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The Logic of American Politics
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The Logic of American Politics

Eighth Edition
Experience with SAGE edge


March 2017 | 744 pages | CQ Press
I have been using The Logic of American Politics for ten years, and of all the introductory textbooks on American politics, this is the best. It has a well-carried theme throughout, is comprehensive, and always reflects updated political science research.”

—Danny Hayes, The George Washington University

Praised for its engaging narrative, this new edition of the bestselling
The Logic of American Politics arms students with a revised introduction to institutional design that makes concepts such as command, veto, agenda control, voting rules, and delegation easier for students to master and apply, so they clearly see how the American political system was devised and why it works the way it does. Authors Samuel Kernell, Gary C. Jacobson, Thad Kousser, and Lynn Vavreck build students' critical thinking through a simple yet powerful idea: politics is about solving collective action problems.

The
Eighth Edition is fully updated and covers the dramatic 2016 election results with a thorough analysis of those results. It continues to delve into partisan differences among voters and in government and highlight the increasingly partisan nature of campaigns.  By exploring issues such as the Affordable Care Act’s troubled implementation, the increasing legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage in the states, and the debate over immigration, the book illustrates how the institutional structures of government, federalism, and even campaigns can help voters make sense of their choices. The concluding chapter on policymaking examines the noticeable logic that guides American policy, as shown through issues like health care reform, global climate change, and the federal budget. Students glean insights into the sources of policy problems, identify possible solutions, and realize why agreement on those solutions is often so hard to achieve.

Interactive eBook also available! 

Your students save when you bundle the new edition with the interactive eBook version.
Order using bundle ISBN 978-1-5063-8522-8. Learn more.

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Assignable SAGE Premium Video: Boost Comprehension. Bolster Analysis.

Available via the Interactive eBook and linked through SAGE coursepacks, SAGE Premium Video is tied to learning objectives and produced exclusively for this text. SAGE Premium Video brings concepts to life and appeals to different learning styles, featuring news clips that bring extra coverage of current events into the book and Topics in American Government animated videos that recap the fundamentals of American politics.

 
Preface
 
A Note to Students
 
Chapter 1: The Logic of American Politics
The Importance of Institutional Design  
Constitutions and Governments  
Collective Action Problems  
The Costs of Collective Action  
Representative Government  
The Work of Government  
Collective Action and America’s Constitution  
Nota Bene  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
PART 1 The Nationalization of Politics
 
Chapter 2: The Constitution
The Road to Independence  
America’s First Constitution: The Articles of Confederation  
Drafting a New Constitution  
The Fight for Ratification  
The Theory Underlying the Constitution  
Designing Institutions for Collective Action: The Framers’ Tool Kit  
The Constitution Begins the Nationalization of American Politics  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
Chapter 3: Federalism
American-Style Federalism  
Federalism and the Constitution  
The Paths to Nationalization  
Modern Federalism  
Evolving Federalism: A By-Product of National Policy  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
Chapter 4: Civil Rights
What Are Civil Rights?  
The Civil Rights of African Americans  
The Politics of Black Civil Rights  
The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement  
Challenging Tyranny  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
Chapter 5: Civil Liberties
Nationalization of Civil Liberties  
Writing Rights and Liberties into the Constitution  
Freedom of Speech  
Freedom of the Press  
Freedom of Religion  
Gun Rights  
Criminal Rights  
Privacy  
Assessing Civil Liberties as Public Policy  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
PART 2 The Institutions of Government
 
Chapter 6: Congress
Congress in the Constitution  
Congress and Electoral Politics  
Who Serves in Congress?  
The Basic Problems of Legislative Organization  
Organizing Congress  
Making Laws  
Evaluating Congress  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
Chapter 7: The Presidency
The Historical Presidency  
The Modern Presidency  
Dilemma of Leadership  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
Chapter 8: The Bureaucracy
The Development of the Federal Bureaucracy  
An Expanding Government  
Bureaucracy in Action  
Who Controls the Bureaucracy?  
Bureaucratic Reform: A Hardy Perennial  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
Chapter 9: The Federal Judiciary
Setting the Stage for Judicial Review  
Three Eras of the Court’s Judicial Review  
The Structure of the Federal Judiciary  
Judicial Decision Making  
The Supreme Court’s Place in the Separation of Powers  
Who Guards the Guardians?  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
PART 3 The Public’s Influence on National Policy
 
Chapter 10: Public Opinion
What Is Public Opinion?  
Measuring Public Opinion  
The Origins of Public Opinion  
Is Public Opinion Meaningful?  
The Content of Public Opinion  
Effects of Background on Public Opinion  
Public Opinion: A Vital Component of American Politics  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
Chapter 11: Voting, Campaigns, and Elections
The Logic of Elections  
The Right to Vote  
Who Uses the Right to Vote?  
Election Campaigns  
The Logic of Elections Revisited  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
Chapter 12: Political Parties
The Constitution’s Unwanted Offspring  
The Development and Evolution of the Party Systems  
The Revival of the Parties: A Sixth Party System?  
Expediency Persists  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
Chapter 13: Interest Groups
The Logic of Lobbying  
The Origins of Interest Group Politics in the United States  
Contemporary Interest Groups  
What Do Interest Groups Do?  
Interest Group Politics: Controversial and Thriving  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
Chapter 14: The News Media
Development of the News Business  
News as a Consumer Product  
News Media as the “Fourth Branch”  
News as the Product of Politics  
Strategic Relations between Politicians and Reporters  
Conclusion: Politician–Press Relations Then and Now  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
PART 4 Conclusion
 
Chapter 15: Is There a Logic to American Policy?
Free Riding and Health Care  
The Obstacles to Taking Domestic Action to Stop Global Climate Change  
High-Stakes Maneuvering: Why We Tiptoe Up To, but Have Not Fallen Off, the Fiscal Cliff  
The Prisoner’s Dilemma of Entitlement Reform  
The Success and Failure of Collective Action: A Tale of Two Tax Reforms  
Conclusion  
Key Terms  
Suggested Readings  
Review Questions  
 
Reference Material
 
Notes
 
Glossary
 
Index
 
About the Authors

Supplements

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    • Corresponding multimedia assessment options that automatically feed to your gradebook
    • News Clips bring extra coverage of current events into the book, connecting multiple 2- to 4-minute news clips to core chapter content, allowing students to apply concepts to recent political events
    • Corresponding multimedia assessment options that automatically feed to your gradebook
    • Comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to-use Media Guide in the Coursepack for every video resource, listing the chapter to which the video content is tied, matching learning objective(s), a helpful description of the video content, and assessment questions 
       
  • Assignable Data Exercises in each chapter help students build essential data literacy skills using interactive data visualization tools from SAGE Stats and U.S. Political Stats
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  • All tables and figures from the textbook 




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  • Exclusive access to influential SAGE journal and reference content, that ties important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning

“I have been using The Logic of American Politics for ten years, and of all the introductory textbooks on American politics, this is the best. It has a well-carried theme throughout, is comprehensive, and always reflects updated political science research.”

Danny Hayes
The George Washington University

The Logic of American Politics is the best textbook on the market for those instructors seeking to emphasize the concepts of institutional design and collective action. This thematic focus helps introductory students truly understand American government and politics. What is more, the text pushes students to think analytically about the topic while engaging them with both current and historical narratives in American politics.”

Patrick Wohlfarth
University of Maryland

The Logic of American Politics is a well-written and thorough introduction that incorporates helpful and contemporary examples. It is the best textbook that I have come across in the subject of American politics and the discipline of political science.”

Ashley Moraguez
University of North Carolina at Asheville
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • Extensively revised introductions to collective action and institutional design make essential concepts more easily digestible.
  • Streamlined content throughout delivers a tighter focus on what matters most.
  • Thoroughly updated to examine current issues including:
    • How Trump’s victory challenges wisdom on what must be done to win an election
    • The media’s handling of Trump’s unconventional campaign
    • The stakes of bureaucratic performance as seen through the lens of Benghazi
    • Civil liberties issues stemming from police shootings of African Americans
    • The increasing legalization of marijuana in the states
    • The continued debate over immigration
KEY FEATURES:
  • Chapter-opening vignettes draw students in while effectively pointing to a chapter’s main themes.
  • Blue text is used to highlight passages that apply collective action and institutional design themes to help reinforce analytic points.
  • A set of feature boxes strengthens the book’s analytic approach:
    • Logic of Politics boxes examine the design of various political institutions in light of the objectives they were intended to achieve.
    • Strategy and Choice boxes show how officeholders and those seeking to influence them employ institutions to advance their goals.
    • Politics to Policy boxes highlight how public policies reflect the institutions that produce them and evaluate institutional capacity to solve the nation’s problems.
  • The concluding chapter on policymaking examines the noticeable logic that guides American policy. Students glean insights into the sources of policy problems, identify possible solutions, and realize why agreement on those solutions is often so hard to achieve.
  • Robust pedagogical features strengthen the text’s analytical approach: boxed features, maps, tables, and figures make for a rich experience as students learn to analyze data; new learning objectives provide measurable takeaways; and more than 200 carefully chosen photographs bring historical and contemporary details to life.
  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video (available via the interactive eBook version, linked through SAGE coursepacks) that is tied to learning objectives, and curated and produced exclusively for this text bring concepts to life and appeal to different learning styles, featuring:
    • Topics in American Government animated videos recap the fundamentals of American politics, reinforcing mastery of key concepts.
    • News Clips bring coverage of current events by connecting multiple 2- to 4-minute news clips to core chapter content, allowing students to apply concepts to recent political events.
    • Corresponding multimedia assessment options automatically feed to your gradebook.
    • Comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to-use Media Guide in the coursepack for every video resource lists the chapter to which the video content is tied, matching learning objectives, a description of the video content, and assessment questions.
  • Assignable Data Exercises help students build essential data literacy skills using interactive data visualization tools from SAGE Stats and U.S. Political Stats.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4

Chapter 11

Chapter 12


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ISBN: 9781506358666