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How Polarization Begets Polarization

Ideological Extremism in the US Congress

Brunell, Thomas L. (Professor of Political Science, Professor of Political Science, University of Texas at Dallas) & Grofman, Bernard (Distinguished Research Professor, Distinguished Research Professor, University of California Irvine) & Merrill III, Samuel (Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Wilkes University)

How Polarization Begets Polarization

How Polarization Begets Polarization

Ideological Extremism in the US Congress

How Polarization Begets Polarization

 

This book explains the feedback loop that generates ever-increasing polarization--the signature feature of contemporary American politics. This loop is powered by the discipline exerted by the respective political parties and their activists on both their Congressional members and their district candidates.


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Beschrijving How Polarization Begets Polarization

Extreme polarization in American politics--and especially in the U.S. Congress--is perhaps the most confounding political phenomenon of our time. This book binds together polarization in Congress and polarization in the electorate within an ever-expanding feedback loop. This loop is powered by the discipline exerted by the respective political parties on their Congressional members and district candidates and endorsed by the voters in each Congressional district who must choose between the alternatives offered. These alternatives are just as extreme in competitive as in lop-sided districts. Tight national party discipline produces party delegations in Congress that are widely separated from one another but each ideologically narrowly distributed.

As district constituencies become more polarized and are egged on by activists, parties are further motivated to move past a threshold and appeal to their respective bases rather than to voters in the ideological center. America has indeed acquired parties with clear platforms--once thought to be a desirable goal--but these parties are now feuding camps. What resolution might there be? Just as the progressive movement slowly replaced the Gilded Age, might a new reform effort replace the current squabble? Or could an asymmetry develop in the partisan constraints that would lead to ascendancy of the center, or might a new and over-riding issue generate a cross-cutting dimension, opening the door to a new politics? Only the future will tell.


ISBN
9780197745229
Pagina's
194
Verschenen
NUR
754
Druk
1
Uitvoering
Hardback
Taal
Engels
Uitgever
OUP USA

Politicologie