The American Political Pattern: Stability and Change, 1932–2016, Byron E. Shafer
In this book, Byron E. Shafer undertakes an ambitious project to assess and explain political change in the United States from the onset of the New Deal to the present. Shafer delineates four specific political periods over 80-plus years: the High New Deal Era (1932–1938), the Late New Deal Era (1939–1968), the Era of Divided Government (1969–1992), and the Era of Partisan Volatility (1993–2016). Next, Shafer examines how the prevailing profile of party balance, ideological polarization, substantive conflict, and the policymaking process interact to explain how and why political actors succeeded or failed in their efforts to enact policy across these four eras. Working at a highly aggregated analytical level, one is struck by how these four relatively simple organizing principles provide significant leverage to explain a large proportion of political variation over eight decades. Quite simply, it is a compelling and impressive work of historical political analysis.
While Shafer produces a cogent, convincing narrative detailing the political dynamics of the era, it does leave room for some debate and discussion. First, Shafer's choice to operate at such a highly aggregated level of analysis facilitates his aim to draw some general conclusions. That approach, however, seems to overlook important contributions of specific actors at vari
To continue reading, see options above.
The Class of '74: Congress after Watergate and the Roots of Partisanship, John A. Lawrence Reviewed by Timothy P. Nokken
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
Voting and the Electorate
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
Articles | Book reviews
PRESIDENTIAL SELECTION AND DEMOCRACY
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.