Title The American Political System, 3/e
Author Ken Kollman
ISBN 9780393283570
List price USD 105.00
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 802
Book size 195 x 229 mm
Publishing year 2017
Original publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Published in India by W. W. Norton & Company
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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A contemporary framework without the fluff.

Kollman presents students with a simple framework—politics is about collective dilemmas and the institutions that solve them—and applies it consistently throughout. How can 535 members of Congress get anything done? What is the committee system? How can the president change the immigration policy? Can it be done through executive orders? Instead of burying concepts in history or minutiae, Kollman’s concise text gets right to the heart of political science.




CHAPTER 1. Introduction • What can the tools of political science tell us that we don’t already know? • Understanding American Politics • Institutions • Collective Dilemmas and the Need for Government Types of Collective Dilemmas • . Collective Action Problems • Prisoner’s Dilemma Situations • Coordination Problems • Comparing Collective Action Problems and Coordination Problems: Example from Voting • Unstable Coalitions • Principal-Agent Problems Designing Institutions In Comparison: Types of Government Institutions Analyzing Politics and Government Using the Tools of Political Science • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 2. The Constitution • How does the Constitution strike a balance between preserving order and protecting liberty? • What Do Constitutions Accomplish? Origins of the American Political System • The Revolution • The Declaration of Independence • The Colonial and State Constitutions • The Articles of Confederation • The Constitutional Debates • Difficult Compromises • Institutional Features of the Constitution • A President as Executive • A Bicameral Legislature • An Independent Judiciary • Separation of Powers • Checks and Balances • Federalism with National Authority over the States • Reserved Powers for the States • Amending the Constitution • The Ratification Debate • Federalists versus Antifederalists • The Bill of Rights • In Comparison: National Constitutions Constitutional Evolution • Relative Powers of the Branches of Government • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES The Constitution and Religion in Politics • National Power versus States’ Rights • Direct Election of the President and Senators • Rights and Liberties • Consequences of the Constitution DATA EXPLORATION The Costs and Benefits of a Longer Constitution • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 3. Federalism • Why have the states and the American people allowed the federal •  government to become more and more powerful? • Federation and Confederation • Federalism as a Response to Collective Dilemmas • The Dynamics of American Federalism The Courts and the Constitution Toward a Stronger National Government • Progressive Era, 1896-1913 • New Deal Era, 1933-52 • Great Society Era, 1964-77 • Recent Trends • Federal FinancingFederalism and Race DATA EXPLORATION Where Does Federal Money Go, and Why? • State Governments • The Institutions of State Government • State Power • Local Governments INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES Federal and State • Conflicts over Marijuana • Special Districts • In Comparison: American Federalism Evaluating American Federalism • Avoiding Tyranny • Preserving Diversity • Fostering Competition • Promoting Unity and Experimentation • Negative Consequences of Federalism • Federalism as a Difficult but Important Balance • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 4. Civil Rights and Liberties • What rights and freedoms do Americans have?Defining Civil Rights and Liberties The Origins of Rights and Liberties The Special Role of the Courts Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality • Slavery and African Americans • The Treatment of Immigrants • Other Failures • Popular Demands for More Rights . • The Civil Rights Movement • Other Movements • Incorporating the Bill of Rights into the Fourteenth Amendment Government Responses to Discrimination • Affirmative Action • Abortion Rights • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES Access to What Others Have:  Rights of the Disabled • Rights Related to Sexual Identity • In Comparison: Rights and Liberties around the World DATA EXPLORATION Civil Liberties and National Security: A Trade-Off • Why Protect Rights and Liberties? • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 5. Congress • How do legislators rise above self-interest and the narrow interests of their districts to pass important legislation? • Congress and the Constitution • Bicameralism • Making Law • Congressional Elections • Causes of Individualism in Congress • Representing the District or State • Internal Institutions of Congress • An Increasingly Institutionalized Congress • Party Leaders • Committees • Other Internal Features • The Process of Lawmaking • Proposals • Referrals • Committee Action • Moving Bills to the Floor • Senate Distinctiveness • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES A Sit-In for Gun Control • Floor Action • Conference Committees • Presidential Signature • Making Law in a System of Separation of Powers In Comparison: Legislative Institutions DATA EXPLORATION • Does Gerrymandering Matter? • Analyzing Collective Dilemmas in Congress • Three Models for Analyzing Congress • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 6. The Presidency • How and why has presidential power grown? • Sources of Presidential Power • Constitutional Bases of Presidential Power • Solving Collective Dilemmas and Principal-Agent Problems since the Founding • Shaping the Modern Presidency • Nineteenth-Century Changes • Through the Twentieth Century and into the Twenty-First • Enhancing Presidential Power through Military and Economic Means Today’s Powerful Presidency • The Veto • Executive Orders, Executive Agreements; and Signing Statements • Appointments • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES Abortion Funding and the Use of Executive Orders • Solving Collective Dilemmas with Administrative and Financial Resources • In Comparison: Executive Forms DATA EXPLORATION • The Politics of Executive Orders • Checks on Presidential Power • Investigations and Impeachment • Electoral Pressures • Institutionalizing Presidential Power to Solve Collective Dilemmas • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 7. The Bureaucracy • Who controls the bureaucracy? And does it work? • What Is the Federal Bureaucracy? Why Do We Need a Federal Bureaucracy? • Solvers of Collective Dilemmas • Principals and Agents in the Executive Bureaucracy • The Motivations of Bureaucrats • Bureaucracy’s Principal-Agent Problems • Bureaucrats as Policy Makers • How Has the Bureaucracy Changed? • The Early Years • Growth in Size • The Spoils System • Civil Service Reform • Modern Reforms of the Bureaucracy • Privatization and Marketization • Shaping and Influencing the Bureaucracy • Appointments • Budgeting • Oversight • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES Bureaucratic Budget Battles • The Courts’ Influence • Interest Groups • In Comparison: Bureaucratic Traditions DATA EXPLORATION Do Bureaucrats Behave Differently than • Elected Officials? • Two Views of Bureaucracy • The Progressive Vision of a Fair, Competent, and Impartial Bureaucracy • The Democratic Vision of a Bureaucracy Responsive to the Wishes of Politicians Elected by the People • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 8. The JudiciaryAre the courts above politics? • Courts and Collective Dilemmas • Prisoner’s Dilemmas • Coordination Problems • Independence and Legitimacy • Constitutional Basis Establishing Judicial Power • Judicial Review • Supremacy of Federal Courts and Federal Law • The Court of Last Resort • Organization of the American Judiciary • Types of Cases • Standing and Class Actions • Federal Courts • State Courts and the Electoral Connection • Jurisdiction at the Federal and State Levels • Common Law and Legal Precedent • Path of a Supreme Court Case • Choosing Cases • Legal Briefs • Oral Arguments • The Conference • Opinion Writing • In Comparison: The Judiciary • Selecting Judges • Judicial Review • How Political Are the Courts? • Minority Rights versus Majority Rule • Analyzing Judicial Behavior • DATA EXPLORATION Ideology on the Supreme Court • Public Opinion, Congress, and the Federal Courts • The Politics of Judicial Appointments • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES The Politics and Strategies of Judicial Confirmations • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 9. Public Opinion • What is the link between public opinion and politicians’ behavior? • Public Opinion in a Democratic System What Is Public Opinion? • The Challenge of Having Many Principals • Measuring Public Opinion • Early Attempts at Measurement • Random Sampling • Possible Biases • Alternative Methods to Surveys • Where Do Political Attitudes Come From? • Socialization • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES Meta-Analysis:  A Response to the Cell Phone Era • Interests and Rationality • Group Attachments • Emotions • Influence of Elites • Predispositions • Ideology • Party Identification • Other Predispositions • Opinions on Policies and Politicians • Policy Opinions • Evaluations of Politicians and Government Institutions • Apathy and Lack of Knowledge • Rational Ignorance? • Apathy and Non-Attitudes • In Comparison: Public Opinion Public Opinion and Policy Making DATA EXPLORATION Income, Policy Preferences, and Outcomes: Do the Rich Win? • Does Government Policy Follow Public Opinion or Vice Versa? • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 10. Political Participation • Why do groups with the greatest interest in changing the status quo have relatively low turnout rates? • Participation and Democratic Politics • Conventional and Unconventional Participation • Collective Dilemmas in Participation Tallying the Costs and Benefits of Participating • Registering to Vote • Gathering Information • Voting • Participation beyond Voting • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES Voter Turnout • The Struggles for Voting Rights • Restricting the Right to Vote • Challenges to Reforms Intended to Increase Turnout • Removing Barriers to Voting • Group Struggles • Patterns of Participation in the United States • Trends in Voter Turnout • The Demographics of Participation • In Comparison: Political Participation DATA EXPLORATION Does the Cost of Voting Affect Turnout? • The Crucial Role of Institutions and Mobilization • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 11. Interest Groups and Social Movements • How can well-organized, narrow interests influence government in ways that go against the preferences of a majority of Americans? • What Are Interest Groups, and What Do They Do? • Inside and Outside Lobbying • Campaign Financing • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES The Costs, Benefits, and Politics of Tax-Exempt Status • Collective Dilemmas.and Interest Group Politics • Collective Action Problems • Overcoming Collective Action Problems • Coordination Problems • Determining Interest Group Influence Social Movements • Deeper Analysis of Social Movements • In Comparison: Group Politics DATA EXPLORATION What Does Lobbying Look Like Up Close? • Organized Forms of Public Pressure • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 12. Political Parties • Why are political parties and partisanship so widely criticized, but also so indispensable in a democratic system? • What Are Parties? • Parties in Government • Parties as Organizations • Parties in the Electorate • The History of the American Party System • The First Party System • The Second Party System • The Third Party System • The Fourth Party System • The Fifth Party System • The Sixth Party System • Understanding Transitions to New Party Systems • Why Two Parties? • The Electoral System • National-State Political Relations • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES Sore-Loser Laws: Anti-Democratic, Smart Tactics, or Both? • Major-Party Actions • In Comparison: Parties • Two Parties versus More Parties • Party Discipline • DATA EXPLORATION Do the Rich (Candidates) Get Richer? Fund-Raising and Political Parties • Key Intermediate Institutions of Democracy • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 13. Elections and Campaigns • Do campaigns matter in national elections, and if so, how? • What Do Elections Accomplish? • Determining Policy Direction and Ideology • Choosing Competent, Non-Corrupt Leaders • American Electoral Institutions • State-Level Election Laws • Plurality Rule • Election Ballots • Direct Democracy • American Electoral Campaigns • Getting on the Ballot • Raising Campaign Money • Campaign Rhetoric and Prisoner’s Dilemmas • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES Caucuses and Primaries: Who Goes First? • Campaigning with Modern Technologies • Voter Decision Making • In Comparison: Elections • Different Formal Electoral Institutions . • Party-Centered, Ideological Elections • DATA EXPLORATION Which Candidates “Go Negative”? And When? Limited Campaigning • Public Financing of Campaigns • Is There a Need for Reform? • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 14. Mass Media and the Press • Is media bias a problem in American politics? • Mass Media and the Press in a Democracy • Providing Essential Information • Evaluating and Interpreting • Helping Solve Collective Dilemmas • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES Verifying Political Statements • Trends in Media and the Press • The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries • Network Television Comes to Predominate • Rise of New Media • Mass Media Companies and the Profit Motive Government Regulation In Comparison: Mass Media Are the American Press and Mass Media Biased? • Discerning Bias • Ideological versus Other Kinds of Bias • How Can Bias Occur? • Media Effects • Who Chooses Which Media Content and Why? • What Is the Effect of Specific Media Content? • DATA EXPLORATION Do Fact-Checking Organizations Change Candidate Behavior? • Politicians and the Government as Sources • The Media as Principals and Agents • The Press and Mass Media as Principals • The Press and Mass Media as Agents • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 15. Economic Policy • What can governments do about the economy? • Why do they sometimes favor one approach over another? • Government and the Economy: Ideas and Historical Trends • Prominent Economic Philosophies • Economic Policy in the Early United States • A Growing Role for Government • Benefits and Costs • Types of Public Goods • Externalities • Purposes of Economic Policies • Distributing Benefits • Redistributing Benefits • Stabilizing the Economy • Regulating Commerce • Promoting Economic Growth • Types of Policies • Monetary Policies • Fiscal Policies • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES Independence and  Accountability at the Federal Reserve • Trade Policies • In Comparison: Economic Policy The Politics of Economic Policy Making DATA EXPLORATION Income Inequality and Politics • Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 16.Social Policy • Why are social policies so controversial? • What Are Social Policies? Historical Perspective • Social Policies at the State and Local Levels • The Growing Role of the National Government • Major Areas of Social Policy • Basic Provisions for the Poor • Social Insurance • Education • Health Care • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES Inequality in Public Education: Roots and Reforms • Housing • Crime Prevention • Political Ideologies and Social Policies In Comparison: Social Policy DATA EXPLORATION Who Deserves Social Services? • Interest Groups, Parties, and Social Policy Making • Collective Dilemmas among Sectors of Society • The Major Parties and Social Policies • Explaining Political Outcomes Further Reading • Key Terms


CHAPTER 17. Foreign Policy • What tools does the United States have to craft foreign policy? When and why does it use them? • Collective Dilemmas and Foreign Policy • Domestic Dilemmas • International Dilemmas • Theories and Strategies of Foreign Policy • Realism • Idealism • Internationalism versus Isolationism • Unilateralism versus Multilateralism • The Democratic Peace as a Motivation • Contemporary Political Science Approaches • Historical Perspective Tools of Foreign Policy • Basic Tools • Crisis Tools • Making Foreign Policy • Elected Leaders • Bureaucracies • DATA EXPLORATION Who (Do the American People Think) Makes • Foreign Policy? • INTERESTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND OUTCOMES The Politics of • Military Base Closings • Domestic Political Pressures • Foreign Policy Doctrines Domestic and International Constraints on Foreign Policy • Further Reading • Key Terms


Appendix The Declaration of Independence • The Articles of Confederation • The Constitution of the United States of America • Amendments to the Constitution • The Federalist Papers




About the Author:

Ken Kollman is Professor in the Department of Political Science and Research Professor in the Center for Political Studies in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research and teaching focus on political parties, elections, lobbying, and federal systems. He also regularly teaches the introductory American politics course at the University of Michigan. In addition to numerous articles, he has written The Formation of National Party Systems: Federalism and Party Competition in Canada, Great Britain, India, and the United States (with Pradeep Chhibber), and Outside Lobbying: Public Opinion and Interest Group Strategies.

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People interested in American Political System.



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