In Compromise in an Age of Party Polarization, Jennifer Wolak challenges conventional wisdom and argues that Americans value compromise as a way to resolve differences in times of partisan division.
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Congressional debates are increasingly defined by gridlock and stalemate, with partisan showdowns that lead to government shutdowns. Compromise in Congress seems hard to reach, but do politicians deserve all the blame? Legislators who refuse to compromise might be doing just what their constituents want them to do. In Compromise in an Age of Party Polarization, Jennifer Wolak challenges this wisdom and demonstrates that Americans value compromise in
politics. Citizens want more from elected officials than just ideological representation—they also care about the processes by which disagreements are settled. Using evidence from a variety of surveys and innovative experiments, she shows the persistence of people's support for compromise across a range of
settings-even when it comes at the cost of partisan goals and policy objectives. While polarization levels are high in contemporary America, our partisan demands are checked by our principled views of how we believe politics should be practiced. By underscoring this basic yet mostly ignored fact, this book stands as an important first step toward trying to reduce the extreme polarization that plagues our politics.