental