The Polarizers: Postwar Architects of Our Partisan Era, Sam Rosenfeld
As the signal characteristic of contemporary American politics, the extent to which Americans have become polarized along partisan and ideological lines has received a considerable amount of scholarly attention. Yet while most studies focus on the role of demographic changes or racial attitudes in producing this polarization, Sam Rosenfeld takes a different approach. In The Polarizers: Postwar Architects of Our Partisan Era, Rosenfeld cogently argues that the pursuit of a polarized political system was a conscious choice made by key actors on both the political left and the political right. These deliberate, top-down series of actions by midcentury political elites were meant to solve the problems resulting from a political system in which the lack of differences in terms of policy preferences between the Democratic and Republican parties “stifled progress while blurring accountability to the voters” (p. 5). Drawing on extensive archival work and expertly juxtaposing trends within the Democratic and Republican parties, Rosenfeld shows that political elites believed that programmatic parties, neatly defined along a left-right ideological spectrum, would offer voters a clearly articulated choice at the ballot box and lead to better accountability and representation. The pursuit of polarization, then, was a deliberate choice on behalf of political elites
To continue reading, see options above.
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
Race and Public Policy
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.